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Menopause emotions: Menopause and your mental wellbeing

Menopause and your mental wellbeing

Changes in your hormones during menopause can impact your mental health as well as your physical health. You may experience feelings of anxiety, stress or even depression. Menopausal symptoms may include:

  • anger and irritability
  • anxiety
  • forgetfulness
  • loss of self-esteem
  • loss of confidence
  • low mood and feelings of sadness or depression
  • poor concentration – often described as ‘brain fog’ and/or lost words

Many women experiencing menopause or perimenopause will experience problems with sleeping. Lack of sleep and tiredness can also make symptoms including irritability, ability to concentrate or anxiety worse.

Further support and information about your mental wellbeing

Addressing problems with sleep may help you manage some of the mental health symptoms you can experience due to menopause.

There are lots of different options that can help you with these experiences and improve your mental health and wellbeing during the menopause.

Some women have been prescribed anti-depressants to help with the mental health-related symptoms during the menopause, but unless you have been diagnosed with depression there are other treatment options that are more appropriate.

It’s important to realise that the mental symptoms of menopause are as real as the physical ones, and you should not wait to seek help if you are struggling. Speak to your local GP practice and they can provide you with the right support and help.

Treatment options

There are various treatments that you might want to consider to help relieve some of the psychological impacts of menopause. Everyone is different so it’s about choosing what’s right for you. Treatments can include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
  • counselling
  • mindfulness

Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly can help to improve some menopausal symptoms. There are lots of helpful and free resources that can help you get active and feel good, including yoga, mindfulness and walking.

Further information about the treatment options available

Depression

You might experience mood changes as a result of menopause, but this should not be confused with depression. Depression is a more serious condition, where very low mood is more constant for longer periods of time.

Menopause can cause an increased risk of depression. If you think you or someone close to you might be suffering from depression, you should speak to your GP.

Further information about depression

Physical changes and impacts

Some of the physical changes that women can experience as they go through menopause can affect the way they feel about themselves, their confidence and self-esteem.

The menopause can feel like a big change physically and mentally for many women, so it’s important to give yourself the time and space you need to work through these changes.

It can be difficult to find time for yourself when you are juggling a busy life, working and supporting family members, friends or children. If you can, try to remember to take time for yourself too. Finding time for a cup of tea, to read a book, go outside for walk, gardening or go online can give you a break from the pressures of life. Mindful breathing exercises and yoga can also really help.

Speaking to other women online or in real life about the physical changes you’re experiencing can also help. There might be Menopause Cafes or social media groups that allow you to listen to other women’s stories, and to share your own.

Menopause Emotions, Depression, Moodiness, and More

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

  • How Can I Cope With the Emotional Changes of Menopause?
  • Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Help During Menopause?
  • I Have a Hard Time Concentrating and I’m Forgetful. Is This a Normal Part of Menopause?
  • What Can I Do About My Changing Body Image?

Declining estrogen levels linked to menopause can cause more than those pesky hot flashes. They can also make you feel like you’re in a constant state of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). That doesn’t mean anything is wrong. For many people, emotional changes are part of menopause. 

Some of the emotional changes you might notice during perimenopause or menopause  include:

  • Crankiness and anger
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loss of confidence or self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Forgetfulness and trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings

If you’re feeling cranky and sad, there’s a chance it could be related to menopause. But many things can make you feel this way. Tell your doctor how you’re feeling, so they can rule out other medical or psychiatric conditions.

Although depression isn’t caused by menopause, studies show that about 20% of women have symptoms of depression during this time. It’s more likely if you’ve had it at other times in your life. If you’re feeling more unable to cope, see your doctor. They may be able to recommend medicine, such as antidepressants, or therapy that can help.

Crankiness and feelings of sadness are the most common emotional symptoms of menopause. Often, they can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as learning ways to relax and reduce stress.

Here are some tips that may make it easier for you to handle your fluctuating emotions:

  • Exercise and eat healthy.
  • Find a self-calming skill to practice, such as yoga, meditation, or rhythmic breathing.
  • Avoid tranquilizers and alcohol.
  • Engage in a creative outlet that gives you a sense of achievement.
  • Stay connected with your family and community.
  • Nurture your friendships.

