Men seem to be moody just as much as women do, however when it’s a man who gets cranky, he’s just having a bad day; when it’s mood swings in women however there is a less accommodating reaction and a lot of men just tend to dismiss them as PMS.
Premenstrual Stress (PMS)
PMS is a combination of factors that manifest in physical as well as emotional symptoms which may have a predictable pattern, given a particular woman and her time of month.
Irritability, tension, stress, anxiety, and a general feeling of unhappiness are commonly noted symptoms of PMS and these can manifest in emotional sensitivity and mood swings in women which may be triggered by situations and individuals that may not otherwise trigger such as reaction.
If the mood swings occur predictably, at some point in the menstrual cycle (most often about 10 days or so before the period) then it could be that they are related to PMS.
These emotional ups and downs about 7 to 15 days before the arrival of the period is quite normal and it is important for people around be understanding of the situation and be sympathetic.
However a woman has to make sure that the mood swings cannot be an excuse for bad behavior; if they are getting worse she should seek help.
Menopause and Perimenopause (the menopause transition years that could start as early as the mid 30’s for some women) are also common causes for mood swings in women.
This is not just because of the major hormonal changes that are going on in a woman’s body, but also because this part of life signals the end of fertility and the end of a woman’s youth in a sense.
A woman may have to deal with the idea that she is now officially middle aged and looking old age in the face, so to speak. There is a sense of loss due to the end of her fertile phase of life, and it isn’t just this, there could be other stressors that add to her what all she has to cope with, making the mood swings more likely.
Around 40 or 50 years of life, a woman also has to deal with children leaving home that can create an “Empty Nest Syndrome”. It is also likely that in middle age, a woman has old perhaps disabled parents to have to deal with which can add to the other stressors in her life.
Consider the above factors that could cause mood swings in women and then add to this, the fact that most women have rather a lot to deal with in the first place – there is the pressure to be perfect wife, mother, professional, homemaker and so on and there is pressure to wear all of these hats at once.
So mood swings need not be cause for worry; however if they get worse or if they interfere with relationships of quality of life, then help should speedily be sought.