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My Mom's Having Terrible Mood Swings - What's Going On?

Lately, many women have begun having children much later in their lives than in the past. This has many upsides, such as a greater likelihood of financial security, more time to move up in the workforce before having kids, and more quality time with partners before having children. However, this also means that women nowadays are much more likely to go through menopause while their children are still living with them.

My Mom's Having Terrible Mood Swings – What's Going On?

The average age a woman reaches menopause is 51, but many women can reach menopause in the years before or after this age. Before a woman reaches menopause, she experiences many symptoms and changes as her body produces fewer sex hormones and gets ready to end its reproductive capability. As her body goes through these changes, a woman may experience many symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.

What Is Causing My Mom's Menopausal Mood Swings?

One of the main hormones in a woman's body is estrogen. Estrogen is best known for the help it provides regulating the menstrual cycle, but it also influences many other aspects of the body. For example, estrogen plays a role in the urinary tract, the breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. Lower estrogen levels can also cause mood swings.

However, changing hormone levels are not the only thing that can cause a woman to experience mood swings during menopause. Many other factors, such as stress at home or at work, can cause a woman to experience mood swings. Mood swings can also be the result of an underlying mental health condition. In other words, your mother's mood swings have a physiological origin, and they are most likely not a true reflection of her feelings towards you.

What Can Be Done about My Mom's Mood Swings?

My Mom's Having Terrible Mood Swings – What's Going On?

While you may not be able to provide medical help to your mother, the best thing you can do is to try to be as understanding as you can and work to see things from her perspective. Appreciate what your mom does for you and the sacrifices she has made for you, and let her know that you appreciate it. Try to spend quality time with your mom, and help out so that your mom doesn't feel like she is doing the lion's share of work in the home. For more information on mood swings, menopause, and possible menopausal treatments, click here.

Things to Know about Mood Swings and Anxiety

Mood swings are experienced by the vast majority of menopausal women, and could have even been ongoing for decades through post-menopausal syndrome (PMS)..

Common Medications for Mood Swings during PMS

It is unknown why some women experience more severe and longer-lasting PMS symptoms than others. Fortunately, however, there are methods for relief.

Understanding Menopause: Mood Swings and Irritability

Mood swings and irritability can be managed in a variety of ways. Read on to learn more about what causess these menopause symptoms.

Sources:
  • Amin, Zenab, Turhan Canli, and C. Neill Epperson. "Effects of Estrogen-Serotonin Interactions on Mood and Cognition". Behav Cogn Neurosci Rev 2005; 4; 43.
  • Cleveland Clinic. (2015). Is Menopause Causing Your Mood Swings, Depression or Anxiety? Retrieved December 22, 2015, from http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/06/is-menopause-causing-your-mood-swings-depression-or-anxiety/
  • Dr. Love, Susan, and Karen Lindsey. Dr. Susan Love's Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Molecular Psychiatry.(n.d)."Estrogen Promotes Gender Difference in Brain's Response to Stress". Retrieved from www.psycheducation.org.