How Menopause Can Affect Mental Health

How Menopause Can Affect Your Mental Health

 

Menopause can affect your mental health in numerous ways. Therefore, women in the peri- and post-menopausal stages must understand these challenges and learn how to address them. The transition through menopause can bring about a range of emotional and psychological shifts, from mood swings to anxiety and depression. In my experience, most of the women I discuss this with are not aware at all. And sometimes. we think we are going crazy, but in fact if we are anywhere over the age of 35, it’s likely our hormones that are crazy. Not us.

 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore ten specific ways menopause can impact your mental health and provide detailed solutions to reboot your health.

 

1. Menopause Can Affect Your Mental Health By Causing a Hormonal Rollercoaster

During menopause, the body’s hormonal balance undergoes significant changes. Estrogen levels decrease, leading to hormone fluctuations that can be responsible for a range of emotional challenges. These changes can result in mood swings, where your emotions can vary rapidly. You can feel happy one moment and irritable the next. As a result, this emotional instability may cause you to feel less in control of your emotions, potentially leading to frustration or sadness.

Solution 1: Get Your Hormones Tested

And speak to a qualified menopause specialist. If your doctor suspects perimenopause, then an explanation of the risks vs the benefits of hormone therapy may likely ensue. The good thing is that you can always try them, and if it’s not for you, you. can always stop. 

Solution 2: Let’s Get Physical!

Any type of physical activity, including walking, yoga, or swimming, can help stabilize your mood. Specifically, exercise releases endorphins, your body’s natural mood lifters, making it easier to cope with
hormonal fluctuations.

 

2. Sleep Disruptions

Menopause can affect your mental health by causing sleep disruptions. These disruptions often manifest as night sweats, causing you to wake up drenched in sweat or deal with insomnia. In addition, night sweats can
leave you feeling physically uncomfortable and exhausted, while insomnia can lead to chronic sleep deprivation, resulting in increased irritability, mood swings, and heightened anxiety.

Solution 1: Consider Taking Progesterone.

This is easy enough to test out with a prescription from your doctor. Be sure. to take it at night. Progesterone is the “relaxation hormone” that makes us feel calm and under control. It helps so much with sleep. If you are taking estrogen, it’s likely you are already on progesterone, so you may want to ask your doctor to increase your dosage or change the delivery method, say from a transdermal cream to oral progesterone. 

Solution 2: Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine

Establishing a calming bedtime routine that includes meditation, deep breathing exercises, or reading a book can improve your sleep quality. Consider joining the Biohacking Menopause women’s only support group where I teach our besties how to breathe for optimal sleep. Reducing caffeine intake and screen time before bed can also be immensely helpful.

 

3. Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Menopause can lead to heightened anxiety and occasional panic attacks. This heightened anxiety is not only due to the physical changes and the loss of hormones, but also because of the uncertainties and adjustments associated with this significant life transition. Thus, you may feel more anxious than usual, coping with the unknowns of your changing body and the broader implications of entering a new stage of life.

Solution 1: Consider Bioidentical Hormones

For many women optimizing their hormones with the addition of hormones that are identical to our own body’s naturally occuring hormones is a game changer. Once finding an optimal dosage of estrogen and progesterone, if your body is still experienceing panic attacks, then you can rule out the hormones and consider other treatments. Regardless of what you decide, having optimal hormonal balance will likely support any further treatments.


Solution 2: Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Incorporate mindfulness and meditation techniques into your daily routine to alleviate anxiety. For example, guided meditation apps or meditation classes can provide valuable tools to manage anxious thoughts effectively. I am currently going through the Dr. Joe Dispenza series and I am completely amazed at the difference it can make to our perceptions of stresss.

 

4. Memory and Concentration Issues


“Brain fog” is a prevalent cognitive issue experienced during menopause. It manifests as a sense of mental cloudiness, often causing forgetfulness where you may struggle to remember things. In addition, it can also cause difficulty concentrating, making tasks or conversations more challenging. This cognitive
challenge can be frustrating and affect your daily life, from work to personal interactions.

Solution 1: You Know What I Will Say – Hormones!

Hormone therapy is a great place to start to rule out any issues of estrogen deficiencies. Our brain has restrogen receptors that suffer when they don’t find the estrogen that’s needed tofor normla brain function

Solution 2: Incorporate Brain-Boosting Foods

Include memory-enhancing foods in your diet, such as berries, fatty fish, and leafy greens. At the same time, memory can improve with age if you stimulate your mind. But it isn’t just puzzles, crosswords, and brain-training games. Your brain needs some heavy lifting with more challenging exercises like learning a new language, taking a college algebra course or taking up a new instrument. 

 

5. Low Self-Esteem and Body Image Concerns


Physical transformations that occur during menopause, including weight gain and changes in skin appearance, have the potential to undermine self-esteem and body image significantly. Specifically, weight gain can lead to body dissatisfaction, potentially affecting self-confidence. Concurrently, alterations in skin texture or appearance may amplify self-consciousness. These changes can erode a positive self-image, potentially leading to negative thoughts about your body and overall self-worth.

