Menopause and Anxiety Attacks: How They are Related

Menopause and Anxiety Attacks

Menopause is a time in a women's life where menstrual periods end and many changes happen in the body. During this period of menopause, progesterone, estrogen and other hormones are at a much lower level.

Since female hormones can affect a women's mood, it makes sense that with the lower estrogen levels, she might feel moody, irritable, depressed and even anxious at times. Anxiety can happen for many reasons and menopause is one of them. Therefore, there is definitely a correlation between menopause and anxiety attacks.

Anxiety

Anxiety is just one of some 34 symptoms related to menopause. Women who have anxiety state that they have fears that they may be losing self-control or a strong fear that something terrible is going to happen. Panic attacks are just one of the signs evident with anxiety along with depression, nervousness, abnormal fears and agitation. This anxiety might make the usual menopausal symptoms of fatigue and hot flashes worse. Some women never feel any psychological or mental signs during menopause whereas not every sign that happens during menopause is actually caused by menopause. However, since more women than men experience anxiety, depression and worries, menopause and anxiety attacks can go hand in hand.

What are Anxiety Attacks?

During menopause, anxiety attacks consist of feelings of worry, nervousness and concern that are relentless and usually overpowering. It is a combination of thoughts that are negative and feelings that include tremendous fear, apprehension and intense worry. There are usually physical feelings of palpitations and/or chest pain, shortness of breath, and fast heart rate.

A person's mood is disturbed and behavior could be abnormal. There is muscle tension and you are not able to relax because you are restless and tense. Menopause and anxiety attacks are a normal part of life, however, if these emotions get persistent, interfere with your daily life, and get overwhelming it can be terrifying. At that time, medical attention is suggested.

Treatment for Anxiety Attacks

In order to properly treat your anxiety attacks, you need to establish if the anxiety attacks are psychological or physical, and only a physician can tell you for sure. If the anxiety attacks that occur during menopause are psychological, they need to be treated by a psychiatrist. You can sometimes lessen panic attacks by getting more rest and relaxation.

If the cause of the anxiety attacks is physical, you might be able to check with your physician about hormone replacement therapy or other techniques to increase the estrogen level in your body. There are also some other ways to alleviate the symptoms of menopause and anxiety attacks such as exercises. Try some relaxing exercises for example yoga, walking or swimming. Also, when you start to feel the anxiety, breathe deeply and slowly for a few minutes. A healthy diet which avoids caffeine, refined sugar, and alcohol can help you to feel better. Some women say that massage, meditation, herbs and acupuncture help them to feel less anxious. Seek medical care if you feel the anxiety is overtaking your life.

References

Anxiety Attack Menopause. (2010). Retrieved January 11, 2011, from Nursing Menopause: https://www.nursingmenopause.com/anxiety-attack-menopause.html

Anxiety Attacks during Menopause. (2009, August 27). Retrieved January 11, 2011, from Panic Attacks Guide: https://www.panicattacksguide.net/anxiety-attacks-menopause/

Anxiety. (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2011, from Menopause Insight: https://www.menopauseinsight.com/menopause/anxiety.aspx