Menopause And Anxiety: 5 Ways To Cope
Updated October 12, 2018
Menopause, the period when a woman's menstruation ceases, can be a stressful time physically, mentally, and emotionally. The most commonly known menopause symptoms are physical, but menopause causes more than hot flashes, sleep problems, and problems with body image. Some women go through periods of anxiety because of menopause. Leaving themselves feeling both worried and overwhelmed.
Menopause And Anxiety Facts
It is important to understand that during perimenopause, the period just before a woman gets her last menstrual period, the body goes through many changes. These physical changes in the body can lead to pre-menopause anxiety. Studies show that there is a high likelihood of a combination of pre-menopause and anxiety just before full-blown menopause.
Anxiety is when one is in a continual state of worry. It affects more women than men, and it is a common menopause symptom, even if not talked about. Even normal events can be a constant cause of anxiety for a woman in menopause stage. When one gets anxious, the feeling doesn't leave as easily as others may think it would. It is hard to shake off, and that makes menopausing women be constantly irritable and on edge.
Some women frequently experience anxiety before the onset of the most common menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. Estrogen plays an important function in a woman's brain, and when the levels are high, one feels well. However, when the estrogen levels are low such as is the case in menopause, anxiety, and low mood symptoms starts to set in.
Estrogen has mood enhancing impacts. Therefore, loss of estrogen in women between 50 and 55 years lead to anxiety and mood swings. However, it is not easy to pinpoint the exact cause of anxiety during menopause, but hormonal changes, menopause symptoms, emotional stress, and everyday stress can all contribute to anxiety during menopause.
Menopausal symptoms can very uncomfortable are often worse during the night thus worsening the mood swings and the anxiety problems. Some women experience night sweats, and it makes it difficult to sleep. Lack of quality sleep causes fatigue, and this makes the woman irritable.
Menopause and anxiety problems have similar signs and symptoms such as irregular pulse, mood swings, and racing heart.
When looking at menopause and anxiety, one can also factor in the fact that during this period there are significant life changes that take place. Some of the changes are such as the children may leave home, aging of their significant other or parents. This may lead to loneliness and heightened anxiety.
Ways Of Coping With Menopause And Anxiety
Relaxation techniques play a vital role in helping women to cope with menopause and anxiety. One should make time for relaxation such as meditation, yoga, and acupuncture among others. One should strive to keep stress levels in check to enhance moods and relieve other menopause symptoms. Breathing techniques such as inhaling slowly and exhaling at the same pace for a few, times can help in relaxing the body. The good thing about using the breathing technique is that one can do it anywhere, in the office, car, in a meeting among others. Getting a deep breath can be relaxing and calming at the same time.
Yoga, meditation, and other relaxation techniques help in reducing stress and anxiety. Using meditation to focus on what is essential and to quiet the mind helps a lot in menopause and anxiety. Through meditation, one gets feelings of well being, and it helps in lowering the heart rate and blood pressure thus reducing anxiety.
Yoga poses can help in alleviating anxiety and leaving one with a feeling of being more relaxed and calmer.
Mindfulness creates relaxation feelings, and they help in lowering the blood pressure and helps in reduction of menopause anxiety and depression.
Menopause and anxiety can be resolved using herbal remedies. Some herbal products have natural ingredients that can be helpful in relieving menopause and anxiety symptoms. Many women in menopause can attest that herbal remedies play a significant role in reducing menopause and anxiety symptoms.
If the menopause symptoms are the contributing factors to menopausal anxiety, then one can start using herbal products such as Black Cohosh and Motherwort. Black Cohosh is a commonly used herbal product for menopause, and it helps in reducing hot flashes, body aches, and mood swings. Moreover, Black Cohosh helps in reduction of anxiety in menopausal women. It helps in alleviating heart palpitations.
Motherwort is another herbal remedy that some people resort to when dealing with menopause and anxiety. It works great in people who are experiencing heart palpitations and a pounding or racing heart.
Consuming herbal teas such as chamomile tea has a calming effect and this can help in reducing anxiety.
Another familiar herbal medicine that can help in dealing with menopause and anxiety is St John's Wort. St John's Wort is popular for its benefits in dealing with depression, but scientists have now discovered that it is also useful in reducing menopause symptoms such as improving mood swings. Menopausal women are taking St John's Wort experience fewer psychological symptoms of menopause than those not taking it. Of course, you should always consult your physician before trying any supplement, herbal or otherwise.
Another herbal remedy for menopause and anxiety is the Maca Root. Maca root helps the body in the production of the estrogen hormone, and it helps in suppressing cortisol, thus alleviating menopause signs such as depression and mood swings.
Exercise And Healthy Eating
Daily exercises help in relieving depression. Activity renews depleted neurotransmitters. The endorphins released during exercise helps in resting the mood. It helps in lifting one's mood and aids in better sleep all of which are important in dealing with menopause and anxiety. Scientists have shown that physically-fit people are not quick in reacting to stressful situations as they are calmer.
It does not matter what kind of exercise one chooses as they all beneficial in reducing anxiety during menopause. Some of the practices that one can take part are such as walking, running, playing volleyball, dancing such as Zumba dance or just any other kind of dance exercises. The feel-good effects happen immediately, but one should make it an everyday activity so that the benefits can be daily. Do exercises that you enjoy doing on a regular basis. Consistency is the key to help you cope with menopause and anxiety.
Seek Emotional Support
Another way of coping with menopause and anxiety is by having support from friends and loved ones. Try to share your feelings, and one may find out there are many others who are going through the same turmoil. One may think that they are not normal, but sharing one's emotions with others can help one in finding ways through which other people cope with the problem.
One should not be ashamed of telling their friends about their menopause symptoms. Besides, being close to others can help in boosting moods and confidence. If one has a partner, speak about what you are going through so that they may help you in solving the issue. Moreover, telling your partner why you are sometimes irritable can help in preventing misconceptions in the relationship.
There are also many groups and forums targeted to the menopausal women. Remember that discussing problems help one to be in tune with their emotions. Therefore, seek support from friends and engage in social events. This will help in maintaining a positive attitude because focusing on negative thoughts makes anxiety worse.
There are treatments available for dealing with menopause and anxiety. One can take hormone therapy, supplements, and antidepressants that help in reducing anxiety. Make it a point to talk with your doctor to find out what options are available for managing menopause anxiety. One of the options would be to consider taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Anxiety during menopause is treatable and leads to a reduction in anxiety levels. Medications can be used to reduce anxiety symptoms while therapy provides a way for menopausal women to express their fears and anxieties.
CBT or cognitive behavior therapy is effective in treating menopause anxiety and other related symptoms. CBT helps women in examining the interrelation between their emotions and their behavior. Menopausal women can use CBT to learn how they can change their behavior to cut menopausal symptoms such as anxiety.
Some medications have side effects, so it is best to discuss with your doctor the most suitable remedy for you. One may have to try several medications before finding the best drug for you. Seek a GP who is an expert in menopause issues.
Menopause is a major challenge to most women, and it takes a lot of courage for anyone to admit that they need help. If your menopause includes anxiety panic attacks, then it is best to seek help. Premenopausal anxiety is common, but if you are experiencing post menopause anxiety, symptoms it is advisable to seek the help of a professional to check if there is more to it.
Contact our counselors are BetterHelp to get help with your menopause and anxiety issues.