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How To Deal With Mood Swings During Menopause

Mood Swings The Ups And Downs Of Menopause

Mood Swings & how to deal with them during menopause

Mood Swings Menopause Symptom # 4

No, you are not going crazy. You are in perimenopause!

Feeling like one minute you are about to explode, then breaking into a torrent of tears is what mood swings in menopause feel like. It feels like the end of the world, but it isnt. This is your hormones pulling your strings.

You are officially in menopause when one whole year has passed from the date of your last period. Before that, you are in perimenopause. Mood swings can start in perimenopause and continue for a while after menopause, but they will eventually subside for most women.

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What Are The Different Stages Of Menopause

Most women start producing fewer eggs from the age of 40 and their levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone naturally start to decline.

This marks the start of the perimenopause – technically the four to ten years before ovulation stops altogether.

While many women talk about going through the menopause, officially the term refers to the day of a woman’s last period .

Post-menopause is the blanket term for the years that follow.

Hormone levels dont tend to drop in a steady and consistent way they can suddenly spike sharply or dip, triggering flushes, night sweats and disturbed sleep, depression, irritability, anxiety and memory problems.

But many women say they feel more confident and content with life when they reach middle-age.

Yes, it is a time of transition and change can impact on our emotional wellbeing.

But the truth is that in the run-up to the menopause, women are on a hormonal rollercoaster.

This means our mood swings are far more likely to be caused by what’s going on in our bodies than what’s going on in our lives.

There are oestrogen receptors all over the body, including the brain.

One of the roles of oestrogen in the brain is to block the breakdown of serotonin, the happy chemical.

So when oestrogen levels drop during perimenopause, so can serotonin levels, which can impact on how we feel emotionally.

A low level of serotonin isalso thought to be why so many women experience increased levels of rage, anger and irritation at this time of life.

What Is Premature Menopause

Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered natural and is a normal part of aging. But, some women can experience menopause early, either as a result of a surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45, regardless of the cause, is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause.

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Cheryl Talks About The Aggro In The Household And Its Impact On Her Husband And Teenage Sons

I try my best to control myself. I try my best because with my daughters I can but with my husband I cant because my husband doesnt like people who rant unreasonably because he doesnt know what menopause is, he doesnt understand what menopause is about for women so mostly I dont take it out on him, mostly its my daughters.So have you tried explaining it to your husband?Yes, yes, I have told him, so when women get to 50 this is what happens etc etc because I have heard that men get menopause too, is that true?Yes, because when I heard that men had menopause too I didnt know if it was true. Because sometimes my husband can lose his temper and find someone to shout at and I thought it might be menopause because he is about the same age as me.When you told your husband you were menopausal, how did he react?He said oh, is that what its like, I didnt know because he didnt know.

Menopause Rage Is Real Here’s How To Cope

Best Natural Remedy For Menopause Mood Swings

As you go through perimenopause, you may find yourself experiencing new and intense emotions. These emotions are mainly due to the hormonal changes taking place in your body. However, hormones arent the only reason for changes in your mood. Many women greet perimenopause with many complicated emotions around menstrual periods ending, trepidation about symptoms and body changes, and aging. Whats happening to your body physically is compounded by your feelings as you grapple with this new life stage.

The onset of mood changes can seem sudden and extreme and often take women by surprise. Quite a few women report that situations they used to take in stride with a calm, even demeanor now easily sets them off, and they are easily irritated by the littlest things. They also report that their ability to control their mood diminishes. The lack of control is perhaps more alarming to some women than the mood changes.

What exactly are the changes in mood women experience during perimenopause? The inventory of the 34 symptoms of menopause typically lists depression, anxiety, panic, and irritability. Mood swings are often used as the catch-all term, along with sadness, tearfulness, and the blues. The emotions many of the lists leave out are anger and rage. More and more, women are reporting experiencing this intense emotion they describe as rage.

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How To Know A Supplement Is Safely Formulated

Unlike medications, herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and numerous studies have shown their quality can vary significantly, particularly in the United States. To be sure you’re indeed buying what a label reports, look for supplement reviews from organizations such as Consumer Reports or ConsumerLab. You can also check the label for the verification mark “USP,” which stands for United States Pharmocopeia. This mark indicates the product has been made according to good manufacturing practices and verified to contain the ingredients listed on the label.

