Whether it be around their menses or during the menopausal transition, most women have experienced mood swings. However, despite their high prevalence, women should be seeking help in treating mood swings in order to improve emotional health and overall quality of life.
Keep on reading for the best mood swings treatments to regain control over your psychological well-being and bring balance into your everyday life.
Three Approaches to Treating Mood Swings
Three levels of approaches can be considered for treating mood swings, including: (1) Lifestyle Changes, (2) Alternative Medicine, and (3) Medications.
Lifestyle Changes for Mood Swings
The first approach to treating mood swings consists of making constructive and wholesome lifestyle changes. This method carries no cost and minimal risk, but it requires the most self-discipline.
A well-balanced diet is not only fuel for the body, but also for the mind. As such, menopausal women should eat foods rich in essential macronutrients - complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats - and the following nutrients:
- Phytoestrogens are plant estrogenic compounds that act as the body's own estrogen to balance hormone levels and naturally relieve symptoms of an imbalance.
Soy, flax, tomatoes, alfalfa, barley, apples
- Omega-3 fatty acids have been found beneficial for treating mood swings as parts of various mental health conditions, including mood disorders and depression.1
Fish, chia seeds, spinach, wild rice, sacha inchi seeds
- Tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood regulation and whose low levels have been linked to depression.2
Eggs, salmon, cheese, soy, chicken, peanuts
- Magnesium is an important mineral for brain health and mood swings treatment, and its deficiency might make women more prone to depressive moods.3
Fish, nuts, seeds, beans, dark leafy green vegetables
Regular exercise not only improves overall self-image and physical health, but also helps to reduce stress levels and trigger the release of the 'feel good' hormones, like serotonin and dopamine, thus helping balance mood and reduce anxiety.4
Amount: Women are encouraged to start small and gradually build up to about 150 minutes weekly, divided into short workouts most days of the week.
Type: Studies have found that focusing on yoga as well as regular aerobic exercise, like swimming or jogging, can be an effective natural mood swings treatment.5
Useful Tips: When overwhelmed with a bad mood and finding it hard to exercise, it is worth taking a long walk or going for a run to allow the mind to distance itself from destructive thoughts and find balance.
Precautions: Because the risk of osteoporosis increases in postmenopause, women are advised to avoid injury-prone sports, like skiing, and strenuous workouts, like heavy lifting.
Additionally, it is worth taking a look at various wholesome habits that can contribute to treating mood swings and bringing peace and emotional stability to women's lives.
Relieving stress through aromatherapy, mindfulness meditation, or deep breathing exercises is crucial to regaining control over one's mood and easing anxiety and emotional distrress.6,7,8
Creating a support network may also aid in menopause mood swing treatment as it can boost a woman's oxytocin levels, which is a feel-good hormone that helps counteract mood imbalance.
Finding a hobby and engaging oneself in activities that are joyful and pleasurable promote better mood and relaxation. Hobbies are also associated with lower rates of depression, as research has found.9
Cutting down addictions to mood stimulants, like caffeine, and depressants, like alcohol, can help women balance their emotions and mood more effectively.
Alternative Medicine for Mood Swings
Alternative medicine involves minimal risks and can be an extremely effective way to treat mood swings, especially in conjunction with lifestyle changes. From among all options, herbal supplements are not only one of the easiest regimens to follow, but also some of the safest since they directly address the root cause of mood swings: hormonal imbalance.
There are two types of herbal supplements that can be used to promote hormonal regularity and normalize mood: phytoestrogenic and hormone-regulating herbal supplements.
Phytoestrogenic supplements, such as valerian or St. John's wort, contain plant-based compounds called phytoestrogens, which function like estrogen in the female body, thus balancing hormones and relieving symptoms of an imbalance. While they can help counteract estrogen deficiency - and thereby treat mood swings - their prolonged use can make the body less capable of producing natural hormones, thus further worsening the imbalance.
Hormone-regulating supplements do not introduce outside hormones into the body. Rather, they nourish the endocrine glands, thus bolstering the body's own natural hormone production and reducing symptoms like mood swings. Because of their natural effects on the endocrine glands, hormone-balancing supplements, such as Macafem, are considered a safe and effective mood swings treatment.
