Use a journal to record the characteristics of your sad or irritable moods. Do they come and go relatively quickly, or are they persistent? Have you developed them recently, or have you been down for months, even years? Did you start having hot flashes and then find yourself depressed? Think about your medical history as well. If you have had premenstrual dysphoric disorder, postpartum depression or another major depressive episode, you may be vulnerable to a more serious depressive episode. This is important information to consider as you and your doctor plan your mood management strategies.