Solution 1: Lift Heavy S*?t

Strength training is an amazing way to increase your self-esteem. Feeling strong and in control can give that self confidence you may be looking for. As you lift, your body composition is likely to change (eat your portein!), further enhancing your new self-image. Mindset first. Make your goal “strength” not “weight loss” and you will surely be a winner.

 

Solution 2: Practice Self-Care and Positive Affirmations

Embrace self-care rituals and positive affirmations to boost self-esteem. Also, focus on your
achievements and strengths, and surround yourself with people who support you and appreciate your true worth.

 

6. Depression


Menopausal depression can manifest as a particularly severe and long-lasting form of depression. Therefore, when experiencing this condition, seeking immediate attention and professional help is of
paramount importance. Unlike transient mood fluctuations, menopausal depression can persist for extended periods, profoundly impacting your mental well-being and overall quality of life.

Solution 1: Find a Qualified Menopause Doctor

Before considering anti-depressants, which is often the “go to” solution most docors who are not trained in menopause medicine rely on, first consult with a menopause specialist who can rule out hormonal imbalances, which are easily remidied with hormone therapy. 


Solution 2: Seek Professional Help and Support Groups

Consider therapy or support groups tailored to addressing menopausal depression. Professional guidance can provide effective strategies for managing depression. Furthermore, engaging with a supportive community can make a substantial difference in your journey toward mental well-being.

 

7. Relationship Strain


There’s a strong link between human connection and aging better. Unfortunately, the mood swings and emotional turbulence associated with menopause can strain relationships, leading to stress and conflict.

Solution 1: Rule Out Low Testosterone

Sometimes we just aren’t attracted to our partner and not finding that connection because of low libido  or vaginal dryness making sex painful. Pulling back on our intimate relationships can add more strain to a once youthful relationship. Talk to a menopause doctor about testing you testosterone and supplementing if it’s low. Oxytocin is another interesting hormone to discuss that helps increase our desire to bond with our partner. 


Solution 2: Open and Honest Communication
Maintain open and honest communication with your partner and loved ones. Educate them about the changes you’re experiencing and encourage their involvement in your journey. Have them join you in your docotr visits. Sometimes hearing about menopaue from a third party is more impactful. Plus, couples counseling can be a valuable resource as well.

 

8. Increased Stress Levels


Stress has the potential to amplify the symptoms associated with menopause and exert detrimental effects on your mental well-being. That means that the discomfort, mood swings, and cognitive challenges you may already be experiencing can become more pronounced in response to stress.

Solution 1: Test Stress-Busting Devices

In the biohacking world we have 101 gadgets for managing stress when meditation and yoga just isn’t our jam. My favorites are NuCalm (use discount code  ZB10-0FF) and monitoring our stress levels with an Oura ring. 

Solution 2: Implement Stress-Reduction Techniques

Incorporate stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing exercises, journaling, or
aromatherapy into your daily routine. At the same time, identify and minimize stressors to further alleviate their adverse effects.

 

No. 9 Unhealthy Habits


During menopause, it’s not uncommon for some women to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, including alcohol consumption. They use this as a way to manage the stress and anxiety associated with this life stage. However, the impact of alcohol on your health is serious, particularly during this time. Specifically, excessive alcohol intake can exacerbate mood swings, contribute to feelings of depression, and disrupt sleep patterns, further intensifying the challenges
associated with this transition.

Solution 1: Contact Me

Whether it’s a quick free call of support, a comprehensive one to one program or a women’s only support group, we got you covered. Browse the Hack My Age programs to find something that suits your time and budget. 

Solution 2: Seek Healthier Alternatives and Professional Guidance

Instead of turning to substances, explore healthier alternatives like exercise, an ice bath, sauna, engaging in hobbies, or practicing relaxation techniques. In addition, connecting with a therapist can help you develop healthier coping strategies tailored to your unique situation.

 

10. Isolation and Loneliness


Experiencing isolation or loneliness during menopause can significantly worsen existing mental health challenges. Specifically, the sense of being disconnected or isolated from social support networks can
amplify feelings of sadness, anxiety, or depression that are common during this life stage.

Solution 1: Join A Support Group

We welcome new members to our private online women’s only support group Biohacking Menopause. We meet with me and with guest experts in the fields of menopause, hormones and biohacking. You will love the community. Join here.

Solution 2: Foster Social Connections and Seek Support

Actively engage in social activities, connect with friends, consider joining menopause support groups, and attend community events. Building a strong support network of people who understand what
you’re going through can provide comfort and camaraderie during this phase.

 

Conclusion


In conclusion, menopause can affect your mental health in multiple ways, but it’s essential to remember that you don’t have to face these challenges alone. By implementing the comprehensive solutions outlined above, you can gracefully navigate this transformative phase and prioritize your emotional well-being. Seeking professional help and building a strong support network are essential during this life stage. Also, stay positive, active, and connected to embrace this new chapter of your life with confidence and resilience.

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What do I do?

If you are feeling depressed or anxious, then it is time to find your menopause doctor. Read this blog article to know how or reach out to me and I am happy to help at zora@hackmyage.com.

We would love to invite you to our private membership group Biohacking Menopause. This is a safe space where women and professionals offer valuable support and recommendations for managing your symptoms effectively. Join us today!

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