“…many women do experience mood swings during perimenopause. Happy highs that turn into teary-eyed lows. Cheerful times followed by crabby days”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Mood Swings Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Menopause Mood Swings
  • Perimenopause Mood Swings

Terminology

Can menopause mood swings mean different things to different people?

I think the term menopause mood swings can be like the terms diet, love and menopause and mean different things, to different people, at different times, in different places.

When I use the term menopause mood swings what I mean may be different to what someone else means or what is meant in medicaltalk.

It can therefore be important when the term menopause mood swings is used to be clear about what is meant, so we may work out whether we are on the same page meaning the same thing or not.

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and mood swings?

According to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS):

“…many women do experience mood swings during perimenopause. Happy highs that turn into teary-eyed lows. Cheerful times followed by crabby days”.2

Menopause Mood SwingsMenopause Mood SwingsMenopause Mood SwingsMenopause Mood SwingsMenopause Mood SwingsMenopause Mood Swings

 

 

 

 

 

In Menopause Mood Swings the (United States) Hormone Health Network (HHN) explain:

“You’re laughing with your friends one minute and close to tears a few moments later. You feel tired, overwhelmed, and out of control. You’re not crazy—it’s one of the common symptoms of perimenopause (the first stage of menopause, usually in the early 40s): mood swings. And there are ways to cope”.3

In Mental Health & Emotions: Emotions the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) also note:

“The hormonal changes during perimenopause and in the first few years after the menopause can cause emotions to change quite quickly. Emotions can swing from joy one moment to anger and irritability the next. Sometimes you might think you are feeling one thing when really it is a mask for another feeling. For example, you might think you are angry when really you are sad about something. Often it is easier, or more acceptable, to display one emotion rather than the emotion you are really feeling. It is important to pay attention to your emotions and consider how you are really feeling”.4

Bipolar Disorder

Are menopause mood swings different to bipolar disorder?

Yes. Menopause mood swings are different to bipolar disorder. In Bipolar Disorder: Overview the (United States) National Institute of Mental Health’s definition of bipolar disorder is:

“Bipolar disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness or manic depression) is a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks”.5

Depression

Are menopause mood swings different to depression?

Yes. Menopause mood swings are different to depression. In Depression: Overview the World Health Organization explain:

“Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition”.6

In Factors Affecting Women: Menopause the (Australian) Beyondblue elaborate on:

“Menopause can increase the risk of developing mental health issues. Hormone changes in the years leading to menopause (perimenopause) can cause mood swings and irritability and can contribute to depression and anxiety. Changes in hormonal levels can also result in a range of physical challenges such as hot flushes, night sweats, interrupted sleep patterns and weight gain – all of which can affect mental health”.7

Cause

What may cause menopause mood swings?

In Depression & Menopause: Hormones & Mood Connection the NAMS explain:

Menopause Mood Swings“It’s thought that these mood swings are related to the fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones during this transition to menopause. Plus, if a woman is not sleeping well due to night sweats, her mood would no doubt be affected, too”.8

The NAMS also note:

“Unpredictable hormone fluctuations plus stress, body image, sexuality, infertility, or aging — any one or a combination of these causes emotional distress that may result in mood swings or, in more severe cases, depression. Determining the cause and extent of your “menopause blues” is very important”.9

In Menopause Mood Swings: What Causes Mood Swings? the HHN elaborate on:

“As a woman ages, estrogen levels are fluctuating from one minute to the next, and erratic. Less progesterone is produced (but stabilizes at low levels in postmenopause, around age 55). Estrogen is related to production of serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter. Fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels, plus other factors, cause serotonin production disruption, leading to more mood swings”.10

PMS

Is there an association between PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and menopause mood swings?

According to the NAMS:

“Women who had severe PMS in their younger years may have more severe mood swings during perimenopause”.11

Self-Help Measures

What are some self-help measures which may help mood changes?

In Menopause Mood Swings: What To Do About Mood Swings? the HHN explain:

“Mood swings are a part of aging for many women, but the good news is that you can take steps to help prevent them and manage them when they occur. Often, a healthy lifestyle is the first step in preventing mood swings.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
  • Eat a balanced, health diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Talk to a therapist or counselor
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Find healthy ways to deal with stress”.12

In Menopause: Treatment – Mood Changes the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“Some women experience mood swings, low mood and anxiety around the time of the menopause. Self-help measures such as getting plenty of rest, taking regular exercise and doing relaxing activities such as yoga and tai chi may help. Medication and other treatments are also available, including HRT and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)”.13

Treatment

How can menopause mood swings be treated?

The NAMS explain:

“For perimenopausal mood swings, some experts recommend a low-dose oral contraceptive (OC) — even if contraception is not desired. These estrogen-progestin pills provide continuously stable hormone levels and may control mood swings. Plus, they provide other health benefits such as regulation of uterine bleeding and decreased risk for uterine and ovarian cancer. Smokers over age 35 should not use OCs”.14

In Menopause Mood Swings: What To Do About Mood Swings? the HHN acknowledge:

“Sometimes, however, all of the lifestyle changes you make are not enough. For severe mood swings, especially those that interfere with enjoying everyday life, hormone therapy can help.

  • Hormone Therapy…
  • SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)…
  • Complementary Alternative Medicines (CAM)…
  • Low Dose Birth Control Pills…”.15 

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help with menopause mood swings?Menopause Mood Swings

If you would like help with menopause mood swings, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The NAMS note:

“Whether suffering from a slight case of the blues to something more severe, no one should suffer with mood swings in silence. Help is available”.16

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Menopause Mood Swings?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Depression & Menopause: Hormones and Mood Connection. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
  2. Depression & Menopause: Hormones and Mood Connection. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
  3. Menopause Mood Swings. Last Updated: August 2018. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/menopause-mood-swings Accessed: 25 April 2020
  4. Mental Health & Emotions: Emotions. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/mental-health-emotions/ Accessed: 25 April 2020
  5. Bipolar Disorder: Overview. Last Revised: January 2020. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml#part_145402 Accessed: 25 April 2020
  6. Depression: Overview. 30 January 2020. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression Accessed: 25 April 2020
  7. Factors Affecting Women: Menopause. Beyondblue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/women/factors-affecting-women Accessed: 25 April 2020
  8. Depression & Menopause: Hormones and Mood Connection. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
  9. Depression & Menopause. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
  10. Menopause Mood Swings: What Causes Mood Swings? Last Updated: August 2018. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/menopause-mood-swings Accessed: 25 April 2020
  11. Depression & Menopause: Hormones and Mood Connection. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
  12. Menopause Mood Swings: What To Do About Mood Swings? Last Updated: August 2018. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/menopause-mood-swings Accessed: 25 April 2020
  13. Menopause: Treatment – Mood Changes. Page Last Reviewed: 29 August 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/treatment/#mood-changes Accessed: 25 April 2020
  14. Depression & Menopause: How To Deal. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
  15. Menopause Mood Swings: What To Do About Mood Swings? Last Updated: August 2018. Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/menopause/menopause-mood-swings Accessed: 25 April 2020
  16. Depression & Menopause: Hormones and Mood Connection. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 25 April 2020
Topic Last Updated: 25 April 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 25 April 2020
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