Menopause is a stage in every woman's life that comes with several changes - often unexpected. Menopause can affect a woman's health both physically and psychologically due to estrogen depletion. Physical symptoms can include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbances, and brain fog. However, the focus of this article is to cover the effect menopause has on a woman's mental health.
Mood swings are a common problem with women going through menopause. Low estrogen levels can trigger irritability, anxiety, and depression. In an instant, your mood can shift dramatically. For example, you may be laughing one minute… to inexplicably crying just seconds later. You may get angry at little things that never bothered you before. Like when a car in front drives too slow. There's nothing wrong with you, you are not going crazy. You are likely experiencing symptoms of menopause.
Studies have shown that 2 out of 4 women during menopause experience symptoms of depression. Falling estrogen and progesterone levels can cause mood swings that make you less able to cope with things you'd normally be able to manage. For some women, these hormonal dips can trigger a depressive episode, especially if they've previously experienced major depression. Women commonly experience bouts of insomnia during menopause, which is caused by nighttime hot flashes. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of depression by up to tenfold.
A study in Brazil showed that 58% of perimenopausal women aged 45-55 experience anxiety as a result of menopause. Once again, this is due to an imbalance or change in hormones that affect the brain’s chemistry and communication between brain cells. You may experience nervousness, tenseness, fear, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts, or even panic attacks. To manage anxiety, you might want to consult your physician and consider some lifestyle changes or treatment changes They can be cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Menopause can be an isolating or frustrating time for some women, and it’s possible to develop anxiety or depression if you’re having difficulty coping. That’s why we always recommend seeking professional help if you’re struggling.
Some folks have mental health challenges during menopause. In more severe cases, some women may need antidepressants prescribed by their doctor to help with menopause-related mental issues. However, unless you've been diagnosed with depression, other treatment options such as lifestyle changes, eating a balanced diet and counseling could be helpful. It's important to understand that the psychological symptoms of menopause are just as real as the physical ones. Don’t put off seeking help if you're having trouble. Speak with your doctors and they'll be able to provide you with the necessary support and assistance. Please feel free to comment below or contact us via email, and we will do our best to answer your questions.