Mood swings typically affect not only you, but also those around you. If you are trying to handle mood swings, a lifestyle approach is a good place to start. Some recommended lifestyle changes include:
- Reducing alcohol and caffeine use.
- Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Incorporating exercise into your life. Yoga can be especially helpful.
- Joining a support group for perimenopausal women.
- Learning visualization, meditation, and the relaxation response.
Mood swings can be managed with lifestyle changes in diet, excercise, herbal treatments and prescription medications
Herbalists recommend oatstraw to “nourish the nerves.” Garden sage, ginseng, black cohosh, and dong quai can all help with stress. Homeopathic remedies include lachesis, sepia, Arum metallicum, Calms Forté, Mulimen, and belladonna. You can learn more about these herbs and supplements on these websites:
- MedlinePlus—Drugs and Supplements Provides a searchable database on herbs, botanicals, and other products.
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Provides extensive information on herbs and other alternative treatments.
- Consumer Reports Medical Guide: Natural Medicine Ratings
If you have had breast cancer, some of these herbs may not be recommended. You should discuss their use with your physician. You can find information specific to individuals with cancer on these websites:
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Provides a searchable database on herbs, botanicals, and other products.
- American Cancer Society’s Information on Complementary and Alternative Therapies Provides information about common CAM treatments.
Another option is prescription medication. Antidepressants are often prescribed to help with mood swings. They should only be used under the care of a psychiatrist or general practitioner with expertise in their use.
Antidepressants are often prescribed to help with mood swings while estrogen therapy is not helpful
Tranquilizers can also be helpful, but because they can be habit forming they should only be used for short periods of time and only under medical supervision. Studies have shown that estrogen therapy is not helpful for depression. In fact, estrogen therapy and hormone therapy with estrogen and progestin can actually cause depression. Provera especially has been found to cause depression in some women. If this is the case for you, the best thing is to stop taking these drugs.