womenTALK: Blog

Tuesday, Aug 09th 2011

Menopause and Anxiety: What's The Connection?

authored by Sheryl Kraft

After writing about menopause and hot flashes and stress/anxiety being a possible culprit, I started wondering about the link between menopause and anxiety. How are the two linked? Are women feeling anxious about menopause? Or, is it the other way around: does menopause cause anxiety? Is it a by-product of shifting, dipping, all-over-the-chart hormones?

And how can we control our anxiety? As someone who has had her fair share of anxiety over the years (especially around menopause), I decided to ask an expert some key questions about it all. Is it a disorder, I wondered, or a normal life passage?

For some answers, I turned to psychiatrist and UCLA anxiety expert Jason Eric Schiffman, a graduate of the MD/MBA program at the University of Southern California. Dr. Schiffman is affiliated with the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Program where he has helped to develop the web-based, self-directed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program for Anxiety Disorders found on Anxiety.org.

Q. I'm well aware that anxiety can occur at any time during a woman's life, but it does seem that panic attacks become more prevalent during times of hormonal upheavals: during adolescence, pregnancy and perimenopause and then menopause. In my experience, I've seen teens and women who never before suffered anxiety be suddenly hit with an increased incidence. Is it merely coincidence or is it indeed hormonally related?

A. Yes, there is absolutely a connection between hormonal changes and psychiatric symptoms in general, and women undergoing specific hormonal changes have increased risk for particular psychiatric disorders. With respect to anxiety, women in the perimenopausal period are more likely to experience panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms than other women of the same age who are either pre- or postmenopausal. The postpartum period is another time when women appear to be more vulnerable to psychiatric symptoms, particularly depression, which is often associated with anxiety.
Q. If increased anxiety is hormonally related, does that mean it will pass once a woman gets through menopause? Does the anxiety need to be treated?

A. Once menopause passes, many women find that their level of anxiety decreases. However, in addition to hormonal changes, there are often many other factors that contribute to the development of anxiety during menopause. For example, women who suffer more physical symptoms, experience negative life events or who are less functional are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder during menopause than women without these additional stressors. So, it is important not to ignore other possible causes of anxiety—just because a woman may be experiencing menopause. Treatment of anxiety is always warranted if there is significant distress or functional impairment.
Q. Once a woman experiences an anxiety attack does this mean she will be more likely to experience them more often?
A. Someone who has experienced panic attacks in the past is more likely to experience them in the future than someone who has never had one. That being said, panic attacks respond very well to a type of treatment called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT); someone who gets into treatment may have very few or no panic attacks in the future.
Q. Oftentimes women may be able to feel an anxiety attack coming on. Do you have any advice as to how to recognize the start of one and how to stop it in its tracks before it progresses further?
A. There are very effective techniques for treating panic attacks but they need to be tailored to each individual. There are now self-help versions of CBT available online which walk someone through the creation of a personalized treatment plan. One that I have worked with that is based upon the approach we use in the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic can be found at www.Anxiety.org.

Q. Anxiety can manifest itself in many forms: sleeplessness or frequent waking during the night, nervous energy, difficulty concentrating, irritability, even depression. What do you suggest for a woman who is feeling any one or a combination of these things? Are there different therapies for different types of anxiety and, if so, what are they (from a behavioral, medical and/or psychopharmacological and/or nutritional viewpoint)?

A. It is important that menopausal women identify the symptoms of anxiety they're experiencing so they find the best ways to allay them. As I mentioned, CBT is one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. There are also medications that can be prescribed by a psychiatrist. These are often used in conjunction with CBT. Practical things you can do to help reduce your anxiety include reducing or eliminating caffeine, exercising on a regular basis, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep and setting aside time twice a day to do relaxation exercises.
More reading:
8 Ways to Deal With Hot Flashes in the Heat (Or Is-It-Hot-In-Here-or-Is-It-Just-Summer?)
Natural Approaches for Easing Anxiety
An Overview of Menopause

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Sep 22, 2015 03:Sep 3 | said

menopause, anxiety, sweats and the list goes on...

From reading all the comments from other ladies I was wondering how long menopause lasts for the majority of women?

Taking medications to cope with issues can be hard to accept. We associate pills with bad health to make us feel better.

Menopause is a part of life for all women. I am experiencing many of the symptoms others have said they have. Finding solutions to these issues isn't easy.

Doctors want to give us pills, eventually we succumb to pill popping just to try and feel some relief. That's the stage I'm at now, feeling desperate to find a pill popping solution.

