Symptoms of Menopause Mood Swings
Menopause mood swings can strike out of nowhere. Women may feel a sudden surge of emotion, or may notice themselves engaging in heated exchanges or reactions that seem nonsensical in hindsight. Mood swings during menopause may be accompanied by other menopause symptoms, such as�hot flashes, fatigue or paranoia. Clarity of thought, sleep patterns, and ability to focus may also become affected by menopause mood swings.
Risks of Menopause Mood Swings
What’s the harm in mood swings? Plenty, it turns out. Mood swings not only make life miserable during menopause, but they can also have profound effect on overall mental and physical health. As moods fluctuate, the body produces an increase in stress hormones such as cortisol, which can affect everything from sleep quality to weight gain around the midsection.
Menopause mood swings can also lead to panic attacks, anxiety disorders, chronic nightmares, depression and the development of phobias. In severe cases, mood swings can lead to prolonged depression, worsening self-esteem, suicidal ideation, or even episodes of violence. Personal relationships can be gravely affected by mood swings, as well.
Causes of Mood Swings
Menopause can bring on rapid mood shifts due to the effects of changing hormone levels on the brain’s natural chemistry. As brain chemistry becomes affected, mood rapidly shifts. Mood swings can also be caused by preexisting chemical imbalances, secondary psychological issues (such as borderline personality disorder (BPD) or bipolar disorder) or trauma-related disorders (such as PTSD). Issues like stress, blood sugar, drug or alcohol addiction and extreme fatigue can also bring on mood swings. For most women, however, menopause mood swing causes are generally hormone related.
Menopause Mood Swings Treatments
Many women can experience relief from menopause mood swings through solutions that even out hormone levels (and thus reestablish steady and natural brain chemistry). In clinical trials, Amberen was shown to alleviate menopause-related mood swings, by restoring the body’s cells and improving communication of hormonal signals, this leads the body to resume natural production of hormones. Other potential treatments for menopause mood swings include professional therapy, group therapy, antidepressants or anxiolytic medication.
Menopause Mood Swings FAQ
Q: When do menopause mood swings first come into play?
A: Menopause mood swings can affect some women in their perimenopause years (prior to menopause, during fertility). For some women, they don’t begin until post-menopause. Post menopause mood swings are less common than perimenopause or menopause mood shifts, but in many cases still occur. In general, a woman can experience menopause mood swings in her late 30s, 40s or 50s.
Q: Who is at highest risk for menopause mood swings?
A: Women who have experienced hormone-related mood swings in the past have the greatest risk of developing menopause mood swings. Additionally, women who have a family history of mental health disorders, who frequently smoke or consume alcohol, who have a drug addiction, who have survived a traumatic event, or who have a secondary health issue have an increased risk of developing menopause mood swings.