When you are going through menopause, it can lead to several changes in your body. One of them may be anxiety. Let’s look at the connection between these two.
Let’s Briefly Look At Anxiety
Anxiety describes our body’s response to a danger. It’s our body’s fight or flight instinct whenever we face something we view as a threat. However, anxiety disorder, which happens when you are having frequent anxiety symptoms, can make it so that you cannot live your life normally. You may become more irrational and think of everything as a threat.
How Menopause Can Cause Anxiety
Menopause may lead to anxiety, and other mental health woes such as depression. Here are some reasons why this happens.
Your Hormones Change
Menopause can bring a massive change in hormones. When your estrogen and progesterone go down, you may become anxious and depressed.
You’re Afraid of No Longer Being Able to Have Kids
If you wanted to have kids but couldn’t, or if you wanted to have another one, menopause or pre-menopause can cause you anxiety. You may feel lonely and empty, and the fact you’re going through menopause can make it worse.
You’re Anxious Of Growing Older
Menopause is the signal that you’re entering middle-age. This can trigger different anxieties. Maybe you start to have an existential crisis and wonder if the career or life you’re living is what you want. Perhaps you dread aging and the eventual end of your life. There are many milestones in life that can make you feel this way, and menopause is just one of them.
Your Self-Image Goes Down
Many women go through bodily changes. They may gain weight, or have thinning hair, and this can lead to self-image anxiety issues, especially if you are mindful of how you look.
We Are Not Allowed To Talk About Menopause
Another reason why menopause causes anxiety is that it’s a bit of a taboo subject to talk about. Even though most women have to go through it, it’s still a subject of embarrassment and fear, which can lead to you having difficulties discussing it.
When you cannot discuss anxiety about menopause, it can make you feel alone and as if you have no one to talk to.
What’s The Solution?
There are several ways you can deal with menopause anxiety. Here are some of them.
Talk To A Support Group
If there are any support groups in your area, you may be able to talk with women who are going through the same thing as you, and it can allow you to realize you are not alone.
Support groups can be in-person, or they can be online communities. The latter especially is prevalent in the age of the pandemic.
Seek Medical Treatment
Some women go to a gynecologist or take medication to help offset the effects of menopause. While menopause cannot be reversed, you can manage its symptoms better through medication. For instance, you may be able to take hormones, or take medication to help with some of the menopausal symptoms. In addition, you may be able to take anti-anxiety medications.
Alternative treatments may be able to help as well. Some women have found help in acupuncture, for example. With that said, these should be used alongside traditional medication, as some of their effects are unproven.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Exercising and eating right can help with some of the symptoms as well. You can maintain your weight and feel less anxious through exercise, and some healthier foods may be able to help as well.
You should be doing this in any stage in life, but menopause can make you realize that you aren’t doing enough to keep up your health. Luckily, it’s never too late to go to the gym or eat some healthier foods. Give it a go.
Talk To A Therapist
Finally, the best way for you to be able to manage the symptoms of your menopause anxiety is through therapy. Anxiety can be due to many life changes, and not just because of menopause. A therapist can help you with getting to the bottom of why you’re feeling this way.
If you cannot see a therapist in-person, one solution is BetterHelp. BetterHelp can connect you to an online therapist who will be able to help you improve your life.
Remember, menopause is not the end. You still have a long, fulfilling life ahead of you, and this is only one milestone in that journey. Good luck.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.