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How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

As your reproductive cycle slows down, you eventually join millions of women in starting menopause. An estimated 6,000 American women reach menopause daily, which comes up to over 2 million annually. 

Additionally, 20% of the female workforce, averaging around 27 million women between 45 and 64 years old, deal with menopause annually. 

As your hormonal levels begin to fluctuate and decrease, this process can create changes in your emotional state. Let’s look at the changes your body goes through during menopause, the role your hormones play on your mood, and how to manage things while going through it.

Women in the Lake Mary, Florida, area starting to undergo the changes of menopause can trust Dr. Christopher Quinsey and our caring, compassionate team at his private OB/GYN practice. We offer decades of experience helping women in Florida through the changes they experience throughout their lives, with a focus on thorough and attentive care.

Changes that occur during menopause

When you reach your late 30s, you experience a decline in your body’s production of hormones like progesterone and estrogen, until you reach the point just before menopause starts, which is known as perimenopause. 

By the time you’re in your 40s, your periods start to fluctuate in frequency and heaviness, until your body goes a full year without a menstrual period. Once the year is done, you are diagnosed as being in menopause.

The changes in your hormonal balance cause you to experience symptoms like vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills, night sweats, sleeping problems, hair thinning, and a slower metabolism. This process can also directly affect your mood.

The effects of hormone imbalance on your mood

Reaching middle age by itself can create a number of anxieties about self-perception and personal challenges. Once you start going through menopause, it can affect your mental health by amplifying existing issues and creating new ones as your hormones decrease. 

This commonly comes in the form of anxiety or depression and may cause you to feel irritable, frustrated, prone to outbursts of anger, restless, agitated, guilty, or worthless. 

It can also affect your desire to enjoy activities, cause changes in your appetite, increase fatigue, and make you sleep too little or too much. If you’re already apprehensive about going through menopause or are dealing with personal issues, the depression caused by menopause can increase stress, create low self-esteem, increase anxiety, and even lead to smoking.

Methods of management

You can manage depression and other mental health issues brought on by this natural change in your life. These treatments may include:

Medications

Antidepressant and low-dose estrogen replacement therapy are medical treatments that can reduce symptoms.

Therapy

Depression can create feelings of isolation that make it harder for you to reach out and get the help you need. But sharing your experiences with friends and family, along with a trained therapist, can help you navigate the emotional changes.

Lifestyle

Things like adjusting your sleep schedule, getting routine exercise (30 minutes a day, five days a week), using relaxation techniques, attending support groups, and quitting smoking can help with the mood changes brought during menopause.

Menopause means lasting change in your life, but the emotional changes don’t have to make the experience a bad one. You can get through this, and we can help. When you’re ready, make an appointment with Dr. Quinsey so we can make your life easier.

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