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Does Menopause Cause Mood Swings?

last year11 min read
Fact checked
Last updated: Jan 23 2023

If you’re experiencing menopause mood swings, we feel you. The ups and downs can be quite destabilizing—but there is help available.

Does Menopause Cause Mood Swings?

This article was reviewed and fact-checked by Dr. Fionnuala Barton.

Dr. Fionnuala Barton is a GP, Women’s Health Doctor, and registered member of the British Menopause Society.

She is passionate about optimizing physical and emotional wellness for women at all stages of life and has a particular interest in early recognition and management of perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, POI, PMS, and PMDD.

Dr. Barton is the founder of The Menopause Medic, an independent women’s hormone health clinic that aims to provide empathetic, holistic, personalized, proactive, evidence-based women’s hormone health consultations.

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One moment, you’re laughing hysterically.











Next, you’re in tears over a chocolate commercial.

Then you’re putting on a performance that would win you gold at the World Champs of Road Rage tournaments.

Yep, menopause mood swings are a thing.

While this is not the type of swinging you may have wanted to get into in your midlife, your shifting moods are more than understandable.

You’re not doing anything wrong.

The rollercoaster is real.

And just because heightened emotional shifts are common through the transition period around menopause, it doesn’t mean we should dismiss them.

There is help available.

If you are struggling with feelings of depression or anxiety, it’s really important to get help. Talk to your doctor. Reach out to friends and family. Join us on Peanut. You don’t have to suffer through this alone.

With all that in mind, let’s get into it.

What’s the deal with menopause mood swings, how long do they last, and what can we do about them?

In this article: 📝

  • Does menopause make you emotional?
  • What are menopause mood swings like?
  • Can menopause change your personality?
  • How long do menopause mood swings last?
  • Can menopause cause anger issues?
  • How long does menopause moodiness last?
  • What are natural remedies for menopause mood swings?

Does menopause make you emotional?

Menopause comes with a whole host of potential symptoms that range from person to person.

But what about menopause emotional symptoms?

Well, according to our Peanut menopause community, menopause emotional instability is a pretty common symptom.

These menopause mood swings can range from happiness to anger, calm to panic, contentment to hopelessness, and everything in between.

Does menopause make you angry?

Sometimes, yes, you might have menopausal anger outbursts.

Some of our Peanut menopause community said it can be like a “red mist sudden rage” or like they have “no control” over emotions and moods.

What are menopause mood swings like?

Menopause mood swings can feel different from person to person, but here are some of our Peanut menopause community sharing their experiences:

  • “These mood swings are worse than when I was a teenager!” ‒ Kat
  • “I used to be such a calm and chilled out person, positive about life, then menopause happened. I cry randomly, everything upsets me, and my mood swings are horrific. It’s like something takes over my body and I scream and shout, my partner says he understands but he doesn’t. I’m so awful to him at times, surprised he hasn’t walked out.” ‒ Emma
  • “My first symptoms of the menopause were rage, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. HRT made me feel much better, I was using estrogen patches. Started feeling the rage building up again in me recently and had a blood test and my progesterone and testosterone levels were none existent so now I also have gel and a tablet and I feel so much better.” ‒ Kelly
  • “I can be absolutely fine if I am left, but more often than not I could be asked a simple question and I bite their head off! I am shocked at how abrupt I can be with some people.” ‒ Mel
  • “It’s like a permanent PMS that bubbles away and I can feel when I’m going to actually lose it. It seems to hone in on every insecurity I have as well and then spirals me into a really low mood. I can feel it coming on but can’t control it.” ‒ Amanda
  • “It’s awful, all I seem to do is shout and cry over nothing.” ‒ Jackie
  • “My moods flip flop around. It’s like someone can say one wrong word and I just want to either cry or bop them upside the head.” ‒ Maylene
  • “It feels like an alien has taken over my body.” ‒ Lori Ann
  • “It’s like I have no control over my emotions and moods.” ‒ Shondell
  • “I don’t realize I’m doing it sometimes, but my husband tells me I can be very snappy and I am pushing people away with my moods. I’m very emotional at times for no reason and want to be alone. My get up and go got up and left, and anxiety also gets really bad to the point where I think ‘am I going crazy or is it my menopause?’.” ‒ Wendy
  • “I had horrible mood swings, rage, sadness, lack of energy then mania, couldn’t sleep, night sweats, no sex drive… I felt like I’d lost my mind.” ‒ Kate

So if you’re experiencing mood swings during menopause, know that you’re not alone.

And for many of our Peanut meno community, they’ve thankfully told us the mood swings do eventually go away.

Can menopause change your personality?

Sometimes, yes, going through perimenopause or menopause can feel like your entire personality is changing.

Many women say they feel more assertive and sometimes aggressive after going through menopause, while others say that they can generally feel less motivated or find it harder to concentrate than before.

Some personality changes from menopause are temporary, but some can be permanent, owing to the change in hormone levels from here on out.

