How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

If you’re a woman over the age of 40, you know what’s coming — menopause. Leading up to menopause, you’re in a time of perimenopause, which is characterized by irregular periods. Estrogen levels continue to decrease, and your ovaries stop producing and releasing eggs each month. You’re in menopause when you have your last period and then don’t have any more for 12 consecutive months.

Many women get hot flashes, have trouble sleeping, and sweat a lot more during menopause. But what you may not realize is menopause can also affect your mental health. If you have any questions about menopause, Dr. Richard Cole and our experienced team at Patrick County Family Practice in Stuart, Virginia, can help. Bring up your concerns during your annual wellness exam or schedule an appointment anytime.

How menopause affects your mental health

As women age and estrogen levels drop, they may be under more stress or have anxiety and fear about the future. They may have hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood swings, and irritability. They may even have a hard time concentrating, become depressed, or have memory issues. Do any of these sound like you? If so, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

The following conditions aren’t caused by menopause but being in menopause may cause these conditions to worsen or to appear for the first time. Lower estrogen levels play a role, but researchers aren’t entirely sure why.

Anxiety: Worry, fear, or stress that may cause you to feel nervous or have a sense of impending doom; may also result in a full-blown panic attack with heart palpitations, sweating, and trembling

Depression: Exhaustion, lack of interest in daily activities, sleeping a lot, and feeling sad or down, conditions that just won’t go away

Schizophrenia: Thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality such as hearing voices and talking to yourself, as well as disorganized speech and behavior

Bipolar disorder: Experiencing highs or lows that last longer than one day with a decreased or increased need for sleep called manic or depressive episodes; may be out of touch with reality, too

How to improve mental health during menopause

If you’re a bit sad or have mild anxiety, you may be able to control these feelings by cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting the proper amount of rest. If you’re having trouble facing midlife, aging, or menopause symptoms, there are therapists and support groups available. Medications may be necessary for severe anxiety or depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.

The best thing to do is visit us at Patrick County Family Practice to see one of our doctors so we can help you. Don’t let menopause get the best of you. If you’re in crisis, please call 911. Otherwise, call us to make your appointment or use our convenient online booking tool.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Turn Back the Clock on Aging Skin with TempSure Envi

Young skin can thank two things for its healthy glow — collagen and elastin. And aged skin can blame the loss of them for its sags and wrinkles. Getting them back is the key to reclaiming your youthful skin. Find out how TempSure™ Envi delivers.

How IV Therapy Improves Your Overall Health

Whether you need to take medication right away in an emergency, you want a way to take antibiotics without getting an upset stomach, or you need fluids fast to reduce side effects of dehydration, IV therapy can help! Here’s why.

COPD Triggers and How to Avoid Them

You can’t catch your breath, can’t stop coughing and wheezing, and can’t muster the energy to walk down the street. Living with COPD doesn’t have to be this way. Discover your triggers and keep your flare-ups at bay.

What's a Well-Child Exam?

From birth to near-adulthood, your child will change and grow in so many ways. Well-child visits help you and your pediatrician track and assess these years of growth and development.