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Mood swings are extreme or rapid changes in the mood, often associated with various mood disorders and psychiatric conditions. However, mood swings affect most people, and women are often at the higher risk, usually due to the numerous hormonal changes their body undergoes every month, and during the different life cycles. In many cases, mood swings are associated with manic depression, but must commonly mood swings occur as a result of unmanaged stress in day-to-day life, or when one is dealing with hormonal changes or very upsetting situations.

Symptoms of mood swings

In most cases, a person suffering from mood swings changes the behavior rapidly, without really knowing why. Mood swings are closely related to the irritability. A person with mood swings will usually appears angry or impatient. The person may be very cheerful in one minute, only to be completely down and depressed in the next minute. The person usually feels unable to control the mood and if the mood swings are intense, the person may feel out of control. Commonly, mood swings manifest as anger, frustration, depression, emotional outbursts and lack of interest in sex. These excessive and exaggerated alterations in the mood are often very hard to manage, and most people do not really know how to deal with their own or their partner’s mood swings.

Women and mood swings

Mood swings commonly affect women, especially during the menopause or a couple of days before their period. More than 15% of women experience similar emotional difficulties during the menopause. As the menopause approaches, the woman’s body stops producing hormones that normally trigger ovulation and menstruation. The levels of estrogen, progesterone, and androgens are constantly fluctuating affecting the levels of serotonin in the brain. This chemical, also known as the “hormone of happiness” is responsible for the control of one’s mood. When the levels of serotonin drop, the person experiences depressed feelings. If the levels of serotonin are high, the person’s mood will also improve. Similar hormonal fluctuations normally take place during the menstrual cycle, and the hormonal levels after the ovulation can sometimes give rise to mood swings.

Treatment of mood swings

There are many different recommendations for dealing with the mood swings and the premenstrual syndrome. Professional nutritionists recommend an increased intake of calcium, vitamins B, C and E. Light physical activity is a very good natural way to increase the levels of serotonin. Walking or easy aerobic exercise is often sufficient to improve one’s mood. In more severe cases, a woman will need to take medications to manage her mood swings.

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