Mental and emotional stress are just part and parcel of the menopausal transition for many women, and they can take different shapes for each person: some feel burdened by anxiety, others suffer from depression, and still others undergo sudden panic attacks. Regardless of what form it takes, too much worry is destructive and it can take a heavy toll on sufferers. It is both possible and beneficial to take action against menopausal anxiety, not only for the sake of feeling better, but for the sake of pursuing a wholesome life and overall health.
About Anxiety during Menopause
Women going through menopause are considered to be at a higher risk of suffering from mental health issues thanks to the complex effect that hormonal imbalance has on the body. During menopause, the body starts producing less estrogen, a hormone that plays a vital role in brain function and mood. Furthermore, other menopausal symptoms can exacerbate feelings of anxiety. And of course, outside factors unrelated to menopause can play a hand in causing stress, depression, and worry.
Steps for Overcoming Worry
Fortunately, there are many options available to combat mental and emotional stress; it is simply a matter of deciding which ones are right for you.
- St. John's wort. This herb is beloved for its incredible effectiveness in treating depression and the corresponding symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, loss of appetite, and insomnia. In fact, there is strong scientific evidence that St. John's Wort is just as effective as prescription drugs for these conditions (though perhaps not for severe cases). Besides improving mood and reducing anxiety, it is also used to alleviate other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
- Black cohosh. Black cohosh is perhaps one of the more popular and well-known herbs used to treat the symptoms of menopause. It is most often used against hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness, but scientific studies have reported significant improvement in women who suffer from anxiety and depression after taking black cohosh.
Herbs are a beautiful gift from Mother Nature, but they also work best as a supplement to healthy habits and a positive lifestyle. Here are some suggestions to permanently relieve the great burden of worry:
- Sleep. Don't underestimate the power of a good night's rest. Try to bed down and wake up at the same time each night, and keep your room cool and dark.
- Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise as many days of the week as you can. There is an activity to suit everyone, including swimming, biking, or playing a sport.
- Relax. Foster routine activities that help you wind down. These could include reading a good book, taking a walk, or practicing yoga.
- Get support. Nurture the relationships with family and friends and don't be afraid to open up or ask for help. Talking to a counselor can also be a valuable resource.
If none of the above options are right for you or the worry is simply too great, talk to your doctor about trying antidepressants or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Stress, depression, anxiety, and panic are common occurrences, especially during menopause, but they can get in the way of a happy and fulfilled middle age. Stay perseverant in your quest for positivity - the joy of life can be yours once again. Read more information about treatments for menopausal anxiety.
- Black Cohosh. (2014). Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21584.
- Emotional Aspects of Menopause. (2013). Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic-what-is-perimenopause-menopause-postmenopause/hic-emotional-aspects-of-menopause.
- Geller, SE, & Studee, L. (2007). Botanical and dietary supplements for mood and anxiety in menopausal women. Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17194961.
- Menopause and Mental Health. (2010). Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-mental-health/.
- St. John's Wort. (2014). Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/329.html.