Sometimes, confronting the aging process triggers emotional issues around menopause. It might help to adjust your outlook.

  • Remember that menopause is a natural part of life.
  • Think about what you’ll gain with menopause. Embrace the freedom that lies ahead.
  • Focus on what you like about yourself. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can teach you to notice thoughts that make you feel bad, and replace them with positive ones.
  • Seek support from your doctor or health care system, community, and others going through these changes. 

Insomnia can be a cause-and-effect problem during menopause.  Symptoms like hot flashes can disrupt your sleep, making anxiety and depression worse. Meanwhile, mood problems themselves can cause sleep problems. Hormone replacement therapy may help. So can exercise, relaxation techniques like meditation, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

While there’s growing evidence to suggest that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can relieve emotional symptoms linked to menopause, HRT alone is not effective in treating more severe depression. Antidepressant drug therapy and/or psychotherapy may be necessary.

 

 

Difficulty with concentration and minor memory problems are often part of perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause (defined as not having a period for a year). But these issues are likely to be temporary.

Researchers aren’t sure why memory changes often come with perimenopause, and there are no treatments to relieve these symptoms. If you’re having memory problems, talk to your doctor. They can help manage memory problems or refer you to someone who can.

You might notice some weight gain now. It’s probably more related to your age and lifestyle changes. Menopause might change where your body stores fat, though. Your metabolism might dip.

Even though it’s normal, you can feel baffled and upset to see your body change. Try these tactics to build a healthy outlook:

  • Focus on  what you like about yourself rather than what you think of as flaws. When critical thoughts come up, it can help to jot down a few self-compliments you can come back to later.
  • Immerse yourself in positive pursuits that allow you to grow. Expand your social or spiritual life to replace inward, self-critical habits.
  • An exercise routine can boost your body image as well as your health and outlook, even if you don’t lose weight.

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Mood swings – either longing and indifference to everything, or causeless rage and an explosion of emotions – are familiar to many women as symptoms of the notorious PMS (premenstrual syndrome). They can develop and intensify, and closer to menopause, even become the norm of behavior, and sometimes even “grow” to menopausal neurosis. Is it possible to somehow influence the severity of these unpleasant symptoms?

To begin with, all the symptoms of menopausal neurosis are due to a natural decrease in the level of sex hormones. The production of hormones decreases gradually, so the manifestations may not be so pronounced at first. And at this stage it is best to correct them.

Symptoms of a decrease in the level of sex hormones:

  • asthenic symptoms: first episodic, then constant fatigue, weakness and loss of strength, emotional inactivity or lack of desire to take initiative, unwillingness to engage in hobbies or household chores, cleaning, and sometimes even follow the rules hygiene, loss of appetite and libido;
  • neurosis-like conditions: anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, sudden causeless irritability, tearfulness;
  • affective manifestations: periods of violent and expressive behavior, including bouts of anger, rage, aggression.

With the appearance and development of these symptoms, do not hesitate to visit a doctor! At this stage, it is easier to cope with violations in the work of the female body.

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Stages of hormonal adjustment

A decrease in estrogen and progesterone levels indicates the beginning of preparation for menopause. In fact, it is stress for the body, like any change. The condition is accompanied by the release into the blood of high doses of stress hormones – adrenaline, norepinephrine, cortisol. If there are many of these hormones, there is an overstrain of the neurotransmitter system, and then its depletion. An imbalance of hormones and neurotransmitters (active substances that “work” in the brain) leads to the development of depression.

At the same time, the release of regulatory hormones that stimulate the active work of the ovaries decreases in the brain, which, combined with an increase in the production of androgens (testosterone), leads to an increased level of fatigue, anxiety, sleep disturbances and unreasonable fears. The involvement of women in these emotions exacerbates the manifestations. Experiences deplete the body, aggravating the deficiency of serotonin, hence affective manifestations, anxiety, tearfulness, irritability, panic attacks.

By the way, sleep disturbances are not at all a sign of creeping old age and senile insomnia, but a consequence of a natural decrease in melatonin levels. This explains earlier awakenings, reduced sleep time, difficulty falling asleep.

