Decreased estrogen levels can also cause hot flashes that disturb sleep, which can lead to anxiety and mood swings. Possible treatments for menopause-related anxiety may include hormones, hormone therapy, antidepressants, psychotherapy, or mood-enhancing supplements. Cognitive-behavioral therapy Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been shown to be effective as a treatment for menopause. This therapy helps women examine the connections between their feelings, thoughts, and behavior.
Through the use of cognitive behavioral therapy, women can learn to modify their behavior to help reduce the severity of menopause symptoms. Vaidya, women with a history of depression or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), women with significant care responsibilities, those who experience loss or who have chronic fatigue or other health problems are at increased risk of anxiety. However, even women without risk factors may develop anxiety during this time of hormonal disruption and fluctuation. Early morning anxiety is usually observed in the period from perimenopause to menopause, says Dr.
Estrogen helps regulate cortisol production; cortisol is the body's main stress hormone responsible for its “fight or flight” response. Decreased estrogen can cause increases in cortisol levels, which can stimulate the nervous system and cause anxiety early in the morning. Vaidya says: “Communicating and being transparent with your colleagues and loved ones about the experience of menopause and change, whether physical or emotional, would be the first step. Telling people around you that your responses can sometimes be influenced by stubborn hormones can help them gain greater understanding and prompt them to do more to accommodate and support you.
If you experience anxiety or panic that can be hormonal, it may be helpful to talk to a menopause specialist. Remember, hormone fluctuations can cause symptoms that mimic panic or anxiety disorder, and treatment may depend on the cause of your symptoms. However, regardless of what causes you anxiety, persistent panic attacks and debilitating anxiety that cause significant impairment in functioning or lead to suicidal thoughts or concerns should be addressed immediately. Vaidya says, “It's important to talk about the natural change of life with the women in your group.
Very often, menopause is seen culturally as an “end to reproductive ability or desirability”. This can also help to dispel the fear of a normal change in life. Our anxiety, says Dr. Vaidya, it gets worse when we keep menopause a mystery, so talking and educating ourselves and others is good for everyone.
From weight gain and sleep interruption to the safety of HRT, as an obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in menopause, Dr. Lisa Savage hears all kinds of questions related to the menopause journey. Here, she shares the top ten questions she is asked about menopause, along with their answers. Changes in female hormone levels are one of the main causes of mood swings for many women.
Decreased levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone influence women's brains, explains Vohra. Imbalance resulting from lower chemicals such as serotonin and endorphins, and increased substances such as cortisol and adrenaline, can cause feelings of anxiety and irritability. Few scientific studies support the idea that menopause contributes to true clinical depression, severe anxiety or erratic behavior. Most women transition to menopause without experiencing a major mood disorder.