Anxiety From Menopause

Dealing with Anxiety from Menopause

Anxiety is a common experience for many women going through the menopausal transition and can appear well before other more known symptoms such as the hot flushes or night sweats. Anxiety like all other emotional difficulties associated with the perimenopause and menopause are caused by the fluctuation and the ultimate reduction in oestrogen and progesterone levels which play an important part in managing the chemical activity of women’s brain.

We describe anxiety as the feeling of physical and emotional unease and restlessness which is characterised by worrying about situations that we believe may represent a challenge for us to handle or overcome. 

 

Symptoms of Menopausal Anxiety

Common symptoms of anxiety include both physical and psychological elements which can manifest in:

  • Shallow and rapid breathing
  •  
  • Palpitations
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating and/or chills
  • Stomach ‘butterflies’
  • Feeling afraid, nervous and on edge
  • Experiencing a sense of doom as if something awful might happen
  • Intrusive thoughts about possible future difficult challenges/situations
  • Problems concentrating and focusing on tasks
  • Feeling weak and tired
Anxiety can interfere with our day to day functioning (making us more avoidant, seek reassurance, etc) and can impact on our sleep leading to other difficulties such as memory lapses, brain fog, headaches and tiredness.

What Causes Menopausal Anxiety?

Even before the menopause, women are twice as likely than men to develop anxiety. When entering perimenopause, the fluctuations and falling levels of female hormones coupled with concerns about going through the transition associated with other life stresses, can further contribute to increase or worsen anxiety during menopause.

Although we might realise that we are anxious and worrying, it can be difficult to know what to do to let go of these feelings and how to be less on edge and regain our emotional balance.

How Can CBT for Menopause help?

CBT has been proven to be effective in treating a range of anxiety difficulties and as a psychologist providing CBT for Menopause, I help women learn skills and strategies to manage the emotional impact of the menopausal transition.

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