Often, relatives of women entering the time of pre- and menopause cannot understand the nature of their unstable behavior and provide psychological support, considering a bad mood to be “stupidity” and “whim”, which can make it even more difficult for a woman. It is important not to immerse yourself in these emotions with your head, but to understand in time that it is a matter of hormones, stop self-eating and turn to a competent gynecologist-endocrinologist who will help you find an individual approach to solving a delicate problem.

Anti-age therapy at TH Clinic

Is it possible to slow down the aging process and return a woman the opportunity to live a full active life? Of course, with the participation of qualified doctors working in the anti-age direction.

  • Gynecologists-endocrinologists of TN-Clinic have extensive experience in working with women in pre- and menopause periods, they will individually select therapy for a soft and comfortable return to a normal lifestyle, youth and beauty, and maintain
  • Therapy does not necessarily include hormonal drugs. If the symptoms are not pronounced, do not violate the quality of life, the doctor will recommend a complex of vitamins and minerals, biologically active additives, a change in diet, the establishment of a work and rest schedule, and the inclusion of physical activity in the routine.
  • Today, at the age of 40-45 years and older, a woman’s plans may include the onset of pregnancy and the bearing of a healthy child. All conditions are created for this in our clinic. Therefore, at the first appointment with the doctor, tell him about your plans to become a mother. In this case, therapy will be carried out taking into account the preparation of the body for the onset of pregnancy.

The success of the clinic is measured by the health of its patients. Clients of the TN-Clinic are not just active and healthy women for whom time has stopped, but also happy mothers, to whom the happiness of motherhood has come after 40-45 years.

The systematic approach of the TN-Clinic doctors will not only help overcome depression, mitigate age-related changes, but also stop the aging process and prolong youth!

Wind of change: how to manage your mood during menopause

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Let’s see where the “mood swings”, fatigue and apathy come from and whether it is possible to get rid of it.

What are you complaining about?

Passing into the menopause, a woman seems to find herself in an amusement park: on the one hand, an unstoppable “mood swing”, on the other, a “distorting mirror”, in which you can’t recognize the once taut, slender figure and fresh face, on the third, a rollercoaster tides. On sleepless nights, there is no strength and desire for an intimate relationship with a loved one. And disturbing thoughts begin to swarm in my head: “Is it really old age and is it forever?”

Looking ahead, let’s say: no, old age is not even close yet, and you are quite capable of closing this amusement park, returning to your usual way of life and feeling comfort and harmony without looking back at menopause.

On the shelves

Along with the fading of the reproductive function, that is, with the advent of menopause, the production of the most important female hormone estrogen, which is responsible for the youth and beauty of the skin, our emotional state, libido, memory, cholesterol levels and even natural processes, is sharply reduced burning fat.

In an effort to compensate for the lack of estrogen, as well as obeying the age-related slowdown in metabolism, the body begins to store fat deposits, in which estrogen synthesis continues for some time, although in insufficient quantities.

Even before menopause, your body got used to the fact that any stress is accompanied by a decrease in estrogen levels. Now, “seeing” that estrogen is becoming alarmingly low, the endocrine system habitually decides that it’s all about stress again, and begins to intensively produce the cortisol hormone corresponding to it, and lowers the amount of serotonin, also known as the “happiness hormone”.

As a result, most women under the influence of a cocktail consisting mainly of cortisol and with a minimal addition of estrogen and serotonin face problems such as:

  • mood swings, irritability, tearfulness, anxiety and even depression;

  • flushing and sweating;

  • decreased libido and vaginal dryness;

  • fatigue and insomnia;

  • weight set.

It is possible and necessary to overcome these unpleasant manifestations of menopause. How to learn to manage the “winged swing” of mood and take control of your emotions?

1. Find your way to relax. An exciting romance is suitable for someone, while someone prefers yoga, meditation, breathing practices or walks in nature.

Don’t forget massages, aromatherapy or fragrant (but not hot) baths. If you feel overwhelmed by emotions, stop and take a few shallow breaths and long exhalations to help you relax.

Look in the mirror. If the face is tense, relax it too: straighten the wrinkle between the eyebrows, remove the whiny bend of the lips, try, even with force, to smile – the body will automatically adjust to the emotions on the face.

If that doesn’t work, imagine in detail that the tension is just a room you leave and lock the door behind you.

