Happy Sunday my lovelies and a happy one it is indeed as it’s the last Sunday of January…….I don’t know about you but boy, it’s a slog!! Actually, it probably contributes to todays A-Z Menopause Blog subject, as we are at M, today we are looking at MOOD SWINGS!!
It can be a pretty grim business as research shows that the reduction in Estrogen in Perimenopause can cause, for just one example, ‘rage’. Rage is an emotion that is characterized by a sudden feeling of anger or irritation, and I know that I can certainly relate to that. One moment you could be feeling untroubled, and the next you’re bursting with anger. Swinging back and forth in this way can be incredibly unsettling!
So, along with the rage those fluctuating hormones can also bring, a whole range of emotional symptoms including aggressiveness, irritability, anxiety, depression, sadness, excessive joy. It can also sadly bring an overwhelming feeling of helplessness, worthlessness, and/or hopelessness and as a result the physical symptoms can include low energy, headaches, digestive problems, and insomnia.
Now as you might imagine, going through every day with this roller coaster of emotions just waiting to change the direction of your day, or even make you feel like you are going to struggle to get through the day, can have a huge impact on so many aspects of your life. It can of course affect those close to you, relationships can start to suffer as your unpredictable mood can leave others feeling wary of spending time with you.
I personally can recall the constant anger over the smallest things and on a daily basis would bite my long-suffering husbands head off for no reason. The worst thing was if he pulled me up for being a bitch to him I was even more angry with him…..how dare he not be more understanding and supportive!!! I look back and am amazed he put up with me, maybe it’s because he’s a Mental Health nurse and probably popped his professional hat on more than one occasion.
When I look back I know just how lucky I was to have his support, but I think that is because we both knew it was due to my Hysterectomy and the onset of Menopause that it had brought with it. I read so often how women don’t really understand what’s going on when these kind of mood swings start to raise their ugly head they have no comprehension that it can be related to the transition through menopause and as a result can’t even start to talk about it with their loved ones.
You see this is the trouble with the old meno’ game, it creeps up as strange, standalone symptoms that we don’t associate with the wider picture. As you will hopefully see form my previous blogs, there are just so many issues that can creep in, either as an individual issue or as a knock-on effect from one to the next.
Another problem with these mood swings is the fact that they can easily lead us to making those bad life choices….so, you have heard me talk before of how we, as humans are designed to live in tribes….it’s how we survive. If we think of prehistoric man (and women) the man would go out hunting, the women would stay in the cave and look after the babies. If there wasn’t at least two people, then looking after that baby and hunting (tackling the odd woolly Mammoth on route), would be virtually impossible and as a result the human race would have simply died out.
As part of evolution of man, we were given chemicals and hormones, such as Serotonin and this is released when we interact with other humans. That is why it feels so good to spend time with family, friends and loved ones – this is why lockdown hit us so hard!! We still have that instinct within us, being in a tribe is what still releases the feel-good chemicals, so just imagine, if you are gradually pushing family and friends away because you are such an emotional conundrum, you are going to be releasing less and less of the good stuff. Once you are releasing less and less we look for alternative ways to make us feel better and satisfied “oh I’m going to open that bottle of wine, smoke those cigs, eat that takeaway” etc, etc!! Yep, and you’ve guessed it, you are now feeling more rubbish because not only are you full of rage and sadness, you are also full of toxins and feel more angry that you have spoilt your diet or have a hangover when you had plans!
As I say every week, its all just a big rotten cycle of negativity that feeds itself!
So, what can be done to break this cycle – well as always I am a huge advocate for HRT – if you’re missing them and you can replace them, then why not?! Some say that herbal remedies like St. John’s wort, black cohosh, red clover, sage, and ginseng can help treat mood swings. It’s advisable to always talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements for your menopausal symptoms.
Then of course there are the lifestyle changes that we all know will do us good, exercise, good nutrition. Foods that might boost your mood include beans, fish, fruit, leafy greens, dark chocolate, and berries. Foods that might trigger mood swings include soda, high-sugar juices, alcohol, processed meat, salted peanuts, high-sodium canned foods, and sugary baked goods.
Now this is all very well, but as I say week on week, once we are in that negative cycle and our primitive brain takes over, it is really hard to find the motivation to move forwards. Yes, the hormone imbalance is what is causing the mood swings but so often those patterns of behaviour become embedded and before we know it gets harder and harder to think positively about anything and the bad habits just keep piling in and the stress bucket gets fuller and fuller and, yep….that just adds the all of those negative feelings.
Solution Focused Therapy supports the process of pulling back to reawaken those positive neural pathways, whilst trance hypnotherapy works on emptying that stress bucket, letting you function from the best possible place. Those mood swings might dip in and out but with the tools for the job to keep a level head any way possible, the impact can be less and less. Before you know it, the hormones are settling, you have tackled the habits and you are back to living your best life – fake it till you make, and it will come!!
Contact me today for your FREE Initial Consultation, I look forward to hearing from you.