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Mood Swings: Preventing Troubles in Relationships

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The physical changes that women can experience as they enter menopause are well documented, the emotional and psychological changes that accompany this transition are often more complex and misunderstood. The emotional upheavals triggered by fluctuating hormone levels can be experienced as mood swings and affect 50% of menopausal women. Read on for advice on how to prevent mood swings from damaging your relationship.

About Mood Swings

Mood swings are defined as extreme and abrupt changes in mood that can trigger emotional reactions mismatched to the reaction's trigger. Those who experience mood swings report feeling like their emotions are on a pendulum, constantly swinging from one extreme to the other.

Menopausal women have hormonal fluctuations to blame for their mood swings. This is because estrogen and progesterone hormones are responsible for controlling the brains serotonin levels. As serotonin is a mood manipulator that makes people happy, sad, or angry when it is affected by hormone changes, the result is felt as a mood swing. Although natural and common the experience can be difficult for women and those around her to cope with.

Mood Swings and Relationships

As women can find themselves responding to situations in totally different ways to normal, they can often feel like their emotions are completely beyond their control. Unfortunately, a woman's loved ones are also affected by hormone fluctuations. Although the situation can seem upsetting and frustrating, it is important to remember that menopausal mood swings are a normal part of the transition to infertility. In order to reduce the effects of mood swings, consider some of the following tips:

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  • Deep breathing exercises. Try practicing breathing exercises if you can feel yourself becoming irritable.

  • Walk away. In stressful or frustrating situations, excuse yourself momentarily and give yourself time to regain composure. This will help ensure you don't say things you don't intend in the heat of the moment.

  • Exercise. It has a huge range of benefits, including helping to regulate mood. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can have a significant impact on your emotional well-being.

  • Honesty. Be honest about your experiences and try to explain what you're going through. Sharing your difficulties can help you and those you love better understand your mood swings.

More about Mood Swings

While mood swings can be frustrating and disruptive, it's important to remember that they are a natural side effect of menopause. Please, read on to learn more about mood swings and other possible treatment options.

How Does Birth Control Affect My Mood Swings?

Women are more likely to become severely depressed if they are taking hormonal contraceptive. Read on to find out more.

5 Tips to Combat Your Postmenopausal Mood Swings

Mood swings are not just limited to menopause - they can continue to affect women into postmenopause. However, mood swings can be resolved.

PMS Mood Swings with Spouses

Women sometimes find that their PMS mood swings affect more than just their own well-being. Learn about mood swings and relationships here.

Sources:
  • The Health Center.(n.d)."Adult Mood Swings".Retrieved from www.thehealthcenter.info.
  • Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
  • Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress".Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.