Why Can't I Stop Crying? Dealing with Menopausal Mood Swings

3 minute read

By: Alloy Staff|Last updated: May 10, 2022
Medically reviewed by: Sharon D. Malone

Menopause can be an emotional journey, rife with changes that affect everyday life. As you make your way through this new stage of life, you may find that things make you more emotional than they did before.

Whether it’s a sinkload of dishes that unexpectedly sends you into a fit of rage or a Facebook video of a baby that has you sobbing on the floor, even the most minor things can seem fraught. This increased sensitivity can make you feel like you’re going a little crazy, but in reality you’re likely just experiencing a completely normal part of menopause: menopausal mood swings.

Menopausal mood swings are largely similar to regular mood swings: rapid, often unexplainable changes in mood that are sometimes caused by the smallest inconvenience. The key difference with menopausal mood swings is that these erratic emotional changes are a side effect of the hormonal changes that occur as a woman goes through menopause. And while mood swings can happen from time to time in everyday life, menopause turns up the intensity to eleven.

The changes that menopause brings can make the whole process feel very lonely, but we promise you’re not alone. We’re here to guide you through every step so you can fully embrace this rite of passage.

Does Menopause Make You Overly Emotional?

Menopause can be complex. It brings on many physical and emotional changes that can initially seem out of your control. When it comes down to it, menopause is caused by a decline in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which by extension can have an effect on your emotions. 

It’s a similar situation to the hormonal and emotional changes of puberty or premenstrual syndrome, but instead of there being an influx of hormones, estrogen and progesterone levels begin to wildly fluctuate during the run-up to menopause, known as perimenopause, and then decrease dramatically as menopause starts. So yes, the hormone changes of menopause can make you more emotional than before, but not everyone will experience menopausal mood swings in exactly the same way.

Can Hormones Cause Uncontrollable Crying?

Whether it’s a puppy that’s just a little too cute or a tray of burnt vegetables left in the oven too long, the hormonal changes of menopause can make minor things feel emotionally overwhelming.

It is important to note that not everyone will experience intense bouts of uncontrollable crying during menopause, as some women respond to their hormonal changes differently from others. But if you begin to feel persistently sad and like just about anything could send you into a crying spell, the hormonal changes of menopause are more than likely to blame. 

If you’re severely depressed, don’t hesitate to seek help from a medical professional.

What Helps Mood Swings During Menopause

Controlling your menopausal mood swings may seem like a hopeless endeavor, but there are a number of things you can do to manage them. While not every technique will work for everyone—menopause is different for everyone—having all of the necessary tools to manage mood swings can help you master your menopausal mood changes.

Getting Regular Exercise

When your emotions are in flux, the last thing you probably want to do is try and get a workout in. With menopause, however, getting proper exercise can be an effective way to keep your mood swings in check. When we exercise, our brain releases endorphins that contribute to feelings of well-being, lessening feelings of depression or anxiety. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule makes the release of these chemicals more consistent, leveling out your emotions and taking your mood swings out of the driver’s seat.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

Eating healthy is difficult on its own, and it might seem especially daunting during menopause, but getting proper nutrients every day can significantly ease menopausal mood swings.

While there are many foods that can contribute to stronger mental and emotional health, studies have shown that foods rich in magnesium and zinc can help decrease feelings of worry that pop up in mood swings. Some of the best options include spinach, egg yolks, legumes, and oysters, all of which have been linked to lower feelings of stress and anxiety. Including those in your regular diet—in moderation—may be able to help reduce the severity of your mood swings.

Avoiding Alcohol

It’s normal to want a drink at the end of the day to relax, but unfortunately, menopausal mood swings can turn your nightly glass of wine into more of a liability than an asset. While it might help you chill out, the way that alcohol negatively affects the chemicals in your brain could make your emotions more intense and your mood swings more frequent. Think of it as having the exact opposite effect of regular exercise, dampening the good chemicals in your brain and contributing to more emotional volatility.

If a little wine is non-negotiable, we get it. Try to have only one glass per day, and you’ll feel more in control of your mood swings.