Hormone therapy? Will this help? What are the long term implications for pills that we take? Something to consider. We are so desperate for a quick solution that we forget to look long term. Menopause is a long process, I just hope that the majority of women come out the other side feeling like themselves again. Menopause is like a yoyo, feelings going up and down.

Family support is hard to get since husbands and kids don't know what we feel like, even though we explain it to them the best we can.

Who is the authority on menopause? I'd like to hear from them. I've read books about menopause, ladies are supposed to be good - no caffeine, no alcohol, eat right, exercise daily, yoga and stretching exercise, blah, blah, blah - drastic change in daily life.

I'm skeptical about who to trust with my health. I want to research the information the doctor can provide before taking any pills. It seems to me that doctors like to prescribe pills for anything, it's not their body so why not. Research what meds are given to you before proceeding. If you are currently on meds make sure you check into how one med works with another, will there be issues.

I wish everyone luck as we go through this bumpy road called menopause. Going to try and go back to bed now. Just had my middle of the night walk! LOL

Sep 21, 2015 12:Sep 12 | said

Glad I'm not the only

Glad I'm not the only menopause crazy out there. Although I wouldn't wish this on anybody! I have had the worst menopause of anyone I know. 52 years old. Never had PMS but did have a little postpartum after my babies. Two years ago after getting my hormone levels checked and they were rock bottom went on HRT which helped tremendously but I recently reached a new high of anxiety after getting dental treatment for my daughter that didn't turn out as I expected. (She is okay with it and it can probably be corrected.) Led to a nervous breakdown (shouldn't have but everything suddenly felt overwhelming) that I'm treating with therapy. Probably need an antidepressant but waiting to see GYN at annual visit next week to see if it will compliment HRT or if I just need an HRT boost. Did try Clonapin for anxiety which initially helped but started to feel addictive. Really struggling to get through the day. Wish doctors had better answers. I really have never felt this bad in my life.

Sep 20, 2015 13:Sep 1 | said

Menopause and anxiety

OMG reading the menopause posts and anxiety just mirrors how I feel. I am 52 and periods all over the place. I have had a very stressful year but about 6 mionths ago I started sleeping very badly, early morning waking, waking with palpitations, night sweats etc. I also started terrible anxiety, starting with worrying if I would be able to get enough sleep and then worrying about functioning at work and then just moments of sheer anxiety about doing anything. I have lost a stone in weight and am even starting to feel I don't want to go out in case I have an anxiety attack. This has come out of nowhere as I was always a very happy go lucky person. I feel like I am a changed person and trying to hide it from friends and family. I don't want to stay away from home anymore as feel insecure, I saw doctor who has put me on lose dose fluoxetine which is helping. I hate taking tablets but she says anxiety and insomnia very common in menopausal women. I feel do sad that I am not enjoying this time of my life, I really hate it. It is comforting to know I am not alone.

Sep 17, 2015 00:Sep 12 | Pixie said


I am 53 and perimenopausal (not menstruating for 8 months+). I was sick and tired of my family doctor being so unwilling to help with the huge list of worsening symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, nightmares, foggy brain, weight gain, panic attacks, miserable mood, panic attacks, leaky bladder, zero libido, zero energy ...etc. etc. etc). I finally went to a women's health specialist NP who did saliva testing which showed something very important. The differential between my estrogen and progesterone was huge. I was having so many symptoms because I was so estrogen dominant. Further, my cortisol levels were very low. My adrenal glands were tapped out as well. I went on bio-indentical homrone replacement (made from yams). It took a couple of weeks to get the dosing just right for my body. It has been a couple of months and with proper vitamin supplements, the symptoms have literally all stopped. I can sleep and I am no longer having anxiety and panic attacks. Before treatment, I had almost forgotten what it was like to feel normal. Now I do not have daily body aches when I work or move. Next step is to deal with the extra pounds I had put on when I hit perimenopause. I hope this might be useful to someone else experiencing this stuff. Get the right practioner - ask LOTS of questions (write them down as you think of them). Learn all that you can about balancing hormones - especially the differential!

