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Mood swings and women

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Mood swings and women
Mood swings could be hormone sparked or due to an emotional upset from a primary physical discomfort. Women are more predisposed to mood swings due to physiological and emotional factors.

Mood swings are very much a part of being human. It is only when mood swings dominate a woman's life and she feels overwhelmed, intervention therapy and medication becomes necessary. Understand more about mood swings and women.

What is mood swing?

Mood swing, also known as mood disorder, refers to a condition when a woman experiences and expresses a gamut of emotions within a span of a few hours. The moods range from happiness to anger, frustration, sadness to depressive psychosis, all within a very short period of time. However mood swings should not be construed as so severe or long lasting as other depressed and manic states of bipolar disorder or manic depression.

Mood swing symptoms

A woman with mood swings is like a roller coaster; she is up one minute and down the next and never able to get off the ride that easily. Mood swings are as such unpredictable and often disproportionate to the situation. The moods feel uncontrollable. Periods of intense elevation are followed by severe depression. Sleep patterns stand disrupted.

Women and mood swings

Mood swings seem to affect twice as many women as men. This two-to-one ratio exists; whatever is the racial and ethnic background or economic criteria. And more than about 15% of women experience similar emotional trauma during menopause. Although studies reveal that men and women exhibit the same rate of bipolar disorder or manic-depression, in course of time women typically seem to develop more depressive episodes than men. Whatever be the cause of depression and mood swing, it is a highly treatable illness if approached with the right attitude.

Why mood swings?

The problem of mood swings is common with women in metropolitan cities with higher work pressure, speedier life style and lower levels of patience. Certain physiological and emotional factors contribute to such mood swings.

  • Hormonal imbalance, chemical imbalances, menopause,pregnancy, hypothyroidism, endocrine abnormality and other such biological/physiological problems are some leading factors for fluctuating moods in women. Menopause is a time when changes in hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone occur. At the time of ovulation some women experience a lot of behavioral, emotional and physical changes, all due to hormonal variations.

  • The human brain releases chemicals called neurotransmitters which cause myriad feelings such as happiness, stress, fear, depression and anxiety and so on. Imbalance of the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepenephrine, dopamine and GABA contribute to mood swings. There are therapies and medicines available to help reuptake and absorption of these key neurotransmitters.

  • Hormonal swings can occur in women during pregnancy or during menstrual cycles. Premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder occurs when changes begin after ovulation and get worse until menstruation starts. Perimenopause is the time when the body does not have enough support to maintain its natural balance. This is the time in life when in many women could experience a resurfacing of old emotional issues that remain unresolved. Mood swings and irritability could be a part of the emotional make up at this juncture in life.

  • After puberty, teenagers could experience mood swings when the sex hormones begin. Once the hormone levels get alleviated, the mood swings return to normalcy.

  • Menopause is the time when a woman finds most normal things very annoying and irritable. It could be pranks or television shows or co-workers around her which could make her heart wrench and put her into fits of rage. This is menopause mood swing! At times even doctors may fail to recognize the extremes in moods that menopausal women face almost every day.

  • Some women with infertility problems exhibit extreme anxiety and sadness. This may lead to depressive illness and stress due to social and family demands.

  • Another reason for mood swings in women is severe stress and fatigue at work and at home. Women are biologically vulnerable and excessive stress leads to depression and swings in mood.

  • Lack of mutual understanding between husband and wife and single parenthood can worsen matters. The quality of marriage can result in stress and mood swings.

  • Certain lifestyle habits such as smoking, alcohol, fast foods consumption and lack of patience, stressful work environ and lack of physical activity together contribute to fluctuating moods.

Treatment and management of mood swings

Simple but effective changes in lifestyle accompanied by medicines and therapies can help resolve the fluctuating mood phenomena.

  • Communicating with the family doctor is the essence of treatment and diagnosis for mood swings.

  • There are doctors' who treat with hormone replacement therapy which though quick in relief can produce a lot of side effects. Also there is the higher risk of different types of cancer after taking this therapy.

  • Non-prescription alternatives that claim to contain supplemental vitamins and minerals are freely available in the market these days. Probably, alternative medicines with herbal constituents can provide significant benefit can help relieve negative mood and other symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Natural remedies for menopause such as meditation, yoga and massage therapies can provide stress relief.

  • Aromatherapy with soothing oils like jasmine, chamomile and rose can treat mood swings to some extent. Acupuncture is another method of treating mood swings.

  • Behavioral therapy teaches to handle troublesome situations weakening habitual reactions to them. Several common reactions such as fear, anxiety, anger and self damaging behavior patterns can be controlled. Behavioral therapy helps to calm the mind and body.

  • Cognitive therapy can draw a person to certain thinking patterns that cause anxiety, depression or anger for no apparent reason or those that provoke negative actions.

  • Talk therapy as its very name suggest is the idea of healing through communication. Talking frankly to friends, family members or a therapist can support handling of mood swings in many ways.

  • Exercise can go a long way to curb mood swings. Therapists suggest a 20 minute exercise regimen a day for at least thrice a week. This should help focus of energy and relief from stress. Exercise can also restore broken sleep patterns which often lead to anxiety, anger and irritability.

  • A healthy diet can make for am ore upbeat and energized woman. Complex carbohydrates are found in peas; beans help raise serotonin levels and so does hot milk. Some doctors opine that eating small meals and increasing the number of snacks throughout the day can give the much needed energy to deal with mood swings.

Above all, understanding that she is not crazy and that there is a reason for her emotional upheaval and outburst is important for her to regain her lost normalcy and control. After all her mood swings could be hormone sparked or due to an emotional upset from a primary physical discomfort.

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