What causes them and how to deal with them
Mood swings are significant mood swings that come and go in a short amount of time. They can happen to anyone and have different causes.
In women, mood swings can occur as part of the typical hormonal fluctuations that occur during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, or menopause. They can also be traced back to diseases that require treatment.
Read on to learn more about mood swings in women, including the possible causes, treatments, and how to treat them.
Mood swings are significant changes in a person’s emotional state. They can start suddenly and without warning and go away just as quickly. They are different from the mood swings that people experience in everyday life.
It is natural for emotions to change over time. Sometimes they can change quickly in response to a shocking or worrying situation. However, in people with mood swings, the change is typically more intense and cannot be related to life events.
There are several causes of mood swings that affect women specifically. These include:
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) refers to a group of symptoms that are around 1-2 weeks before a period. Over 90% of women have some premenstrual symptoms that can include mood swings.
Other symptoms of PMS include:
PMS occurs because of the hormonal changes that take place before menstruation, but scientists don’t understand why it affects some people more than others.
Some people find that certain types of hormonal birth control can help reduce significant PMS symptoms. However, it may take several types to try to find one that helps.
Learn more about PMS.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a serious premenstrual condition that causes significant irritability, anxiety, or depression 1-2 weeks before a period begins. Symptoms usually improve soon after you start your period.
The symptoms can be:
- Mood swings
- feeling angry and upset
- feel tense or anxious
- a lack of interest in things that a person normally enjoys
- Difficulty focusing
- sleep disorders
- Feelings of despair or thoughts of suicide
Researchers aren’t sure what causes PMDD, but it may be related to changes in a person’s hormones or serotonin levels before a period. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood and cognition, among other things.
Treatment options include certain types of hormonal birth control or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. In severe cases, some may consider starting early menopause through medication or surgery.
Learn more about PMDD.
Premenstrual symptom exacerbation
Sometimes people with pre-existing mental or physical health problems find that their symptoms get worse before a period. This is known as premenstrual symptom exacerbation (PME). In people with mental illness, PME can cause significant mood swings that are similar to mood swings.
Examples of conditions that can worsen due to PME include:
- eating disorder
- Substance abuse disorders
PME and PMDD may appear similar, but a crucial difference in between is that in PME the symptoms of a pre-existing mood disorder are present throughout the hormonal cycle. In PMDD, symptoms only appear between ovulation and menstruation.
This is important because some treatments for PMDD – such as surgery to remove internal reproductive organs – won’t work for PME.
Mood swings are a common sign of pregnancy and can begin during pregnancy first weeks after conception. Other early pregnancy symptoms include:
- a missed period
- tender or swollen breasts
- Vomiting (morning sickness)
- more frequent urination
If pregnancy is possible, a person should buy an over-the-counter pregnancy test or speak to a doctor.
Menopause refers to the time when a person’s period naturally ends. The phase before that is perimenopause, when a woman’s reproductive hormones begin to decline.
Perimenopause usually begins when someone reaches theirs Early 40sbut can sometimes start earlier. During this time, estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, which can affect the production of serotonin. This can lead to a number of symptoms, including mood swings.
Hormone replacement therapy can increase low levels of estrogen and progesterone, while SSRIs can help stabilize serotonin levels, which can help with mood. However, these drugs can have side effects, so it is important to discuss this with a doctor.
A condition known as primary ovarian failure can cause menopausal symptoms such as mood swings even at a much younger age.
Find out more about what to expect during menopause.
While mood swings can be caused by hormonal factors, there are also a number of other causes that can affect people of any gender. These include:
- Puberty: When a person goes through puberty during puberty, their hormone levels change significantly. This can lead to strong emotions and sudden mood swings that are more intense than usual.
- Mental illness: Some mental illnesses cause mood swings, regardless of a person’s menstrual cycle. These include borderline personality disorder (BPD), bipolar disorder, and cyclothymia. People with substance abuse disorders can also experience significant mood swings as a result of using a particular drug or stopping use.
- Neurological diseases: People can develop mood swings due to conditions like migraines, Parkinson’s, dementia, and many more.
- Medication: Many drugs can have a negative mood side effect, including some of the drugs doctors use to treat mood-related disorders. Antidepressants, hormonal contraceptives, and steroids are just a few examples. Sometimes the side effects are mild or wear off over time, but some people may find that they aren’t.
It is important to discuss persistent or severe mood swings with a doctor so that they can determine the cause. They will first ask questions about a person’s symptoms and medical history before moving on to diagnostic tests that will give them more information.
You can do:
- a physical exam
- Blood tests to rule out common conditions such as vitamin deficiency or thyroid disease
- Blood tests to see if a person could be pregnant or if they are entering perimenopause
If there are signs that the cause could be neurological, the doctor may also request imaging tests. If the cause could be part of a mental illness, a person can benefit from an evaluation by a psychologist.
Keep a symptom diary
Before an appointment, it can be helpful to record mood swings in a journal. This can help doctors understand whether the mood swings could be related to the menstrual cycle or other factors.
Make a note of when the mood swings occur, how long they last, and any other important details such as stressful events or lack of sleep. Then keep track of the days that menstruation occurs. Continue doing this for several months. People can do this in a notebook or a period tracking app.
If mood swings are more common in the fourteen days leading up to a period, it could indicate a premenstrual condition such as PMS or PMDD.
Mood swings can be bothersome and make you feel uncomfortable. Depending on the cause, it may be possible to reduce its impact on a person’s daily life and emotional wellbeing. A person may want to try:
- Have self-compassion: Sometimes mood swings are inevitable and cause someone to feel down or irritable for no apparent reason. It can be helpful to remember that this is a very common occurrence and that it is not the person’s fault that they have it.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness can help someone notice when their emotions are changing, which can help them notice mood swings as they appear and disappear. People can practice mindfulness by journaling, meditating, or checking in to themselves throughout the day.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking: Caffeine and alcohol can both make PMS worse Menopause symptoms. People who smoke also experience heavier PMS symptoms compared to those who don’t smoke.
- Getting enough sleep: If possible, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Lack of sleep can make irritability, anxiety, depression, and fatigue (low energy) worse.
- Try relaxation techniques: Relaxation can reduce stress and improve sleep, both of which have positive effects on mood. Examples to try out are breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi or massage.
- Stay active: Physical activity increases the production of hormones that can improve a person’s mood.
- Do pleasant activities: Try to continue activities that you enjoy, even if a change in mood makes it more difficult. Spending time in nature, creative hobbies, gardening, and listening to music can all have positive effects on wellbeing.
While mild or moderate mood swings are common in women with PMS, they should not be long-lasting, occur throughout the month, or significantly affect a person’s ability to function. Mood swings that do this can be a sign of another condition that may require medical attention.
It’s important to talk to a doctor about mood swings, especially if they’re new, severe, or persistent. If mood swings are affecting a person’s mental health, the person may also benefit from speaking to a therapist.
If any mood swings are causing a person to have suicidal thoughts, they should speak to a doctor or psychologist as soon as possible.
Do not change the types or dosages of prescription drugs without talking to a doctor.
Mood swings are short-term emotional shifts that are more intense than the typical changes people experience in daily life. They can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life.
Mood swings in women can be the result of PMS, PMDD, PME, pregnancy, and menopause. Women may also be due to conditions that affect all genders, such as: B. experience mental illness, mood swings. A doctor can diagnose the cause and recommend treatments.