The topic of “mood swings” is hardly talked about in the social and cultural arenas. There is a stigma that men must always stay strong and not display their emotions which is harmful, say experts. Men depend on substance or alcohol to relieve stress resulting in irritability, aggressiveness and chronic mental health issues. Discussing problems related to men’s mood swings and what they go through is important.
Mood swings in men
Mood swings are often referred to as emotional instability, meaning the individual is unable to regulate one’s own mood. “Mood swings in men could be displayed by showing aggressiveness, irritation, throwing tantrums, getting into conflicts or sleep disturbances at night. To feel better, men often depend on alcohol, smoking or substances which further contributes to mood swings,” said Dr Satish Kumar CR, clinical psychologist, Manipal Hospital, Bengaluru.
Could male menopause be a reason for mood swings?
“Men between the ages of 40 to 60 years quite often go through mood disturbances due to increase in levels of cortisol (stress hormone), estrogen (female sex hormone) and decrease in levels of testosterone (male sex hormones). This decrease in the level of testosterone is associated with ageing known as andropause or male menopause,” said Mumtaj Begam, counselling psychologist, Fortis hospital, Chennai.
What causes mood swings in men?
“Men usually have difficulty sharing their emotions due to their culture and upbringing. Unable to deal with stress in a holistic way, it builds up and releases through aggression or moodiness, etc.,” said Dr Gautami Nagabhirava, psychiatrist, Kamineni Hospitals, Hyderabad.
“If these mood swings persist for a long time, it could indicate an underlying mental health issue. The reasons could be hormonal imbalance, depression, substance abuse, bipolar disorder, personality disorder and others,” she added.
How to deal with mood swings?
Experts give an array of practices that could help men overcome their mood swings.
Helps us monitor our thoughts and figure out what influences our mood swings. Being aware can help us prepare and react better in the future.
Having a positive mindset and self-talk can boost self-confidence.
Yoga, breathing exercises, going to the gym or playing a sport will not only help you maintain physical fitness but also regulate the hormones in the body.
Give time for yourself, relax and indulge in a hobby or an activity.
A balanced diet with food rich in protein and fruits can help maintain hormone levels and help manage stress better.
Avoid alcohol and substance abuse
Alcohol and substances provide temporary stress relief but make mood swings worse in the long run.
Seek help in your immediate circle of family or friends. If mood swings persist, reach out to a professional.