Here you will find articles about Menopause, how it begins, the signs and symptoms to expect during this natural phase of life that all women go through and how to manage the physical and emotional challenges that naturally come with it.
Menopause is a time in a woman's life that most often occurs in her late 40’s to mid-’50s when she stops being able to have children. It is referred to as “the change,” because it means that a woman stops getting her period (or menstrual cycle) and the markable change going on inside of her body has to do with her hormones — the hormonal changes that occur during menopause cause a lot of physical and emotional challenges for women. The physical difficulties include hot flashes, night sweats, chills, anxiety, decreased libido, and sometimes hair loss. While the mental and emotional challenges are much different, going through menopause can cause significant psychological problems.
Menopause and Mental Health
With the beginning of menopause comes the end of childbearing years. For some women, making the transition into menopause is difficult emotionally. Knowing that you are no longer going to be able to have children can be sad for some women. Maybe they’ve already had children, and raising kids has already been a part of their life, or perhaps, they haven’t had the chance to reproduce, and this is a sign that the opportunity to have kids is ending. It could also be a symbol of going into a new phase of life that they’re afraid to enter. It’s like moving on from the first part of your life into the middle section - it is a transition, and that causes anxiety for some people. For others, it can also cause depression. Both ideas are understandable; change can be hard. It's compounded by the hormonal effects, which can intensify the genuine mental and physical challenges that are already happening.
Anxiety During Menopause
Having anxiety during menopause is entirely natural. When you’re changing rapidly, in your body and mind, it can feel overwhelming and downright scary. It’s not easy transitioning from one part of your life to the next. You don’t know what to expect from one day to the next. One day you might have insomnia, and the next you might be sleeping well. Maybe you’re coping with hot flashes one evening, and the next night you feel depressed. Menopause can be an unpredictable time, and that uncertainty causes women anxiety.
How to Cope
All of the aspects of menopause are challenging. Whether you’re dealing with hot flashes or riding the emotional rollercoaster that comes along with the transition from the first part of your life to mid-life. You may not know what symptom to address first, and that’s natural. You can start by going to see a medical provider and talking out there issues. One way to cope with menopause is to see your general practitioner and discuss the symptoms that you’re having; both physical and emotional. Remember that it’s not just hot flashes or night sweats. Mood swings are a real part of menopause, and you need to talk about how they impact your day-to-day life. Whether you’re waking up in a cold sweat or switching from angry to sad in a matter of moments, these are real symptoms of this condition. A general care doctor may not be able to manage the mental health issues you’re experiencing directly, and that’s where counseling can be highly valuable. Seeing a therapist that specializes in women's issues can help a woman going through menopause get through this challenging time.
You don’t have to go through menopause alone. You might feel like nobody understands what you’re going through, but that’s not true. You can discuss what you’re experiencing in therapy whether that’s online or in a local therapist’s office. If you choose online counseling, you have the advantage of working with a provider on your time and seeing them in a place where you feel safe and comfortable. Online counseling is an excellent resource to help you work through menopause with a mental health professional who cares about your wellbeing. You can talk to a counselor in the privacy your home, and find ways to cope with the physical and emotional changes that you’re experiencing. If you’re interested in learning more about online counseling, you can search the network of online counselors at Betterhelp and find one that is right for you.