Does Perimenopause Cause Mood Swings?
Perimenopause gives rise to mood swings as estrogen and progesterone are disrupting your entire neurochemical system by acting differently than they have before. They’re not needed like they used to be so they’re slowly ditching the schedule they were responsible for.
In their own ways, they are infrequently abandoning or assaulting the neurotransmitters that trigger portions of the brain to produce feelings of sadness, anger, fearfulness, happiness, and even excitement. Actually, women are 1.5 to 3 times more likely to develop depression than men are.
So if you’re suddenly finding that you’re more sensitive to variations in your temperament in addition to infrequent periods, brain fog, vaginal dryness, or hot flashes; you’re not alone. In fact, it’s not just your hormones. An unknown future, body image concerns, worries of societal acceptance, and struggling to address the aging process are also adding their weight to your daily distress.
As if the transition to menopause isn’t hard enough, perimenopause happens to occur around the same time as another crossroads…a midlife crisis! So how can you tell if your moodiness is related to one or the other? It’s probably related to perimenopause if:
- Your concerns are not related to your mortality.
- It’s in combination with noticeable changes to your period.
- It’s not related to a recent life event (i.e. a moving to a new home or changing jobs)
- You’re not feeling guilty or remorseful about where your life is now.
- Your eating habits haven’t changed.
You’re not at the mercy of your perimenopausal mood swings. Small lifestyle tweaks such as herbal teas, tonics, and supplements can have a big impact on helping you stay more grounded and even-keeled.
Protect Your Sleep - poor sleep quality will add to your emotional vulnerability. It’s best for your circadian rhythm to wake-up and rest on a consistent schedule every day (including weekends). End any and all screen time at least 30 minutes before heading to bed and make sure your bedroom is fairly free from any noise disruption.
Eat Healthy - processed foods can wreak further havoc on your hormones. Aim for fresh fruits and vegetables and stay away from fast food and pre-prepared meals in the frozen section of the grocery store. Getting your vitamins from your meals will also allow for easy absorption.
Get Moving - calories are a measurement of energy expenditure. You may think exercise is only needed in order to lose weight, but it can literally aid in burning off the volatility of supreme intensities. It also produces the release of endorphins which relieve physical pain and reduces stress.
Practice Self-Care - succumbing to the demands of your job and taking care of your family can be strenuous enough that it leaves you with nothing left for yourself. It’s not selfish or irresponsible to schedule time for yourself to enjoy recreational activities. It’s actually a necessary component in order to down-regulate and detach from extreme emotions.
Ask For Help - if you feel as if you’re on the edge of being out of control, you should talk with your General Practitioner or a therapist about it. You know yourself better than anyone else. It can be beneficial to collaborate with a professional in order to find coping mechanisms that will not further harm your health.
You should also talk with those who you’re closest with so they don’t misconstrue your current situation as a new conflict. By sharing the truth you can proactively give them context as to why your interactions are different.
By creating a plan and adding a little more structure to your day, you can minimize a haphazard outburst that leaves you and those nearby from a staggering pile of collateral damage.