But changing personalities is all part of the human experience ‒ we’re not the same people we were as children or teenagers, we’re growing, evolving, and changing all the time.

Whoever you become during or after menopause is still you.

Does menopause cause relationship problems?

Unfortunately, sometimes, yes, menopause mood swings can cause arguments over seemingly trivial things.

But something our menopause community has said helped them was communicating with their partners about this change, so they can understand better what you’re going through.

Writing a letter can help, so they can refer to it if you have a menopause mood swing or snap at them.

How long do menopause mood swings last?

Menopause is defined as the point twelve months after you have your last period.

Perimenopause is the name given to the months or years leading up to this moment.

These are helpful definitions as they allow us to create a more definitive timeline to talk about the changes that occur at this time in life.

In reality, menopause is more of a chapter than a moment, with symptoms typically occurring over about a seven- to eight-year window.

It’s most common to go through menopause in your late 40s and early 50s.

Because of a range of biological and environmental factors, there are many outliers in the mix.

During this time, your body goes through major hormonal shifts.

Estrogen and progesterone—the hormones that have been hard at work regulating your reproductive life—start to slow down their production.

These hormonal changes can lead to all sorts of symptoms, including hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and gastrointestinal symptoms.

One frequent experience is serious shifts in moods—so common, in fact, that, according to this literature review, up to 50% of menopausal women experience depression symptoms.

So no, you’re not imagining it.

No, you’re not crazy.

This is happening and you will get through it.

Can menopause cause anger issues?

Yes, it appears that hormonal shifts during menopause have a bearing on your mood.

One reason for this is that there is a link between estrogen and serotonin, the hormone that regulates your moods and helps you feel happy.

It’s no wonder then that as estrogen production shifts, so can your feelings of well-being.

There is evidence to suggest that estrogen therapy may help decrease these symptoms.

While the research is young, it’s promising to know that there is help out there.

Progesterone, another hormone that declines during menopause, also plays a role here.

There is a marked link between progesterone and feelings of anxiety and irritability, and as its production shifts during your menopausal years, you may feel the effects.

But the topic is not without controversy.

As this study explores, while mood changes and depressive symptoms appear to be far more common in women of menopausal age, the exact link is a tricky one to draw.

There is so much else going on at this time.

Other health issues, a lack of external support structures, and major shifts in your day-to-day life may all contribute to how you’re feeling.

Your environment can also play a key role in how you experience this time.

You may be dealing with all sorts of shifts in terms of your career, family, and social network. The need to support each other is real.

How long does menopause moodiness last?

We would love to give you a firm answer here, but the reality is that everyone is going to experience this transition differently.

Your symptoms may last anywhere from a few months to a few years during the perimenopausal phase until you reach menopause.

The good news is, there’s a good chance they’ll slow after your period takes its final bow.

What we can tell you is that, if your menopause irritability quotient feels off the charts, you’re not alone.

In fact, according to this study, feeling irritable is the “primary mood complaint for up to 70% of women during perimenopause”.

It’s all real—perimenopause mood swings are a thing.

What are natural remedies for menopause mood swings?

So how can we actually deal with these menopause mood swings?

After all, we still have to get up every morning, perform admin tasks, get some sort of food on our tables, and care for the people in our lives.

The reality is there’s no quick fix here.

There are, however, some measures that you can take to help you get through this time.

First, don’t do it alone.

This is more important than anything.

Talk to your doctor.

Explore talk therapy.

Reach out to others who are going through the same thing.

Other options that can really help:

  • Meditate. Mindfulness practices are as old as the hills—but recently, there has been a surge of interest in the connection between mindfulness and our mental health. You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again—meditation is definitely worth a try.
  • Do things you love. This may sound simplistic, but if you want to get at those serotonin levels, there are ways. For example, there’s a link between creativity and serotonin production. And exercise has also been shown to increase serotonin.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole grains are the basis of a healthy menopause diet.
  • Stay away from triggers. You may find it helps to keep a journal to find out what these are. Alcohol, caffeine, certain annoying people—steer clear as necessary.

And if you’re wondering what to take for mood swings during menopause, there are options:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy. HRT can relieve several menopause-related symptoms. Talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.
  • Antidepressants. Your healthcare provider may prescribe SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) or other antidepressant therapy. These may even help with other menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes. Just be warned—they are not without their side effects, including decreased sexual function in some cases. Work with your doctor to find the right balance for yourself. It’s not a one-size-fits-all.
  • Supplements. Menopause supplements can help manage your symptoms, too. Our Peanut community swears by the ethos Balance collection to help bring some more calm into your life, pre, during, and post-menopause. Plus you can get 15% off when you use the code HELLO15.

Ultimately, menopause mood swings can vary from person to person, but they can be a common symptom of perimenopause and menopause.

But you don’t have to suffer in silence.

Speak to your doctor and your Peanut menopause community.

You’re not alone.

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