Sep 15, 2015 17:Sep 5 | Lotta said

What seems to help me

After reading all the comments I realise that I don't suffer as much as most. I am 52 and menopausal. I do suffer with anxiety, mild depression and so forth.
These are the things that seem to help me.
I quit coffee and sugar. I started weight training and cardio at the gym. I eat healthy, really healthy. Even when I treat myself it's good treats. It's taken a while to beat the sweet tooth but it's worth it.
I don't trust in my motivation ( too fickle ) instead I use my will power.
Early mornings are a challenge. I try to focus on all the simple things in life that I am thankful for.
For me anxiety is my biggest challenge at the moment. It helps me too to remind myself, that the anxiety is a physical thing, my mind is playing a trick on me. It's not that my life is about to fall apart.
I wish all you lovely women empowerment. Never give up and keep searching online for inspiration and success stories, what has worked for others. I must admit I don't trust in doctors that much. Have had other illness (auto immune - FM ) in the past and found the solution on my own. So I know it's possible. Stay positive, never give up!

Sep 18, 2015 21:Sep 9 | diane said

Thank you!

Your words warmed my heart. Thank you for taking the time to share.
I will try to stay positive, as my anxiety is through the roof (much life trama in the past seven years have not helped).

:) Diane

Sep 13, 2015 01:Sep 1 | said

I am 50 and my periods

I am 50 and my periods stopped about one year ago, so I believe I am in menopause. This past two years I have worked with an NP that specializes in midlife care for women. She ordered hormone tests and I discovered that I have a lack of progesterone. So I am now on a pill to replace it. I take it twice per day. It has helped with the hot flashes. However, this past year my anxiety has increased dramatically. I am also emotional and irritable, fatigued, foggy and just all around out of sorts. I do not sleep well and wake often with feelings of anxiety and dread. I cry a lot. I have thought about asking my doctor for a prescription for the anxiety, but I hesitate to take those kinds of meds. I feel my NP will tell me to exercise, meditate, do yoga...honestly, I don't need more things to add to my to do list. I am already paralyzed by my responsibilities.

I used to exercise regularly, but I no longer have the energy to get to the gym. One reason is that physical exercise no longer contributes to restorative sleep like it once did. It just makes me more tired.

I generally eat pretty good. Sugar is a struggle and I go through periods where I cut it out completely. That does seem to help some.

It is a relief to read posts from women who are experiencing similar symptoms. I feel like I'm going crazy and it's kind of a lonely ride most days. No one talks about the misery of menopause. We should be talking about it though, as every woman on the planet will experience it eventually.

Sep 07, 2015 00:Sep 12 | JENNY said


I am beyond thankful to have stumbled across this site. As I've read each of your posts, I empathize with each of you. This season of change is unlike anything else I have ever experienced.

I am 51 and noticed last year that my energy was low, I felt irritable, and I was simultaneously experiencing anxiety and depression. Until then I had never experienced anxiety.

After have my first anxiety attack in March, I spoke with my gynecologist as well as a friend who is a psychologist about the origins of the attack. Both professionals told me it was menopause related. I was shocked, because I though menopause was just the end of my period. Wrong!

I went on a low dose of Fluoxetine (Prozac) which eliminated the irritability and made me less on edge. I'm still dealing with anxiety and depression on a daily basis, and I feel like I just want the old Jenny back. I feel like a foreigner in my own body. I already ate healthfully, exercised intensively five days a week, but still the anxiety and depression plague me. While I'm not thankful you all are suffering similarly, I am thankful that I'm not alone. I really felt like I was losing my marbles and didn't understand why. Now I know. I don't like it, but at least I know it's due to the change.

Aug 31, 2015 06:Aug 6 | Jules said

Menopause and Anxiety

Thank you everybody for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I would never normally comment on any forum but so pleased I found this one. I am suffering really badly with anxiety. I am almost 50 but have been suffering hot flushes and heavy irregular periods for two years. At the moment I honestly feel I am losing my mind. The feeling of dread from the minute I wake ( if I manage any sleep) is overwhelming. I have no appetite and so have lost a lot of weight. My GP has prescribed several different drugs but they have made me feel so ill. I am on a waiting list for CBT. I constantly worry that I am doing things wrong and saying the wrong thing. My memory is terrible. It is so hard for my husband to understand how I am feeling and this is putting a massive strain on our relationship. I get through each day hour by hour. I am finding it harder and harder to keep up to date with my work commitments. I would not wish how I feel on my worst enemy - and I am so sorry for you ladies that are suffering. Please know you all sharing your experience has made me realise that it's not 'just me' The more my husband tells me to sort myself out the worse I feel.

