Being human, we all have our ups and downs emotionally. All of that is really a function of our hormones. What causes our hormones to imbalance? There are many things that can contribute to mood swings, anxiety and depression: aging, loss of a loved one, divorce, illness, job loss, heredity, and of course menopause. If you're a woman, you have to ask yourself is menopause causing your mood swings. It's not an easy thing to consider, but here's why you should anyway.
You are not alone when it comes to questions and concerns about menopause and depression and anxiety. It’s normal to experience change, both mental and physical, and it’s important to pay attention to your own body and the type of symptoms you are experiencing.
Is Menopause Causing Your Mood Swings?
Most women experience menopause mood swings. Swings in mood from highs to lows that happen because of fluctuating levels of ovarian hormones. Estrogen is considered to be a mood elevator so it makes sense that loss of estrogen during both perimenopause and menopause might make women feel sad or low.
Mood swings are temporary, they change and will subside. As long as mood swings don’t affect your daily routine or disrupt your life, they are actually considered healthy. If mood swings are severe and happen on a regular basis, you might have an underlying condition that is not related to menopause and should see your doctor.
So while menopause causing your mood swings is real.
Does menopause cause depression?
Menopause and depression do have traits in common but It’s important to realize that menopause depression symptoms are not unique to menopause. Depression can happen independently of menopause. You can be depressed without menopause and you can go through menopause without depression.
There are 3 types of depression:
- A depressed mood.
Maybe you are feeling a little blue and having momentary sadness. Experiencing a depressed mood is totally common and normal as long as it passes.
- Depression as a symptom.
Feeling depressed can be brought on by an incident, a sickness, or a stressful life event. This type of depression is also temporary and should pass.
- Clinical depression.
This is major depression that is thought to be an actual chemical imbalance in the brain. This definitely warrants a doctor visit and a treatment plan that includes medication.
The best thing you can do if you are concerned that you might have clinical depression is to see your doctor. If daily life and routine becomes too much and you are unable to share your thoughts or feelings with people close to you, it’s best to check in with your doctor.
The good news is that It is unlikely that a woman would begin to experience clinical depression for the first time upon beginning menopause. Clinical depression usually appears earlier in life and can recur long before menopause takes effect.
You can still deal with types of depression while going through menopause.
Women who have never had mental health issues might experience symptoms of depression during perimenopause and menopause. And for women who have depression; their symptoms may get worse. Women who have a history of clinical depression may experience intense clinical depression during menopause.
The fact that menopause can be so personal and depend on each woman’s individual health; you really have to pay attention to your own body. Don’t worry about what other people are experiencing, or what you may read on the internet (even this post).
What are the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause?
Menopause causing your mood swings becomes evident when you realize that the most common symptoms are irritability and feelings of sadness.
Other symptoms can include: anxiety, lack of motivation, aggressiveness, trouble concentrating, fatigue, trouble with memory, and of course hot flashes and irregular periods.
There are ways to deal with menopausal mood swings and your general well-being during this time...
Not surprising; exercise and eat well.
Try yoga, meditation or find some sort of practice to calm your mind.
Take a deep breath and know that it will pass.
Other ways to combat mood swings: stay connected with friends and family, explore hobbies and creative outlets. Do puzzles, play games, read; activate that brain. Basically, remain engaged and aware and take care of your emotional needs.
Avoid triggers like caffeine alcohol and cigarettes.
Think about keeping a journal to track your health.
Menopause causing your mood swings is a reality for women. The best thing you can do is stay active, both mentally and physically, listen to your body and plan ahead to take care of yourself. Be aware of your body. Denial is not a good way to deal with mood swings, anxiety and depression. If you suspect that your mood swings are the result of your hormones being out of balance, get tested. It is better to know, so you can take the action needed to help yourself feel better!