Limiting Caffeine

Caffeine can work miracles when it comes to giving you energy to get through the day, but it doesn’t mix well with menopausal mood swings. The restlessness that comes with caffeine can lead to more severe emotional responses, making mood swings more extreme. It’s best to find other energy-boosting options whenever possible.

Limit your caffeine intake to one to two cups of coffee per day. And try to limit your consumption of soda to a minimum.

Meditating

Menopausal mood swings can make it difficult to get all of your thoughts in order, turning every day into a fight for calm and clarity. Meditation can be an effective option for women who want to find peace of mind and establish a regular period of relaxation. Finding time to meditate allows you to evaluate your mood and build an understanding of your own mind. That way, when a mood swing does come around, you’ll be able to better tolerate it and keep it in perspective, recognizing it for the passing weather that it is.

Yoga

While meditation and regular exercise are beneficial on their own, yoga can be an effective way to combine mind and body, and to keep your mood swings in check. Yoga gives you a chance to focus on your whole body, from your breathing to your flexibility to your balance. 

Not only does this allow you to work your muscles and release helpful endorphins, but physical activity can take the focus off of any mental or emotional worries. Instead of giving yourself a chance to have a mood swing, yoga allows you to do something constructive for all aspects of your health– body, mind, and spirit.

Spending Time with Friends

Talking helps, and laughing helps even more. The strain of menopausal mood swings can make it feel like you’re the only woman in the world going through such intense emotions, but we promise you’re not. If you’re going through menopause, odds are your friends are going through the exact same feelings, especially mood swings. More than half of women who go through menopause also experience mood swings, and commiserating with your friends can give you a chance to find validation for your feelings.

Menopause Hormone Therapy

It probably doesn’t need to be said (but we’ll say it anyway): in menopause, your hormones levels decline Your body is producing less progesterone and estrogen, which can result in a number of menopause symptoms. Mood swings are one of those. 

We’ve been there, and we can help. We offer plant-based menopause hormone therapy to level you out while you’re going through this change. We created Alloy to help you through the confusing time of life that is menopause. We’re with you on this. 

When It’s More than Just a Mood Swing

While occasional mood swings can be manageable, there may come a time when volatile emotions indicate a more serious condition. Identifying a mental health issue is difficult enough on its own, but sifting through the particulars while managing menopause can be especially challenging. If depression is the issue, it’s important to take care of it as soon as possible.

Treating Depression

Sometimes it’s more than just crying spells. If you experience prolonged feelings of sadness that impact your everyday life, there’s no shame in getting some help. Finding someone to talk to can help a lot and there are a number of medications that can treat depression as well. 

Talk to a mental health professional who can help you manage your depression and live your life the way you want.

If You Need Help with Mood Swings, Look to Alloy

We’ve got your back. Our menopause hormone therapy products are designed to level out your hormones and lessen the intensity of your symptoms, including mood swings.

If you’re experiencing menopausal mood swings and need a helping hand, trust Alloy to create a menopause treatment plan that will help bring you the stability you deserve. We make it easy for you–just select a solution or take our quiz, then complete our medical intake form, and start a conversation with our doctor.

Menopause is a long journey, but it’s not one you have to experience alone. We’re ready to help you every step of the way.

Sources

“Depression and Anxiety: Exercise Eases Symptoms”. Mayo Clinic.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

Uma Naidoo, MD. “Nutritional Strategies to Ease Anxiety.” Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-strategies-to-ease-anxiety-201604139441#:~:text=Foods%20naturally%20rich%20in%20magnesium,been%20linked%20to%20lowered%20anxiety

“Meditation: A Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress.” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858#:~:text=Meditation%20can%20produce%20a%20deep,physical%20and%20emotional%20well%2Dbeing

Written by:

Alloy Staff

Who is Alloy? Alloy exists to help women age healthfully and feel like their best selves. We approach women’s health with radical honesty. We fuse together powerful medical expertise, science backed treatments, and the support of a community that knows how you feel. We don’t just get you - we are you.

Medically reviewed by:

Sharon D. Malone

Dr. Sharon Malone is among the nation’s leading obstetrician / gynecologists with a focus on the specific health challenges associated with menopause.