Sep 21, 2015 00:Sep 12 | barb said


I too am VERY thankful for stumbling across this!!! I feel like all the comments have described me to a T!!! THese questions have been troubling me for a good year now: Why do I feel like this? Who am I? Am I going crazy? The panic attacks are paralyzing me. I have no motivation. I have so much dread when I wake up in the morning. I even got to a point where I dont want to wake up anymore!!! My boyfriend does't understand and is ready to end our relationship. I am 57 and I feel like my life is over. I finally met with a psychiatrist who told me my symptoms are most likely hormonal!! After reading this I am sure! Now for a cure. I have always exercised and eaten well. Trying to meditate is almost impossible. Im hoping to learn more about CBT. Hang in there ladies!!! We have to be strong and work through this craziness.

Sep 05, 2015 10:Sep 10 | Pam said

anxiety and menopause

As I read your comment it was as if I was writing it myself!!!! My anxiety started approx. 3 months ago after we moved from the city to the country. At first I thought I was just "adjusting" but each day just got worse and worse. I am the same as in I have a hard time falling asleep or if I do I wake up in a panic. I've lost over 20lbs as eating just turns me right off. I've even gotten to the point where I'm scared to drive for fear of having an attack. My doctor prescribed antidepressants which just made the anxiety and nausea worse so I stopped them. I am ow on two different types of anti anxiety meds which help control the fear and restlessness. I have asked the doctor for hormone tests since I had a hysterectomy at 30 (now 48) but my ovaries were left in. I too have felt like I'm losing my mind and didn't know who to talk to that MIGHT understand!!! Hopefully for all of us suffering with us there is something they can give us or do for us before we totally lose everything. Good luck and feel free to keep in touch

Aug 25, 2015 00:Aug 12 | said

im not going crazy!!

wow!! I stumbled across this forum and I am soo soo glad!! I truly and really felt as if I was going crazy! I just turned 54, been going through menopause since age 51! Hot flashes, night sweats, and just recently, anxiety and depression!! Been waking up early mornings with crazy fast beating heart, and a very terrible anxiety and feeling of intense dread, hopelessness, gloom and overwhelming feelings!! Enough to give me an upset stomach most times!!! I lost my dad tragically a couple a months ago and my work is physical and demanding. I am caregiver to my mom now, and feel that these recent events have brought on the anxiety and depression and ooh hahah also panic attacks!! I saw my doctor who prescribed Zoloft, lowest dose I took for 3 days and omg!!! I felt horrible!!! I wanted to get rid of the anxiety and depression, panic attacks but I felt a gazillion times worse!! I also felt like my mind was not mine and felt like I wanted to cry but couldn't!? I felt alone and scared!! I decided to stop taking those meds!!! Thank goodness!! Now I'm trying to go natural, change my diet, re joined my gym, called family up to help with my mom, go out and do things for me!!! Just reading that we are all going through the same thing has made a big difference in how I'm tackling things on a daily basis, just knowing that I'm not alone has really made it much easier to handle. And for those who are working with someone who has lost someone or who is going through a rough time. Go easy on them!!!! As they are trying as best they can and are sometimes just doing the best that they can by the hour, by the day!! To all of us, hang in there we are amazing and will get through this!!

Sep 10, 2015 16:Sep 4 | Pippa said


Thankyou for posting your comments - I too wake every morning and need to rush to the loo as the early morning anxiety is causing upset stomachs :( I thought it was just me!

Aug 27, 2015 19:Aug 7 | Diana Deboer said

panic attacks

I read your posting and I am going thru the same thing.
I recently lost my mom and been taking care of her since 2006 and working full time. It is hard. Been taking to a therapist and she said we all go thru this with a death of a loved one and etc. Insomnia was my issue. So you are not
alone. Glad you are feeling better.

Aug 26, 2015 10:Aug 10 | Lonna said


WOW, every word you wrote is me! I thought I was alone and the only one that went beyond hot flashes. I hate the thoughts that come into my head and I know they are not me. Thank you so much for posting and letting me know I am not the only one and not going crazy!

Aug 23, 2015 21:Aug 9 | dd said


Hi everyone,

I am 50yo and haven't had my pd in about 8 months so I guess that is still peri-menopause. Anyway, I am a complete wreck. My husband and I had a disagreement and I was on the phone looking for a lawyer. We generally get along but he made a stupid move with some of our accounts leaving us vulnerable and I just want to leave. Anyway, the possibility is so small but it's like a loop in my head centering the worst possible scenario. He is being really compassionate but I am in such panic. It's not me at all. I can't sleep or eat and am completely a wreck. It looks I am not alone but it feels so real. thanks you and good luck to everyone.

