How does a woman deal with the mental stress of menopause? The famous mood swings and short-term memory loss can cause real anxiety in menopause. The occasional difficulty in keeping one’s thoughts straight, along with memory loss, can cause some women to believe they are entering the early stages of alzheimers. No doubt, a woman’s mental health and sense of wellness can be tested by some of the more severe symptoms of menopause, but it is rare, indeed, when the beginning of menopause is accompanied by early onset alzheimers. During their pre-menopausal years, women adjust to their hormonal rhythms. When menopause begins, those hormonal rhythms are interrupted, leading to mood swings. Those mood swings can be worse in women who had severe PMS during their pre-menopausal years. Headaches in menopause can exaserbate anxiety. When there is hair loss in menopause, anxiety can increase.
We live in an age where society puts high value on youth, oftentimes more so for women than for men. As we age, it is natural for us to think more of our mortality. Also, our bodies are undergoing other changes, such as muscle weakening, weight gain in the wrong places and weight loss in the muscles that give us tone. Add these normal aging developments to menopause and women can suffer reduced self-esteem.
Menopause often comes at a time in women’s lives when they already are facing mental stress. Children leaving home for college, children moving back in after college, concern for her own parents’ health and care, and career changes are only a few of the added stresses that can afflict a menopausal woman.
Maintain your memory. Studies have shown that such mental exercises as working crossword puzzles or playing Sudoku can help maintain mental acuity. Read for pleasure. Remain socially active. If you’re retired, find a hobby or volunteer for community service. Exercise your mind as well as your body and your memory will likely improve. If you’re still working, make a conscious decision to maintain equilibrium between your job and your home and family needs.
Occasional anxiety in menopause is normal. It usually works itself out without your having to take any other action. If it becomes frequent, that could be a sign of developing panic disorder. Panic attack symptoms can be similar to symptoms of heart trouble, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations. If you frequently feel out of control, you should seek help with relaxation techniques, or even psychotherapy.
Of course, the most important thing you must do is confer with your health care professionals. Their extensive knowledge and experience can be a great confort to any woman suffering from anxiety in menopause. You could need prescription drugs if your anxiety is severe enough.