How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

When you go through menopause, your body undergoes significant physical changes as your menstrual cycles, and your ability to get pregnant naturally, end. During this time, your body’s hormones fluctuate, and your natural production of estrogen and progesterone declines.

Along with annoying physical symptoms, these hormonal fluctuations also cause many women to experience emotional changes. Dr. Patricia Brougher and the team at Bluebonnet OB/GYN are dedicated to helping women navigate the mental health, as well as the physical toll menopause, can bring.

Learn more about the symptoms you can experience in perimenopause and menopause and how to thrive emotionally during this life stage.

Mental health symptoms caused by menopause

Experiencing emotional symptoms is unfortunately as common as getting hot flashes during perimenopause and menopause. Some of the most common mental health challenges you might experience at this time include mood swings, irritability, sadness and depression, and difficulty concentrating.

Mood swings

The hormonal fluctuations your body starts experiencing during perimenopause can make it feel like you’re permanently going through premenstrual syndrome (PMS). You might experience unexpected changes in your mood as your hormone levels move up and down.

If you had a history of severe PMS before entering perimenopause, you’re at a higher risk of having more intense mood swings.

Irritability and aggressiveness

As part of the changes in mood you experience, you might find yourself feeling irritable at times during perimenopause and menopause. It’s also normal to feel periods of higher aggressiveness as your body adjusts.

Sadness and depressed moods

Hormone changes and adjusting to menopause might cause you to experience some sadness and depressive feelings. It’s common and normal to go through short periods of feeling blue during this time.

Less frequently, brief periods of menopause-related sadness can develop into an episode of clinical depression. You’re most at risk of developing clinical depression during menopause if you have a history of depression or have other difficult life events take place while going through this period of change.

Difficulty concentrating

During perimenopause, you might experience periods of minor forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. This usually resolves as you enter full menopause.

How to thrive emotionally during menopause

Depending on the severity of your symptoms and your personal preferences, it’s possible to treat mental health symptoms associated with menopause through non-hormonal and hormonal treatments. Dr. Broughner and her team recommend a personalized course of treatment targeted to your needs.

Some women find they can resolve their mental health-related emotional symptoms through lifestyle changes. Some of these include practicing stress-reduction techniques, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and nurturing connected relationships.

In other cases, hormonal treatments work to reduce your emotional symptoms by restoring your body to its pre-menopausal hormonal balance. Our team at Bluebonnet OB/GYN will help you determine the best hormonal treatment for your specific mental health symptoms.

With so many solutions available, there’s no need to suffer in silence with menopause-related mental health concerns. Serving patients in the greater San Antonio, TX area, our compassionate team at Bluebonnet OB/GYN is ready to listen and support you.

To schedule an appointment, call our office at 210-686-6171.

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