Aug 22, 2015 01:Aug 1 | Sandra said

Anxiety attacks/panic attacks

Never have felt like I needed to comment before, until now. I was diagnosed last year with breast cancer DCIS, I went through 30 days of radiation and then started Letrazole at age 52. Prior to that had the worst panic attacks I would not wish on my worst enemy. I had many runs to the emergency room to only be told the my rapid pulse, spike in blood pressure and muscle pains were not a medical issue, but anxiety/panic attacks. I also have severe hot flashes and body aches as well. I can go for a while with no anxiety and then it hits me and I cannot breathe and or feel like I cant swallow correct. It is miserable and I wonder if anyone has experienced anything like this. I think that lack of sleep and stress makes mine worse.

Aug 21, 2015 06:Aug 6 | Women's menopause information said

Menoapuse & Heartbeat, Irregular – Arrythmia

Anxiety & & Heartbeat, Irregular – Arrythmia is mainly related in woman due to Menoapuse

An average woman’s heart beats between 60 – 100 times a minute. However, when a woman reaches Menopause the decline of Oestrogen can cause a woman’s heart to beat irregularly, skip a beat or start to beat faster.http://goo.gl/uHSCT1

Aug 11, 2015 23:Aug 11 | said

It is so good to read all

It is so good to read all your comments. thankfully I don't suffer with hot flushes but the anxiety I am experiencing can be overwhelming. I first had this unshakeable feeling of dread and anxiety with no seeming cause over a year ago, it went away but has come back with a vengeance. I have so many positive things in my life but the smallest decision sends me into panic mode and looking into the future sends me into a spiral of worrying and catastrofising everything. I literally wake up with a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach and can be almost physically sick, living with this feeling makes me so unproductive. i knew what I am experiencing can be a perimenopausal symptom but is is wonderful to read that I am not alone. Thank you everyone for sharing.

Aug 13, 2015 13:Aug 1 | kay83 said


Thank you all for sharing. I feel the same way as all of you. I have gone from a confident person to someone who is afraid that every action I make is the wrong one and could hurt someone. I feel like I want to stay in my house and not go anywhere. I have such a wonderful life, but all I think about are the things that could or might go wrong. I can be happy one minute and crying the next. I thought I might be going crazy, but am relieved to know it might be from menopause. I was surgically induced into menopause in 2011. (I am 50) I am BRCA 2 positive, and watched my mom battle breast and fallopian tube cancer for almost 8 years. (She passed away this March.) My maternal aunts both had breast and ovarian cancer, with one also passing away. I decided to have an elective hysterectomy and oopherectomy, so now because of my high cancer risk, I cannot be on hormone therapy. I am trying black cohosh, and it does seem to help a little, but this has been hard to deal with. I appreciate others opening up and helping me realize that I am not alone.

Jul 20, 2015 17:Jul 5 | LisaSusan said

Wow, me too :(

I am 56 years old and post-menopausal. Stricken with those horrid hot flashes with often are preceded with a feeling of agitation and/or dread. Also awake often with anxiety and dread, but for no apparent reason. I am dealing with anxiety, brain fog, sadness, mood swings and feel like I am going crazy! Everything seems to have amplified in just the last couple of weeks and I have no clue as to why. In the past, I have experienced mild anxiety and carry around Xanax just in case, but never use it. These symptoms are new for the most part. I don't feel myself -- it's really scary. My memory is affected - thank goodness I just past a "short memory test" online. Is my anxiety caused from worrying about going nuts or the other way around?! I am even worried about driving (which is a totally new symptom for me). This is made worse at present, since I am scheduled for a road trip in a few weeks. Ugh!! Anyway, I am not the type of person who goes to the doctor, but I am going to check this out -- maybe hormone levels are off? I am just soooo grateful to have come upon this forum. I don't feel so alone; it really is comforting to know other women are dealing with this too. THANKS TO ALL who wrote in.

Jul 20, 2015 17:Jul 5 | LisaSusan said

I am very thankful that I

I am very thankful that I came upon this forum. I can relate to so many of the posts. I am 56 and post-menopausal. Have been dealing with hot flashes for a couple of years, but as of late, have worsened. Most are preceeded with an agitated feeling and many times, dread. I too awake many mornings with a sense of dread...for no apparent reason. I don't really feel like I have much stress in my life to warrant my current anxiety, which as worsened just in the past couple of weeks. I don't feel myself. I am experiencing memory issues, anxiety, mood swings, sleeplessness and brain fog. I don't feel myself and feel like I am going crazy! In the past, I have had minor anxiety and I carry around Xanax just in case of a panic attack, although I haven't had one in years. Recently I am even a bit scared to drive, which is causing me more anxiety since I am planning a road trip in a few weeks! I just feel like I can't get outside of my own head with all the anxious thoughts lately. I have decided to make an appt. with my doctor -- Again, I actually don't feel so alone after stumbling on this forum -- I have never posted on anything before, but was inspired to do so after reading what you other women are going through!

