Have you ever thought, “I feel crazy because I’m going through menopause. And that’s just how it goes.”
When going through menopause, you may start to believe your feelings of anxiety, sadness, irritability, and even constant fatigue is normal.
But that could not be further from the truth! More importantly, there are solutions for improving the symptoms you experience during perimenopause and menopause.
Today, we’re sharing tips for how you can improve your mental health during menopause.
Ways that menopause affects your mental health
If you’re going through menopause, you probably know hot flashes, weight gain, and low libido are all common symptoms, but did you know you can also experience mood changes? Here are a few examples:
Anxiety during menopause occurs when your body’s fight, flight, freeze, or fawn defense works continuously. When you start menopause, your estrogen levels decline and fluctuate, and your body produces less progesterone. These hormones influence the production of serotonin, which is a mood-regulating transmitter. Because of this, you could feel more worn out, frustrated, and anxious.
Because of the sudden hormonal changes associated with menopause, women are at a higher risk of depression. Falling levels of estrogen and progesterone can often trigger mood swings, and like with anxiety, hormones and serotonin are closely linked, so when hormone levels drop, so do serotonin levels, resulting in feelings of sadness or depression.
Stress isn’t uncommon amongst women during midlife, but it may worsen around menopause. Between hot flashes, poor sleep, weight gain, and vaginal dryness, it’s no surprise women might experience feelings of stress. Progesterone has a calming effect and a drop in the hormone could impact a body’s ability to reduce stress.
Rapid mood swings is also a common problem associated with menopause. One could move from sadness to happiness to anger and back again within a few hours. That can take a pretty big toll on mental health!
Lack of motivation
As menopause causes a hormonal imbalance in the body, levels of estrogen dip. This has an effect on those happiness hormones, dopamine, and serotonin. Women may find themselves feeling like they can’t be bothered to do the things they used to do – or climbing into bed more often.
There’s a lot to be irritable about when going through menopause, but those feelings can also be due to hormonal imbalance. When symptoms of perimenopause start, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone, which can lead to irritability and depression.
Struggling to concentrate? Feeling confused or forgetful? Estrogen and testosterone play an important role in memory and cognition. When these levels drop, your brain could feel fuzzy or cloudy.
How to improve your mental health (during perimenopause and menopause)
First, seek the right support. Start with your general practitioner who may recommend treatment for perimenopause and menopause symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy comes in many forms: pellet implants, patches, tablets, and gels, and can stop hormone levels from fluctuating. This can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
At Exceed Hormone Specialists we offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in the form of pellet implants. Made from soy and yams, they are exactly the same molecular structure and perform exactly the same functions as your body’s own natural hormones. The body recognizes bio-identicals and uses them perfectly, restoring your natural hormone balance and revitalizing your life.
Make lifestyle changes
While some women may need medical intervention, it can be worth exploring if other factors are contributing to your anxiety and depression. Consider whether alcohol or caffeine is affecting your sleep, triggering hot flashes, or increasing your anxiety. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive affect on your mental health too.
You’re experiencing some big changes, both physically and emotionally. We recommend speaking to a mental health professional to help you navigate what you’re going through and the feelings that come along with it.
Would you like to get your hormone levels tested? Or have one of our specialists review previous test results? Connect with us online or give us a call (901) 312-7899.