From Nature and Health Magazine, Dr. Chacon says:
"Macafem's nutrients help restore natural hormones in women. Unlike hormone drugs, which are basically resumed in taking synthetic hormones, Macafem acts totally different in your body. It nourishes and stimulates your own natural hormone production by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and endocrine glands." Click on the following link if you want to learn more about Macafem.
Many women going through menopause find that blending lifestyle adjustments and herbal supplements is the most wholesome way to effectively treating mood swings. However, when women's mood changes are severe or do not respond to natural treatment, they may need more conventional approaches, namely medications and psychotherapy.
Medications & Psychotherapy for Mood Swings
Menopause mood swings treatment at the third level entail the highest risk and costs. It is, therefore, essential to undergo adequate evaluations to determine whether they are necessary and if the side effects do not outweigh the benefits.
Options include medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of both, depending on a woman's needs and health status. They are as follows:
There are a number of pharmacological options for women seeking to treat mood swings, such as:
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used to be the first line of treatment when it comes to relieving menopausal symptoms, including mood swings. Despite its effectiveness, HRT is not as popularly prescribed as it used to be due to the side effects it has been found to increase the risk of, as seen in the following studies.
- Other medications that might be used in mood swings treatment may consists of antidepressants, mood-stabilizers, anxiolytics, or antipsychotics, among others.
Oftentimes, psychotherapy alone is a sufficient menopause mood swing treatment. Other times, it may be accompanied with medications. The most commonly used types of psychotherapy include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy (IPT), and social rhythm therapy (SRT).
The aforementioned three levels of mood swings treatment can be used in combination or singularly. Since the menopausal transition can span over several years, women may move between various approaches, based on their current needs and symptoms. Nevertheless, they often find that making wholesome lifestyle changes alongside herbal supplements brings them natural relief without having to depend on risky conventional options.
A Safe Treatment for Mood Swings
Implementing Lifestyle Changes:
- Consuming foods rich in phytoestrogens, omegas, tryptophan, and magnesium
- Doing yoga and aerobic exercises for a total of 150 minutes per week
- Relieving stress through yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises
- Finding a support group or a hobby
And Taking Herbal Supplements:
- Phytoestrogenic herbal supplements, like valerian or St. John's wort
- Or natural hormone-regulating supplements, like Macafem
- Better Health Channel. (2017). Monitoring your mood. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/monitoring-your-mood
- Clinical Practice & Epidemiology in Mental Health. (2014). Psychotherapy of Mood Disorders. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4258697/
- Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience. (2015). Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Prevention of Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540034/
- Journal of Clinical Medicine. (2016). Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Psychiatric Disorders: A Review of Literature Data. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4999787/
- Medline Plus. (2019). Mood Disorders. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://medlineplus.gov/mooddisorders.html
- Nutrients. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/
- Psychosomatic Medicine. (2009). Association of Enjoyable Leisure Activities With Psychological and Physical Well-Being. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2863117/
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Omega-3 fatty acids for mood disorders. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/omega-3-fatty-acids-for-mood-disorders-2018080314414
- Nutrients. (2016). Influence of Tryptophan and Serotonin on Mood and Cognition with a Possible Role of the Gut-Brain Axis. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728667/
- Magnesium research. (2008). Efficacy and safety of oral magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression in the elderly with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, equivalent trial. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19271419
- Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports. (2016). Physical Exercise for Treatment of Mood Disorders: A Critical Review. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423723/
- The Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. (2006). Exercise for Mental Health. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/
- Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2017). The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy for Depressive Symptoms: A Systematic Review. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5241490/
- The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. (2012). The Mindful Brain and Emotion Regulation in Mood Disorders. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3303604/
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018). Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response
- Frontiers in Psychology. (2017). The Effect of Diaphragmatic Breathing on Attention, Negative Affect and Stress in Healthy Adults. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/
- The Lancet. (2019). Type and timing of menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk: individual participant meta-analysis of the worldwide epidemiological evidence. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(19)31709-X/fulltext
- PLOS. (2019). Topical treatment of vaginal dryness with a non-hormonal cream in women undergoing breast cancer treatment – An open prospective multicenter study. Retrieved February 17, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345451/