Menopause Mood Swings

December 23, 2009

No, You Haven't Lost Your Mind: Menopause Mind

Many women see menopause as that time in life when they have absolutely no control over anything. Or, so it seems. Your body feels like it is totally out of control with weight gain, hot flashes without warning, sleepless nights and now-there is no controlling the emotions. Are you beginning to wonder if you have lost your mind? Often, for no particular reason, you begin to cry. Your family thinks you have become a snapping turtle as they feel the bite of your words. What is happening to you?

If it is any consolation at all, you are among the 30% of menopausal women who experience mood swings as a symptom of menopause. The moodiness may begin as early as your 30s, although it is not as pronounced. Some women are more sensitive to hormone changes than others are and if you suffered with PMS when you were premenstrual, had an emotional pregnancy, or had to deal with post-partum depression, then you are probably at higher risk for hormone sensitivity during menopause.

Hormone Sensitivity And Mood Swings

There are a few factors to consider that may be making your world shake, knocking you off balance emotionally. Hormone sensitivity is one of them. Estrogen has many functions in a woman's body, including how neurotransmitters affect the brain. When estrogen begins to deplete, as in menopause, then both your mood and your behavior can be affected. This may be a case where some type of hormone supplementation would be appropriate. Check in with your doctor if the symptoms of moodiness become more than you and yours can handle.

Sleep Deprivation, A Major Cause Of Mood Swings

Another big factor to consider when it comes to moodiness in menopause is the fact that most menopausal women are sleep deprived. Some women have functioned for most of their adult life on short sleep time, but this time of life can really ruin a good night's sleep. Night sweats and hot flashes have a way of changing your eight hours of sleep into simply eight long hours.

Vasomotor symptoms (like night sweats and hot flashes), even if they aren't heavy duty, can disturb your sleep. If you are unable to get into a deep sleep during the night, you are likely sleep deprived. Women who are part of the culture of productivity often grant themselves less sleep per night than is healthy. In a bid to be more productive throughout the day, they get fewer hours of sleep per night. The fact of the matter is that too little sleep is counter-productive and can cause memory loss, lack of focus, and lower productivity. Couple this with a "sweaty" night and you have a recipe for a major mood swing.

Develop A Strategy

Menopause is a state of change. However, it need not be a horrific roller coaster ride. By developing a strategy that involves proper diet, exercise, supplementation with vitamins and minerals, meditation, deep breathing, or yoga, and support from those around you, mood swings can be brought almost to a standstill. If they remain serious, seek treatment to relieve the symptoms.

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