2. Do not struggle with the negative manifestations of menopause alone, now is not the time to test your character.

Do not associate with toxic people who deny what is happening to you, saying that “it’s only in your head”, and also with those who see life in black. It has been scientifically proven that bad moods are contagious! Look for support from your friends, in thematic communities in social networks and, of course, from your loved ones.

To do this, you should try to explain in detail to them what is happening to you, because it is not at all a fact that they understand this. It will be useful to communicate with those women of mature age who will inspire you by their example.

3. Take care of yourself and improve your self-esteem.

Yes, your body and face are changing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be beautiful and desirable! If in doubt, look at Jennifer Lopez, Sophie Marceau, Renata Litvinova and Ingeborga Dapkunaite.

Self-care, love for your body, which serves you faithfully, should not be associated with either age or menopause. But do not turn the fight against gray hair and wrinkles into an arms race, so that it does not become an obsession that will add to your stress.

4. Accept the changes that are happening to you.

“At a certain period, many women begin to reject their age,” explains Elena Molokova, a gynecologist-endocrinologist, a doctor in preventive and anti-aging medicine and a psychologist. – Young “girls” aged 45+ acquire a constant tension in the hormonal regulation system, which increases the level of stress adrenocorticotropic hormone.

Fear of growing old exhausts the endocrine and nervous systems. Once upon a time, it was really believed that a woman was valuable only while she was in reproductive age. But times have changed! The role of a mature woman is now very great. Those whose reproductive function has ended enter the age of harmony, love and happiness. By sharing them with others, we women are capable of much more than just biological reproduction.

Increase your value in your own eyes, then your body will synchronize with nature and you will better feel what it needs. You will understand that it is not yet time to save yourself from old age, you just need to create comfortable conditions for yourself.

5. Support yourself from within.

It is a mistake to think that hormonal changes can only be solved with the help of synthetic hormones. Sometimes it is really necessary, but such cases are rare. As an alternative to hormone therapy, many doctors suggest phytoestrogens, safe non-hormonal substances found in medicinal plant extracts.

Phytoestrogens are similar in structure and effect to female estrogen, they restore the balance of hormones, normalize blood pressure, relieve hot flashes and sweating, improve sleep and, importantly, strengthen emotional stability. Phytoestrogens also take care of the appearance: they make the skin more elastic and elastic.

This is a kind of anti-aging therapy that helps you feel fresher and younger. And it also has a positive effect on appearance. At the same time, phytoestrogens can be safely taken for several years, that is, during the entire menopause, since they are not addictive, have no side effects and do not harm the health of the thyroid and mammary glands.

Phytoestrogens are found in some medicinal plants, especially in sacred vitex, angelica, which is called the “queen of female herbs”, red clover. But you should not look for extracts of these plants in pharmacies separately, it is better to take them as part of balanced biocomplexes, created specifically to make life easier for women during menopause.

An excellent example of such a biocomplex is the American drug Lady’s formula Menopause An enhanced formula with an anti-age effect. It contains all of the above phytoestrogens, B vitamins, selenium, magnesium, necessary to support the nervous system, and other vitamins and minerals that a woman’s body especially needs during menopause.

Biocomplex relieves hot flashes, soothes, improves sleep and successfully solves the problem of weight gain thanks to a special component – maitake mushroom extract . Long known in the East, maitake mushrooms break down fat, normalize metabolism, strengthen the immune system and even prevent the formation of cancer cells.

Another rare component – Peruvian Maca , which is part of the biocomplex – helps eliminate dryness of the mucous membrane, returning sensuality and comfort to intimate relationships. Just like phytoestrogens, it restores hormonal balance, increases energy and performance.

Such a rich composition of natural ingredients provides powerful support to the female body, restores the former confidence and harmony, activity and positive. Special biocomplexes already now help women forget about the symptoms of menopause and not change their usual quality of life, remaining healthy for many years to come.

And the main piece of advice we’ve saved for last: don’t give up! You just opened a new, but far from the last chapter in the book of your life. Menopause usually lasts for several years, so is it worth cutting them out of your life and just endure waiting for it all to end?

Of course not! Collect information, do not hesitate to ask for help from loved ones, help your body get through this difficult period, enlisting the support of specialists and the best that nature can give you in the form of phytoestrogens and other plant helpers.