Women in menopause have also found flaxseed and flaxseed oil helpful. They contain plant estrogens and oils that are used as a treatment for breast pain and hot flashes. One small, early pilot study showed significant improvement in hot flash symptoms for women who used flaxseed daily. However, a later study by the same group did not find any improvement. Later studies have also reported conflicting results. Some suggest dietary flaxseed can reduce severity and frequency of hot flashes others report no effect. Since flaxseed is already good for you, theres no harm in adding it to your arsenal, but know it may be not be as effective as once hoped.

Red clover is another plant estrogen that some women find effective for reducing hot flashes. Studies show a very modest effect of red clover on hot flash symptoms.

Q: Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Cope With Emotional Concerns During This Phase Of My Life

A: A healthylifestyle can help ease the menopause transition, including the followingsteps:

  • Exercise and eat healthy.
  • Engage in a creative outlet or hobby that givesyou a sense of achievement.
  • Turn to friends, family members or aprofessional counselor for support. Stay connected with your family andcommunity. Nurture your friendships.
  • Take medicines, vitamins and minerals asprescribed by your doctor.

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What You Can Do To Boost Your Mood

The good news is that there many things you can do to combat the psychological effects of the menopause, from medical interventions or complementary therapies undertaken with the advice of a health professional, to simple changes to your lifestyle.

Here are 10 ways to help even out your menopause mood swings:

1. Keep A Diary

Keeping a symptom diary, recording your symptoms each day, will help health professionals to assess whether your low mood has a cyclical, hormonal basis or whether you may be suffering from depression which should be treated differently. Some women in their 40s are prescribed anti-depressants for low mood but these can have unpleasant side effects while hormone replacement therapy is a more effective and safer treatment for mood swings triggered by fluctuating hormones.

2. Take Some HRT

In the UK, HRT is recommended by NICE to treat menopause-related mood swings and research has shown it helps. One study, published earlier this year by US researchers, found women who took HRT for a year were less likely to develop symptoms of depression during the menopause. There are some risks associated with taking HRT but these are extremely small and the benefits outweigh the risks. The type and dose of HRT will depend on your individual symptoms and medical history with the advice of your doctor.

3. Try Testosterone
4. Eat Well
5. Cut Back On Alcohol
6. Exercise Regularly
7. Get More Sleep
8. Consider Complementary Therapies
9. Try Something New
10. Think Positive

How Can I Minimize Mood Swings

Mood Changes During Menopause – What Can You Do?

In order to minimize mood swings, a woman should make sure those closest to her are informed about her condition and know how to assist her when she has a mood swing. She should also avoid known triggers for her mood swings. A healthy lifestyle will also go a long way in making her patient and tolerant.

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And she warns that for these women, its something to take seriously. If youre having serious depression, and your functioning is affected, if youre having suicidal thoughts, or you feel completely hopeless, that is a major depressive episode that absolutely needs treatment, she says.

A vulnerable time

Perimenopausal mood swings often resemble symptoms of premenstrual syndrome women might feel sad, or sluggish, or irritable.

Ive had people say that they feel like they have PMS all the time, says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, who leads the Connors Center for Womens Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. They just dont feel like theyre in control of their mood and they feel edgy.

Generally though, these mood swings are manageable, she adds. The good news is that most women will navigate their perimenopause without serious mental health issues.

But a significant number of women about 18% among women in early perimenopause and 38% of those in late perimenopause experience symptoms of depression. And symptoms of anxiety appear to be more common during this time leading up to menopause, including panic attacks.

Those most at risk are women with a history of mental illness, as well as women whose moods are particularly sensitive to hormonal fluctuations.

Women who had postpartum depression or have always had significant mood changes premenstrually are going to be at risk of having more symptoms, says Payne.

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Physical And Mental Symptoms That Can Affect Your Emotions

Insomnia: Lack of sleep can be a cause-and-effect problem. Anxiety and depression can lead to sleep problems, which in turn can darken your mood. Meanwhile, physical changes, like dips in estrogen, can trigger hot flashes that disrupt your sleep. Either can make you feel anxious or moody.

Low doses of estrogen and progesterone can help with chronic insomnia during menopause. Oral progesterone can also make you drowsy without the daytime hangover. Ask your doctor if this form of HRT could help you get more rest.

A combination of lifestyle and self-care techniques also can cut stress and tame symptoms that keep you up at night:

  • Watch what you drink. Caffeine can hinder getting to sleep, while alcohol can interrupt it.
  • Exercise. Keep it a daytime thing, though. Too much activity before bedtime can keep your body stimulated.
  • Study techniques that link the mind and body, such as mindfulness meditation. This practice helps you focus on the present, moment to moment. One study showed that it didnât affect hot flashes but helped lessen anxiety and improve sleep.

Memory and focus problems: Itâs normal to find it hard to concentrate and remember things. Doctors donât know why this happens around menopause. Depression and anxiety can make you notice it more, though.

There are lots of ways to keep your mind sharp. Try a few:

Even though itâs normal, you can feel baffled and upset to see your body change. Try these tactics to build a healthy outlook:

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What Causes Mood Swings During Menopause

The North American Menopause Society reports that 23 percent of women will experience mood swings during their menopausal phase. This can be attributed to the hormonal shifts that occur during this time our hormones play a major role in our temperament and mood. When certain chemicals increase or decrease, we can quickly feel depressed or excessively anxious.

During her active menopausal stage, a womans estrogen level will drop significantly. This can cause a decrease in serotonin and norepinephrine, two chemical substances that are linked to depression.

A lack of estrogen can also cause greater fatigue, insomnia, anxiety and stress. In addition to the physical changes, menopausal mood swings also affect your mental health.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Menopause and Depression: Painless Ways to Deal with Mood ...

Just like adolescence, the hormonal storm of menopause doesnt last forever and with a little effort, you can regain control over your body and emotions. Some women go through menopause and never experience emotional ups and downs. For most of us, however, menopause requires having to re-evaluate the way we respond to others, especially the people we love. Recognizing and accepting that menopause is a major life change – one to be celebrated – is a good first step. The goal is to try to maintain a positive attitude and keep your relationships healthy and intact until you reach the end of the tunnel.

One last thing. Fluctuations in hormones plus external stressors can become overwhelming. It’s important to recognize when you’re feeling depressed, anxious, sad, angry, irritated, fearful, and develop coping mechanisms and seek professional help when you need it. Don’t try to ride it out alone or wait for your next checkup. Make an appointment to see your doctor and learn about treatment options. For help finding a therapist, check out the Anxiety and Depression Society of Americas Therapist Finder directory.

For more support to manage your mood swings, visit us at Lisa Health and start our Mood Boost Journey.

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You Need A Sense Of Control And Volition

You need to know and feel that you matter, that you have an impact on your surroundings and your relationships.

Since theres so much in life we have no control over, be on the lookout for things where your positive input can make a difference. And, of course, your attitude and actions regarding the well-being of your relationship, can make a huge difference!

Now your partner or spouse is going through the menopause, you could, for example, aim to be extra generous with your love and attention, understanding and forgiving.

In addition, talking about and setting and honouring each others boundaries does a lot to cultivate respect. Chances are that over the years youve piled on the assumptions without having a meaningful conversation about each others needs and wants.

Q: How Do I Know When To Seek Help For Emotional Problems During Menopause

A: Whendepression or anxiety causes difficulties in your relationships or at work, andthere isnt a clear solution to these problems, its probably time to see yourdoctor. More specific reasons to seek help include:

  • You have suicidal thoughts or feelings.
  • Your negative feelings last more than two weeks.
  • You dont have anyone in whom you can confide.If you dont have anyone to share your thoughts with, its hard to know if whatyoure thinking makes sense. A good therapist will offer invaluable perspectiveon the issues most important to you.

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How To Deal With Menopause And Depression

So if youre wondering, can menopause cause depression, the answer is yes. If you are one who is suffering from depression during these times, there are steps that you can take to help ease these symptoms and battle this.

  • Find hobbies that you are interested in. Taking some time to yourself to do something that interests you will help take your mind off the things that are causing you emotional distress.
  • Take off any big load that you may have on your plate, if you have a large task, break it into something smaller to take the load off.
  • Try exercising more often, you can give something like yoga, pilates or cycling a try. Working out has been proven to decrease emotional stress.

Mood Swings: A Perimenopause Symptom

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Perimenopause is the stage leading up to menopause. Due to , hormone levels become imbalanced and the first symptoms of menopause appear. Perimenopause can occur as early as your thirties and produce a number of symptoms, such as mood swings. However, there are many ways to treat perimenopausal mood swings and women should not despair.

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Understanding The Menopausal Transition

Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a womans last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause.

The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about 7 years but can last as long as 14 years. During the menopausal transition, the bodys production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly. Bones become less dense, making women more vulnerable to fractures. During this period, too, the body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily.

Menopause may be triggered by a hysterectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries, which produce hormones. If you have surgery to remove your ovaries or uterus and are not taking hormones, you will experience the symptoms of menopause immediately.

This time in a womans life is often full of other transitionsnot just physical ones. Women may be caring for aging parents or relatives, supporting their children as they move into adulthood, or taking on new responsibilities at work.


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