Can Menopause Cause Anxiety?

Menopause is a tough phase for women and there are lots of symptoms that a woman in her menopause might experience. One of those symptoms could be anxiety. You might be wondering, “Can menopause cause anxiety?” So, read below to know about this.

Can Menopause Cause Anxiety?

“Yes, menopause can cause anxiety.” The phase before the final menstrual period during which a woman’s body undergoes several physical changes is called the perimenopause phase. These physical changes in our body result in some factors that can cause anxiety. Menopause occurs when menstrual periods have ended for 12 months. Most of the symptoms of perimenopause might continue in menopause, however, usually, they occur less often.

Studies have reported that 23% of women experience anxiety symptoms during perimenopause and these symptoms of anxiety are not necessarily associated with depression.(1) It is common to feel anxious or depressed at the beginning of the perimenopause phase. However, frequent, severe anxious feelings or panic attacks are not usually typical symptoms of menopause.

Menopause is a life change and it can result in certain unpredictable emotions to arise. Though it is true that a reduced level of progesterone and estrogen might be responsible for mood changes, such as depression and irritability, hormonal shifts are solely not responsible for a spike in anxiety, which might be why you are anxious about “the change”.

For certain people, especially women in their menopause, no longer being able to have children can trigger anxious feelings and a feeling of loss.

In most cases, women during their menopause cannot discuss their symptoms openly. Feeling alone during this time can make the symptoms of anxiety and depression worse.

However, if you are not feeling comfortable to open up with your family or friends, you should look for a menopausal support group in your local medical center and ask for any referral from your healthcare provider.

Treatment For Anxiety Due To Menopause:

If someone is going through perimenopause and experiencing high levels of anxiety, she might be treated with prescribed medications for anxiety. The doctor might also recommend counseling to women with their menopause phase who are experiencing anxiety.

Women having moderate-to-severe symptoms of anxiety might be prescribed a popular type of antidepressant, known as SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. SSRIs are usually effective in improving anxiety and symptoms linked with it.

According to the North American Menopause Society, however, about half of people using these medicines experience certain kinds of side effects that exactly affect their sex lives.(1) These side effects might include reduced libido and difficulty achieving orgasm or maintaining arousal.

For women experiencing sexual side effects from SSRIs, there are other types of antidepressants available, and these newer types of antidepressants are duloxetine and bupropion. Some older types of antidepressants like tricyclic antidepressants and MAO or Monoamine oxidase inhibitors, which are not associated with sexual dysfunction. But they might cause other side effects.

Anyone experiencing side effects from the medications can decrease the dose of antidepressants. However, before lowering the dose you should consult with your doctor first, since lowering the dose can have severe consequences.

Apart from all these, you should get plenty of rest, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly to keep menopause-related anxiety under control.

Final Words:

Anxiety during menopause is extremely common and usually one of the most difficult symptoms for women to cope with during the phase of menopause. However, you should know that you are not alone in this journey, and it is always advisable to talk with your therapist about your problems with anxiety during menopause. The symptoms can be frightening and can undermine your confidence, but you should always talk to your loved ones about how you feel and seek proper medical help. Do not pressurize yourself or isolate yourself during this phase. Rather, try to be with your loved ones and help yourself come out of the phase.

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