Aug 18, 2015 12:Aug 12 | Lee said

OMG, I so can related and

OMG, I so can related and have felt I was going crazy of late. I am 58 going on 59 in a few weeks. I am usually a very happy-go-lucky, easy going person, very positive. However, I suffered severe anxiety and panic attacks a couple of years ago following several unexpected traumatic life experiences all at the same time. I seemed to have weather it well thru counseling and medication, eventually weening off all meds. However, it seems to have come back with a vengeance, I have scheduled an appt. with my GP to seem if meds are back in order or other alternatives to get me thru this fog/funk I am in. Many Thanks to all those that have posted on this site, as I don't feel so alone with these crazy feelings.

Jul 16, 2015 07:Jul 7 | Deirdre said

I just want to say thanks as

I just want to say thanks as well to everyone who has shared here. I woke up this morning with that awful dread and panic (like many other mornings) and just happened on this article while searching for answers. I don't get these feelings so often now (I'm 55) but when I do they hit like a ton of bricks. HRT didn't agree with me so I keep xanax with me, just in case, and also get medication to help me sleep. Really, really dislike this time in my life, feeling out of control and not like the 'real' me. I try to look at all the positives in my life, even if I feel there are none! And Pranic Breathing is very very helpful too. Also regular exercise (anything at all) and drinking lots of water does actually help. Good luck everyone! ♥

Jul 13, 2015 11:Jul 11 | Reese said


Hi Sheryl! Thanks for sharing this post. Menopause really gives a lot of discomfort symptoms. I recently read an article that talks about it. Sharing this article http://anti-aging-today.us/symptoms/signs-symptoms-perimenopause/

Jul 08, 2015 13:Jul 1 | Cindy H. said


Ladies - Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I'm 51 and had my first panic attack about one year ago. It mostly happens while I'm driving. The problem is I'm a photojournalist and driving is as much a part of my job as photography.

I'm encouraged by what I've read here.

I have days when I lay in bed until the afternoon, just feeling lost and unable to face the day. I told someone I feel like a Macy's Day Balloon, floating above my life and managing to get down the parade route but without making contact! I never thought about menopause until a friend mentioned it to me last week. I think this may be my problem. I'll be heading to my Dr. as soon as I can get an appt.

Jul 06, 2015 19:Jul 7 | Vicki said

Anxiety with hot flashesI

I am 55 years old going through menopause with a vengeance. My hot flashes continue through the night and along with them I get a terrible feeling of anxiety in my core that is so severe at times it is painful. Although the flashes are obnoxious I find the dread and doom feeling I get with them is almost debilitating.Sleep is almost non existant and I'm finding it very hard to function at work. As a result I'm just tired all the time. Went from type A personality to a sloth. I hate it and it's depressing. I'm thinking of starting HT soon. Has anyone else experienced this and did HT help.

Jul 22, 2015 09:Jul 9 | Sue said

Hiya Vicki, I relate entirely

Hiya Vicki, I relate entirely to what you're describing as i had the same symptoms other than lack of sleep, my sleep increased, deep heavy sleep which took my an hour to completely feel able to function, my work was badly affected and my life had dramatically changed with crash fatigue, depression and anxiety to such an extent that i rarely moved from the sofa some days, everything felt like a huge effort.

I relented and started HRT - Everol 50 patches to try and get some control back, it took 3 months for me to feel the effect of the hormones, it has alleviated the depression and anxiety and the most important improvement to me was the energy levels that i have again. I have just started exercising again and swim 5 days a week for 45 mins and i am also eating healthy. I have lost over a stone just doing the things i used to do and it feels good. I wanted to let you know this as many people write about the weight gain with HRT. For me, gaining the energy helped me focus on planning my meals, exercising and get active which has lead to results. I won't say i feel completely back to normal but i can now cope and feel like i have my life back.

Good luck with your journey and finding your way.

