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You Asked: I Can't Control My Mood Swings

You Asked: I Can't Control My Mood Swings

Dear Sugar,

I have been dating this great man — he is 44 and I'm 35 — with whom I recently moved in. Things have been great, except for some personal issues I'm encountering. Often when I come home from work or sometimes completely out of the blue, I become an emotional wreck! I cry for no reason, and I know he just doesn't understand what's going on. I often end up fighting with my daughter and getting angry with my son. I was in a 14-year marriage that was very hard on me, so I don't know why I can't be happy now that things are so much better. Other than my strange mood swings, everything feels right for once. I feel terrible about the way I'm acting, but it almost seems like I have no control over this. What can I do before I hurt my relationships?

— Emotional Wreck Emeline

To see DearSugar's answer


Dear Emotional Wreck Emeline,

Many things can affect a woman's mood and emotions, and most women suffer from some form of mood swings at some point in the course of their lives. However, if this has been going on for a while, and if they're affecting your personal life, it's definitely cause for concern. It's important to be sure that there isn't some emotional issue lurking just under the surface of your consciousness causing these feelings of sadness. Are you dealing with a lot of stress at work? Is it possible that starting a new life with your boyfriend is bringing up older issues from your previous marriage?

If you're having a difficult time processing this, make an appointment with a therapist. Because so many emotional issues can be related to fluctuating hormones, it's also a good idea to make an appointment with your regular physician or gynecologist to make sure that your body is working as it should. As far as your relationship is concerned, explain to your boyfriend that you're unsure why you've been feeling this way but that you're going to do everything you can to remedy it. And don't forget to let him know how he can help, too!


Join The Conversation
Puzzle2397 Puzzle2397 9 years
Thyroid issues can cause these sorts of things to occur as well. And about half of Americans that are believed to have thyroid problems are undiagnosed. Just a suggestion.
NatureMadeLisa NatureMadeLisa 9 years
I think everyone experiences mood swings differently: for some it is attributed to PMS, to some it is situational. For you it seems to be from a life-change and perhaps the stress that comes with it. Since it seems to be brought on by situations, I might experiment with some natural ways to help your mood (and then talk to your doctor if it doesn't help). For me, I've found that dancing is one natural way that I can become happier. I dance in my car, I dance at home. I look absolutely retarded, but it always leaves me happy :-)
donnac36 donnac36 9 years
It could be the beginnings of menopause. Good luck!
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
one more thing.... when i exercise i deal much much better!! i have my workout clothes in the car right now. try exercise!! :)
AujahAcorn AujahAcorn 9 years
gesh... i get like this sometimes. i need to read all the responses. its like my mind is playing a trick on me with emotion. i feel you're pain Emeline!
sabrinaland sabrinaland 9 years
There's a lot of talk about meds here and that doesn't sit right with me. A lot of the time doctors prescribe meds when prescribing excercise would be so much better. I used to get horrible crying spells and had a lot of stress build-up. I was determined NOT to go on meds and I decided to go running every other night for an hour instead. It was hard at the beginning (I'm not a natural athlete) but after a couple of weeks I felt sooooo much better and much more in control. You need some natural endorphins to make you feel better. However, if you are depressed or feeling erratic, go see your doctor. You will feel better just talking to someone. Good luck!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
Clareberrys be really careful. Have you read any of Lucinda Bassett's books. She does not recommend medication for GAD at all! But regardless of that, lexapro is scary. Be extremely careful when you go off it because it is highly addictive. I had crying spells from birth control, switching to a lower estrogen pill helped me. But I also have GAD. I would say that this is the reason why you are "scared" of being happy. It makes us nervous and fearful and sometimes we are so used to be unhappy, that that is actually comfortable and familiar to us and we don't want to let that go. Sounds messed up but it is exactly how I feel.
Lovaajn Lovaajn 9 years
you moved in with a man when you're not married or engaged when you have children? really...? can that be the best thing for them emotionally and mentally??
lemuse20 lemuse20 9 years
Some people are saying "therapist" but I would go see a physician, it could be your body going through some changes. And I agree with whoever said to talk to a friend, find a close friend that you can trust and just express all your thoughts and feelings to them. Sometimes just talking about it and being real with a friend really helps. Also get physically active if you aren't already, there's something so therapudic about exercise, I'm not just talking about body, but soul as well, it can do wonders! And it has been said, and will be said... you are not alone!
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
It sounds like mild depression to me. You might feel like things are great but you have a chemical imbalance that makes you moody and depressed. Talking to someone who will listen, whether it's a good friend or therapist is up to you. If this doesn't help consider going on an anti-depressant. They really work wonders and you may be able to go off them when things are going better for you.
clareberrys clareberrys 9 years
I used to suffer from crying spells...I did for a very long time and I didn't know what was wrong with me...I went to see a psychologist and I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) Crying spells is the most prevalent symptom of this disorder. Especially if you normally feel happy otherwise you may not be depressed. Depression and anxiety are very similar and sometimes if you have an anxiety disorder you will experience bouts of depression, but you may not be clinically depressed. After a few months of talk therapy I decided I wanted to go on anti-anxiety medication. Right now I take lexapro which is an anti-anxiety/anti-depressant. It is an SSRI which means that it blocks the reuptake of serotonin in your brain so that your serotonin levels can go back to normal. I have really found it helpful and though I do not want to be on medication forever, it has helped me to become more balanced and see that life isn't so bad and I have confidence that when I am ready to go off the medication I will be able to cope with things on my own. Just remember that if you do have a disorder there is no cure, but there is help and it will take time and also a lot of effort on your part and a lot of understanding from your family. I wish you the best, I know that it is not easy and the worst part about the crying spells is that everything is fine and you don't even know why you are crying. Be positive!
ashlee683 ashlee683 9 years
It might not be PMS but something related. Are you on horomonal birth control? With some people, myself included, the amount of estrogen in BC is just too much. It made me a complete disaster emotionally until I figured out what was wrong. I opted for an IUD, but switching pills seemed to help for a while. My mood improved instantly.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Like others have said - You need to see a doctor asap.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
It sounds a lot like depression. Like DearSugar, I would definitely recommend booking an appointment with a therapist.
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
See a psychiatrist ASAP you could be bipolar or depressed somehow without realizing it. They can help you figure it out and maybe suggest some meds to help you get back on track.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
Maybe you're just really tired and stressed out from work or your kids. Or could be PMS or perhaps your birth control. Sometimes I get these horrible mood swings as well...out of the blue I just get all this rage inside of me that I need to let out. And its not PMS! Its just stress. If its affecting your relationship, talk to your bf about it. And also make sure to let your kids know its not their fault.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 9 years
I know how you feel. When I started being in a supportive, loving relationship for the first time, I started crying uncontrollably at random times and having mood swings. I suggest you talk to a psychiatrist. He will tell you whether your mood swings are minor, and you might need to talk to a psychologist, or whether they warrant a prescription for anti-depressants. There's no shame in anti-depressants. Sometimes, when a big change happens in your life, good or bad, it can cause your hormones to get wonky.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 9 years
" . . . Often when I come home from work or sometimes completely out of the blue, I become an emotional wreck! I cry for no reason . . . " Have you looked into PMS? It could be hormone-related. Consider monitoring your cycle. It could be physiological.
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