Mood Changes During Menopause
Feel like you are on a rollercoaster of emotions these days? Mood swings during menopause can leave you swirling. Wondering how to manage mood swings during menopause? We’ve got you.
HOW YOU MIGHT FEEL
Mood swings can encompass feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability or depression. What defines mood swings is when your feelings are not consistent. You feel up and you feel down in spurts.
Irritability and feelings of sadness are the most common emotional symptoms of menopause. These feelings can start in perimenopause and follow you into menopause.
Many women report they feel they’re on an emotional roller coaster.
You may also experience lack of motivation, aggressiveness, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue. Studies show that about 20% of women have symptoms of depression during perimenopause and menopause.
CAUSES OF MOOD SWINGS DURING MENOPAUSE
The good news is that low moods are unlikely to stay with you beyond menopause.
Menopause by itself does not seem to directly create mood disorders. Mood swings during menopause could be caused by some women’s brain sensitivity to fluctuating hormones, according to the Women’s Mood Disorder Center at the Center for Women’s Reproductive Mental Health at Johns Hopkins. Specifically, estrogen and progesterone levels that affect your neurohormones that help dictate your moods, may be the culprit.
Women who have had depressive episodes before, are at risk for mood disorders during menopause and perimenopause, experts say.
Studies have shown that life’s stressors can have an impact particularly if women see, aging and its accompanying changes like menopause, in a negative light. Thinking that you are “losing your looks” or leaving your best days behind, can seriously send moods plunging during this period.
MANAGING MOOD SWINGS
Adapting a positive attitude toward menopause and aging can dramatically improve your moods, according to the Women’s Mood Disorders Center. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to have strong positive effects on managing mood swings.
Women should take up a creative activity or one that stretches them. These new activities promote a sense of achievement and a growth mindset both of which elevate mood. Travel, tennis, school, a new job, community theater, volunteer work, all count.
If you experience disrupted sleep during menopause, pay special attention to your sleep hygiene. Lack of sleep can make mood swings considerably worse.
Before bedtime, indulge in a warm bath or shower, five minutes of gentle stretching, try products with soothing lavender oil to help quell anxiety and promote a good night’s sleep.
Aerobic exercise and meditation can help you feel more even-keeled. Turn to your close circle of friends for support. And share what you are going through. People who socialize and communicate have been shown to be happier.