Jul 16, 2015 08:Jul 8 | Libby said

Hi Vicki, I am 49 years old

Hi Vicki,
I am 49 years old and have been in menopause for 2 years. I experienced terrible night sweats and hot flashes and also anxiety and insomnia. I read in several of my health books and some of my health news letters about 5HTP (100 mg/ AM and PM) and GABA (750 mg at night) used for these symptoms. I have been taking this combination for about 7 or 8 months. I no longer experience hot flashes or night sweats. It has been amazing, a Godsend. My anxiety is lessened and I am much less irritable. When I initially started taking the combination my insomnia essentially went away and I was sleeping much better. I now have some anxiety and insomnia again but nothing like I was experiencing before. I now also take passionflower extract and Natural Calm (a magnesium supplement) to help with the anxiety symptoms. I get my 5HTP at Costco. The brand is Natrol. I hope some of this information is helpful for you.

Jul 16, 2015 03:Jul 3 | Lynley said

Like Vicki I also have that

Like Vicki I also have that awful dread and doom feeling before the hot flush comes, Mine is mostly at night as soon as I try to go to sleep my mind start racing followed by the doom feeling and the hot flushes sometimes up to a dozen in one night. My doctor won't give me HRT as I have had breast cancer. I thought these were panic attacks but after reading all these ladies comments I'm thinking its menopause. I had my ovaries removed at 50 after the cancer and it's been a rough ride. I'm now 56 so wondering how much longer till I'm out the other side.

Jul 13, 2015 16:Jul 4 | Nicki said

Hi Vicki I have that same

Hi Vicki
I have that same feeling of dread and anxiety before each hot flush, so I always know when one is on the way.
I am 55, started with hot flushes about 7 years ago. I was waking 10/11 times a night and feeling very tired. My GP gave me HRT which worked wonderfully well. I still have a couple of flushes (sorry, British say flushes!) a day, but I can cope.
Now I am trying to cut down the medication-very, very slowly. Still getting the anxious feelings, but hoping to be 'through the other side' soon.
If you have no risk factors for HRT why not try it?
Best wishes

Jul 09, 2015 22:Jul 10 | Timber said


Hi Vicki,
My name is Timber. I too am having anxiety/panic attacks and just confirmed that I am in menopause. I have been prescribed Climara 0.025 MG I am very scared to try it and very scared not to try it...I think I have small hot flashes in the middle of the night when I wake up and can't go back to sleep but not bad. I just wish I could sleep thru the night. I am afraid of everything and hate to be alone. I had hysterectomy in 2012 but still have my ovaries. I am here if you would like to talk.


Sep 21, 2015 08:Sep 8 | debHbg said

Reply to menopause symptoms

Hi Timber. Just was checking out websites looking for answers and found the site that you were on. I have the exact same symptoms as you, as well as the other woman, and I also had a hysterectomy and have my ovaries. They say to exercise and eat well, I do all those things, they say to take your vitamins, and I do that. Still no relief. I had my hysterectomy 15 years ago and my hot flashes started shortly thereafter. Now the anxiety has started. I'm pretty much sick of the whole thing. For two years I was using a cream called EstraSorb and that did help some. My doctor tells me "it will pass". I just made an appointment with a new doctor and I'm hoping that she has better suggestions.

Jul 05, 2015 22:Jul 10 | Barb said


I thought I had an illness ! Started waking up in the night several times in a panic. I have something that nobody has mentioned before and it was numbness in my legs , hands, arms and feet even my face on one side. I took birth control pills 28 years and stopped all at once. The fluctuation of going off the pill and start of menopause I think was too much for me. I ended up in the ER shaking, scared emotional and blood pressure spikes. Every test I had came back normal. Started going for tests and all was well with me. Till I was put on Prozac ! I was shocked that a month later, I was myslf again, Of course I still had small symptoms but knew what they were by that time. I even had vision strangeness and my hearing became funny at times on top of finally having hot flashes and then freezing cold.
I also became an angry person, and moody I was never like that before. Don't let any Dr, tell you those are not menopause symtoms because IT IS ! I am living with it. Don't be afraid to ask for help and make someone listen to you !!!!!!! Take anything they give you that is not HRT but Prozac has helped me become sharp again.

Aug 14, 2015 06:Aug 6 | said

I have the numbness you

I have the numbness you describe as well as muscle twitches and I just filled an anxiety medication after going to the doctor this week. I can relate to what most women are writing about dealing with menopause and anxiety(I am 52). I am convinced that this time of life amplifies the stress and makes some of us feel this way. I sure hope the medication helps! I am so tired of feeling this way and worrying about feeling this way!

