Have you ever experienced an uncertainty about the state of your mind?
That myriad emotions cloud inside your head and you swing like a pendulum between happiness, sadness, and anger? And have you ever ended up hurting someone unintentionally? To be honest, these are the signs of mood swings.Women are Not the Only Ones
First of all, let’s bust a myth here. If you thought such things only happened to the members of the fair sex, you’re in for a rude shock. Doctors, scientists, and sociologists (both male and female) would beg to differ. Guys also have their world of emotional ups and downs and can experience mood swing. Changes in men’s hormonal balance can also result in physiological changes, which eventually results in psychological changes. Men’s mind conforms to the changes in the physiology of men, that is, things like puberty and mid-life crisis. The rise and fall of certain chemicals has a significant effect on a man’s emotions. It’s true that women can experience more severe mood swings as the hormonal imbalance in them during PMS and menopause is much more acute. Their emotional imbalances can last for longer periods of time. A man’s mood swings are less dramatic and their shelf life is lesser depending on how much testosterone has decreased. Depression vs Mood Swings
It would be erroneous to confuse long-term depression with mood swings as they are two entirely different stories. Depression is normally triggered by the impact of external factors such as physical trauma, the demise of a loved-one, getting fired from a job etc. Mood swings on the other hand, are triggered from what goes on inside the body and the chemical mumbo-jumbo happening inside the brain.
Men, too, are Emotional Beings
Another myth which has been doing the rounds since ages are that men are not – rather should not be – emotional. While women generally tend to be more emotional than men, saying that men are emotionless are nothing but gibberish. Society has been teaching men to hide emotions as the display of emotions reflects weakness. So most of our emotional baggage comes in gushes. There’s nothing wrong with men experiencing emotional ups and down, sometimes even as strong as the ones which women experience. They are a very healthy part of their lives. But what really happens is that men don’t exhibit their mood swings as much as women do. Taming those Mood Swings
Any form of general and regular exercise can help keep the testosterone levels balanced. This will help in reducing the aggressive and fickle mood swings. Sex can also help in regulating mood swings. Another way to control your mood swings is the “questioning” method. Ask yourself “why” before acting strongly on your emotions. This way, you can compel your brain to start thinking rationally about the problem, rather than acting abruptly and aggressively in that situation. This may not be as easy as it sounds but with some constant practice and patience, you can eventually be a master of this technique. However, if the situation spirals out of control and nothing seems to be working out, then DO NOT hesitate from seeking clinical advice from a qualified psychiatrist. Symptoms
According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia, depression, a loss of memory and decreased motivation are all symptoms of andropause that can cause mood swings in men. However, these symptoms are temporary, unlike those exhibited in bipolar disorder and major depression. Medline Plus reports that common symptoms of major depression include persistent sadness, feelings of worthlessness, weight changes, insomnia or oversleeping, fatigue, a loss of interest and suicidal thoughts. Bipolar disorder is classified as having bouts of “high” feelings followed by extreme mood swings related to depression.
Andropause or a decrease in testosterone starts at the age of 30 and continues through the age of 70, as reported by the Mayo Clinic. According to Medline Plus, depression tends to show up between ages 15 and 30 and the condition is often hereditary. Although Medline Plus states that women are more prone to major depression, men are not excluded from getting it. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also reports that bipolar disorder is genetic.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that all middle-aged men see a doctor for a proper testosterone level check. In some cases, low levels can cause other medical conditions that require treatment. Be wary of herbal supplements that promise to increase testosterone levels and help with your mood and libido. According to the Mayo Clinic, long-term usage of supplements can lead to prostate cancer. Seek a mental health professional for appropriate drugs and therapies if you feel that your mood swings are attributed to something else other than aging. Medline Plus explains that depression is treated with therapy and anti-depressants. According to NIMH, bipolar disorder is treated primarily with anti-depressants, anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers.