Mood swings can be described as a phenomenon characterized by rapidly surging or plummeting moods, sensations of internal conflict, confusion or loss of control, sudden bursts of energy leading to feelings of restlessness, agitation, aggressive behavior and depression after a break up. Although both males and females experience fluctuating at some time or the other, ‘mood-swings in women’ is the phrase widely heard. The reason behind this disparity could be because the phenomenon is more pronounced and frequent in women compared to men. Mood swings in women can be attributed to a multitude of reasons.
Causes of Mood Swings in Women
Causes of mood swings in women may be biological, emotional or environmental in nature. A few of the major causes of mood swings in women are discussed as follows.
Women suffer from fluctuating levels of hormones during different phases of their lives which indirectly affect the central nervous system and brain, thus leading to mood swings.
The major causes of hormonal imbalances in women are pregnancy, pre-menstrual syndrome, menstrual cycles, pre-menopause and menopause. The levels of estrogen, testosterone and progesterone fluctuate during these phases, triggering depression, anxiety etc. Something like cuddling for depression could be of help. This is because, the level of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine- alter the mood of an individual. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone greatly influence the levels of these ‘happy –hormones’ in the brain. A lack of estrogen for instance, during the pre-menstrual stage, reduces the level of serotonin in the brain. This accompanied by symptoms of physical discomfort may lead to cranky and irritable moods.
Women who are pre-menopausal or in the menopause stage, besides suffering from imbalanced levels of estrogen, also have to deal with the psychological ordeal of letting go of their youthful child-bearing years. Similarly, women in their pregnancy suffer from negative body image issues, diffident self-confidence, frustration from the inability to complete regular chores on their own etc. Combined with hormonal imbalances, their emotional state thus fluctuates from roaring joy to that of a maiden in distress.
Women in general are known be natural stress- takers as compared to men. Stress maybe caused by a number of environmental stimuli such as work, children, motherhood etc. The lurking feeling of trying to get things in order, or the feeling of being misunderstood etc. may lead to women losing their temper, snapping , crying or depression as a mechanism to cope with their issues.
Other causes may include psychological problems such as bipolar disorder, substance abuse, medication, motherhood etc.
Effects of Mood Swings in Women
The effects of mood swings in women are very detrimental. Frequent outbursts, snapping etc. may lead to problems in their relationship with loved ones whether spouse, parents, children, relatives or friends. Frequent mood swings in women also tend to alienate them from the workplace or social circles as people around them fear they may be a stimulus for an emotional outbreak and thus maintain a distance. Women suffering from mood-swings also tend to perceive positive happenings around them as negative and end up making rash decisions. The intensity of the effects of mood swings in women differs amongst different individuals depending on the severity of the mood swing itself and the environment surrounding the women.