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Is The Menopause Causing Me To Be Anxious?

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Is The Menopause Causing Me To Be Anxious?

Going through the menopause can be a very testing time, with symptoms such as mood swings, vaginal dryness, a lack of libido, night sweats and hot flushes all common in perimenopausal and menopausal women.

Added to that, many women during this stage of their life begin to suffer mental health difficulties, or find that their existing mental health problems become worse. Depression or a low mood during the menopause is common, as levels of the female sex hormone oestrogen begin to drop. Along with this, many women also suffer with poor sleep, irritability and difficulty concentrating and remembering. 

Another common menopausal symptom is anxiety, which for some women, can sneak up totally unannounced and cause worry and stress that’s never been there before. There can be numerous reasons for this, and all are perfectly valid.

The menopause often coincides with other big lifetime milestones, like children leaving home, parents becoming more reliant on us as they age, the prospect of getting closer to retirement age and becoming older, which can all add to or cause our anxieties. It also signals the end of our reproductive lives, and whilst we might be glad to say goodbye to troublesome periods, knowing that we’re no longer fertile can make us feel less ‘worthy’ or valid in society, especially when it comes to working alongside or competitively with our younger peers.

Reduced levels of the hormone oestrogen, and another female sex hormone called progesterone can also lead to anxiety. Taking hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can help to manage these hormonal fluctuations, helping to relieve anxiety along with many other menopausal symptoms.

Regular exercise can also help to manage anxiety as it offers a great mental health boost. Exercise releases feel good hormones that can improve our mental wellbeing. Also, taking control of our changing bodies by exercising and eating well, can help to boost self-esteem and confidence, which in turn can help to improve feelings of anxiety. 

If you’re feeling anxious and you’re perimenopausal (common when a woman is in her 40s) or menopausal (most common from the late 40s into the late 50s) then the two could be related. As we mentioned above, feeling anxious for any reason is perfectly valid and isn’t something you should feel ashamed of.

As much as you can, surround yourself with women of the same age and join online forums and discussion groups that help to normalise all symptoms of the perimenopause and the menopause. Keep the conversation going and talk about how you’re feeling to likeminded women, your colleagues, children and your partner.

Anxiety can make us feel lonely, misunderstood and unheard, especially if it’s a new and recent feeling for us. If you’re really struggling, don’t suffer in silence. Speak to your GP who can refer you to a specialist in talking therapy or discuss the possibility of medications for you. 

Own Your Goals is an inclusive place for women just like you, so we hear you and you’re a valued and valid member of our community. We wish you all the best with your menopause symptoms.

 

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