Mood Swings and Menopause
Menopause can not only prompt uncomfortable physical symptoms, it can also turn a woman´s emotions into an out-of-control pendulum by afflicting her with mood swings.
Menopause is a time of significant hormonal changes, and these changes, typically occurring in women between the ages of 45 and 55, can affect emotional stability just as much as the body´s equilibrium.
More than 50% of women experience mood swings as they approach menopause. Fortunately, there are ways to manage mood swings during this transitional time.
About Mood Swings
Mood swings are defined as extreme or abrupt fluctuations in mood. During mood swings, people often experience drastic shifts in their emotional state. The term “mood swing” is often used to describe an emotional reaction that is inappropriate to its cause or trigger.
During menopause, women commonly experience mood swings because their hormones, which regulate mood and emotions, are thrown off balance. Though this is a common and normal symptom of menopause, it can be a very troubling phenomenon.
It is often helpful for women going through mood swings to understand the symptoms of this condition.
Symptoms of Mood Swings
Because each woman has her own individual way of managing her emotions, stress, and her environment, all women experience the symptoms of mood swings differently. However, many symptoms of mood swings are common for women going through menopause.
Common Symptoms of Mood Swings:
- Frequent mood changes
- Unexplainable emotions
- Lack of motivation
- Extreme moods
- Less patience
- Increased stress
Being aware of these symptoms can help a woman develop a better perspective on mood swings.
Causes of Mood Swings
Mood swings during menopause are caused largely by the hormonal transitions women go through during this time. Hormones, such as estrogen, influence the production of serotonin, which is a mood regulating neurotransmitter.
However, there are other causes of mood swings. Other menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, physical changes, and fatigue can cause or intensify mood swings, but these symptoms are generally caused by hormonal imbalance as well.
1. Hormonal Causes of Mood Swings
Medical researchers have found that estrogen seems to play a large role in the brain’s production of serotonin, also known as the mood regulating neurotransmitter.
Estrogen´s Effects on Serotonin:
- Increases serotonin receptor sensitivity
- It Increases serotonin receptor levels
- Increases serotonin production
Because peri-menopausal hormone imbalances temporarily disturb serotonin production in the brain, there is an increased chance of mood swings, depression, and other psychological disturbances during menopause.
While hormonal imbalance is thought to be a major underlying cause of mood swings during menopause, experts also point out that mood disturbances may be caused by other menopausal symptoms.
2. Other Menopausal Causes of Mood Swings
Women in their 40s and 50s, often stretched already by work and home stresses, suffer fatigue, sleep problems, hot flashes, and other symptoms that can directly contribute to problems with mood and emotion.
Risk Factors for Mood Swings
Why are some women more prone to mood swings during menopause? The answer, though complicated, has much to do with a woman’s chemistry, her environment, and other factors.
In addition to the hormonal causes of mood swings, several psychological, behavioral, and health related factors can increase the likelihood that a woman will develop mood swings during menopause.
Extreme Cases of Mood Swings
While mood swings are normal during menopause, emotional and mood related symptoms might indicate a more serious condition. Mood swings that are extreme, last for an extended duration, or put a woman or others at risk of harm might warrant professional help.
Extreme case 1: Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, is a group of mood disorders, characterized by the
presence of one or more episodes of mania, or abnormally elevated mood, and alternating episodes of
depression, or prolonged low moods.
Extreme case 2: Depression
Depression, termed major-depressive disorder, is another condition more serious than mood swings for which professional help is often necessary. While many people experience the symptoms of depression at different times in their lives, clinical depression is more than a temporary state or a symptom of menopause.
Extreme case 3: Anxiety
Anxiety is another condition more serious than menopause-induced mood swings. Anxiety disorders affect up to 18% of US adults, making this the most common type of mental illness. Clinical anxiety is a group of disorders and fobias that includes the following at the right box:
Disorders of clinical anxiety:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Phobia
- Panic Disorder
Fortunately, excellent help is available for women who experience psychological conditions more serious than mood swings. Most women who go through menopause will not develop such symptoms.
If concerned about mood swings or other symptoms during menopause, it is wise to speak with a qualified health professional.
The best treatment for Menopausal Symptoms
- Lifestyle Changes &
- Manna Menopause Support Supplement, with 100% natural phyto-estrogens.