How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

Have you ever wondered why it’s harder to cope with emotional hardships as you approach menopause?

Although menopause is a period in life when most women have to deal with aging parents and losing family members, hormones can also be to blame for some of the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.

At Bethel Family Medicine, we want you to be informed about how hormonal changes and menopause can impact your mental health, so we put together this article. Keep reading to learn how to improve your well-being.

Depressive episodes may become more common

Depression can be hard to spot because all of us feel tearful, hopeless, or plain sad at times. The difference between the normal and the pathological is the duration of these moods and how these mood changes impact your lifestyle.

So if you’re also experiencing symptoms like memory lapses, issues with concentration, sadness, and feelings of guilt or anxiety for prolonged periods of time, you may benefit from speaking with a specialist. 

In women, estrogen boosts serotonin, a neurochemical that boosts your mood. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, and serotonin drops as well, which in some cases may account for the depressive episodes.

Fortunately, you combat the symptoms of estrogen-deficiency caused by depression with the help of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). One study found that women suffering from peri- and postmenopausal depression saw improvement in their symptoms after taking a combination of estradiol and progesterone. 

Increased risk for anxiety 

Anxiety is characterized by fear and worry, and it’s a normal reaction to adversity. However, it can cause problems if the fear and worry become chronic and prevent you from engaging in the activities you once enjoyed.

Estimates suggest that 23% of women who go through menopause experience anxiety. The drop in progesterone could be contributing to this, as progesterone has a calming effect, similar to serotonin. If you suffer from a hormone deficiency and have anxiety, HRT may be of help. 

Learn more about hormone replacement therapy 

Our specialists may ask you about your medical history, your family medical history, and if you’re currently taking any supplements or medications.

Want to find out if HRT can help you combat the extra stress that comes with menopause? Contact us to schedule an appointment and get expert advice on your menopause symptoms.

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