Symptoms of Midlife & Menopause

Mood Swings

As you go through menopause, your moods can change rapidly. One minute you’re up, the next, you’re down. The same hormone changes that cause hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances can also cause changes in the brain chemicals that stabilize your mood and keep you from thinking clearly. 

It’s no surprise that uncontrolled irritability, depression, anxiety, and brain fog often go hand-in-hand with perimenopause. If menopause rage or a fuzzy brain has been showing up in your life more than you’d like – know that it’s not your fault, and treatment is available. 

true. Women’s Health works with you to find the best solution to your mood changes.

Mood Swings

About one-third of all women will experience a mood disorder in their lifetime

As with other menopause symptoms, it is important to understand why you are having mood swings. Don’t suffer in silence! If you are not aware of what’s happening within your body or if you are trying to suppress these fluctuations in emotion, your mood disorder can transform into anxiety and depression. 

When discussing mood swings and disorders with patients, it is sometimes helpful to think about them using a “money in the bank” analogy. 

Here is how it works: When we sleep, we produce brain chemicals called serotonin – a key brain chemical for stabilizing moods. Serotonin is your daily “money.” If we aren’t getting enough sleep, we cannot produce enough “money” for our daily “expenses.”

We “spend” our “money” (brain chemicals) on stressful events such as feeling overwhelmed with projects at work, busy family schedules, or having too much on our plate. As our estrogen levels begin to fall during menopause, we start spending these brain chemicals, including serotonin, even faster. When we are simultaneously not producing enough brain chemicals during sleep and are also spending them on stressful events in our lives, we do not have enough “money in the bank,” and we start to experience mood swings. 

Treatment for Mood Swings

The first thing that we tell patients suffering from mood swings is: You are not alone, there is hope, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed! Mood disorders are very common, affecting one-third of all women, and these disorders are also very treatable. It is possible to feel better! 

SEEDS: Mood swings can be greatly improved by getting back to basics. SEEDS – Seven Essential Elements of Daily Success – focuses on the seven essentials that impact your midlife transition. If you supply your body with these basic essentials daily, you are more likely to alleviate symptoms often associated with menopause, including mood swings, and are more likely to experience a better quality of life.

Seven Essentials for Daily Success


Counseling with a healthcare provider can help you to lay out your daily responsibilities and stressors clearly from an objective perspective. Your provider will also help you to determine if your mood swing is being triggered by thyroid disease, unresolved stress, hormone fluctuations, sleep deprivation, prior episodes of anxiety or depression, or a combination of these. 


Medication can also be a treatment method for mood swings. Hormone fluctuations sometimes need to be suppressed with birth control pills or hormone supplements for when you hit monthly lows. 

Medications can also help to elevate brain chemical levels. Taking an antidepressant, such as Lexapro, can be incredibly helpful and only needs to be taken at a low dose to be effective. Depending on the medication, you may also take it all month or just for the second half of each month.

Regardless of the treatment you and your healthcare provider choose, it’s comforting to know there are several options for you to try. If you are a patient at true. Women’s Health, we can talk with you about any of these treatments, and we will find the option that works best for YOU! We can help you get back to living your best life.

Learn About Other Common Symptoms of Midlife + Menopause

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Brain Fog Memory Loss

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Treatment for Vaginal Dryness

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