It is common to blame menopause for stubborn weight gain, disruptive hot flashes and unpredictable mood swings. It is not surprising, therefore, that menopause can bring unwanted changes towards your emotional and mental health.
What Happens During Menopause
Menopause is a natural cycle in a woman’s life. It refers to the end of her periods and her ability to conceive. During menopause, the ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. For most women, this progressive decrease in hormones doesn’t go unnoticed. In fact, the drop in estrogen and progesterone is known for causing a host of disruptive symptoms. It is important to share your menopause struggle with your physician, as knowledge and support can be key to dealing with this stage of life in a healthy and successful way.
How Menopause Impacts Mental Health
Approaching middle age can come with heightened anxiety, stress and fear. You may be at the peak of your career, taking care of your aging parents or becoming an empty nester as your children go off to college. The addition of changing hormones and menopause to this already difficult stage of life can create a very emotionally complex time for a woman.
The hormone changes alone can bring on emotional imbalance. When your estrogen levels decrease, your mood typically follows. This emotional distress during menopause can include the following:
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of motivation
This list of roller-coaster emotions combined with your middle-aged phase of life can undoubtedly take its toll on your mental health. Fortunately, our gynecologists at North Pointe OB/GYN can help.
Strategies for Boosting Mental Health During Menopause
There are mental and physical signs of menopause that may present themselves years before this stage of life officially begins. It is important to make healthy lifestyle choices before and during menopause to minimize the impact on your mental health. This can include a healthy diet, regular exercise, practicing mindfulness/meditation, getting enough sleep, staying social and avoiding alcohol or other substances that only temporarily numb your emotions.
Sometimes these lifestyle strategies are not enough to manage your menopause symptoms, and that’s ok. Our physicians are uniquely trained to help women through this stage of life, and we offer a variety of options to help, including hormone replacement therapy, anti-depressant medication and natural supplements when needed.
Don’t struggle through menopause alone – your mental health does not have to suffer. Call our Cumming office today.