Jun 26, 2015 07:Jun 7 | Karen Howard-Tripp said

Menopause and Anxiety

Hi Wow it is so nice to hear that I am not alone! I am 53 and live in South Africa and have been suffering from anxiety off and on and the for 2 years I never had any anxiety felt normal. Since April this year I don't feel like myself have a lot of anxiety and separation anxiety little concentration and focus and no drive to get up and go and very debilitating both at work and home. Not like me at all. I was desperate - wanted to get my old self back. I am currently seeing a psychiatrist who has tried and is trying to find a tablet to help me cope better which I hope happens soon so I can feel at least I can function normally and everything not being done in an anxious state - it drive me crazy. I will share if I find a tablet which can help anyone else - Does anyone else take meds which helps?

Jun 13, 2015 17:Jun 5 | Name said

Menopause anxiety

Thank you to all the women who have posted. I have mild anxiety compared to many others who have shared their thoughts. It comes at stressful times, but the last 2 years have been more frequent. I am 62, and thought I was finished with all the physical menopausal symptoms, but now along with the anxious, worrisome, thoughts, I have begun to experience occasional hot flashes again after at least 4 years of freedom from them.
I use mind over matter and try to turn my thoughts poitive, as their is quite a a lot for me to be positive about.....good job, (I' m a teacher) good husband, good health and 3 thriving adult sons. That said, the feeling of depression can be pervasive at times. Leading to a mildly upset in my stomach. The Good news is I eat healthy food and walk just about everyday.
I wish I could shack the feeling though....how comforting to hear I am not alone and the symptoms are acknowledged. There are many good suggestions here and this has made me think to get some help. I have kept it all to myself, feeling embarrassed to seek help.

Jun 04, 2015 17:Jun 5 | Yvette said

I feel a huge sense of relief

I feel a huge sense of relief from reading all these posts!!! I am 48 and had a hysterectomy last year after years of suffering with my periods and trying every medical intervention known to man. I have told my doctor on several occasions that I feel like my life has been stolen from me!!! I single-parented 3 teenage girls, worked 2 jobs and still had tons of energy. Now, I can barely get out of bed, form rational thoughts and my anxiety is debilitating. I can't even fathom that I used to run half marathons...I have gained so much weight; it even feels like my body doesn't belong to me. I don't know how to be this "new me". It's hard to wrap my head around what happened to me but after reading these posts I see that I am not alone and for that I am very thankful and so very relieved (cause I thought I was going crazy!!)

Jun 02, 2015 16:Jun 4 | said

Menopause and anxiety

Wow, do I need this website! I am in my late 50's and going through menopause. I really wondered it I had a fatal disease at first since I felt so out of it and horrible. Brain fog occurs daily and I have also have lost some of my hearing. I am thinking it is due to the loss of hormones. Is anyone familiar with this? Just started HRT and feel more "leveled out" but definitely not like myself. My husband has commented on my razor-like tongue and blunt opinions. I thought all this time I was doing pretty good!

Jun 01, 2015 17:Jun 5 | said

Early menopause and anxiety

I am 41 years old and went through the menopause when I was 24 years old. I experienced all the usual symptoms of hot flushes, loss of libido etc..
The main symptom that has seemed to take a hold of my life for the past 17 years is a constant feeling of anxiety. My lack of self confidence has deteriorated dramatically and I continually worry about how other people may see or judge me. As a result of this, I put high pressures on myself both at work and at home. I also find social situations incredibly difficult. My family ( husband and two young children ) are incredibly supportive, however, my mood swings are getting us all down. One minute everything is fine ( often when I am in control of a situation ) but then the next minute I find myself getting emotional or frustrated at things which are not worthy of getting upset about.
I have slowly lost confidence in my ability to do my job to what I believe is to be the expected standard. As a result, I have changed my role to ease the pressure on myself, but still I find myself constantly analysing what other people think about me.
I have been taking HRT for a while and have been on a CBT course but neither seem to have made much of a difference. I just want to know if anyone else has suffered similar symptoms for such a long time and if anyone can suggest anything to help eradicate these feelings of emotional anxiety. Thank you for reading xx

Aug 03, 2015 18:Aug 6 | Priscilla said

Thank u

Omg...I can so relate to your post. I have had a lot of things going on in my life and I have felt beyond overwhelmed. I am 49 and I have never had feelings like this before. I have periods where I can't stop crying and the anxiety is just horrible. I started to wonder if menopause might have something to do with it. After reading your post, I am going to talk to my doctor about it. Thanks so much.

Jun 25, 2015 09:Jun 9 | Patti said

Anxiety and Menopause

When I was reading your comment it was almost like I wrote it.i was very much a perfectionist and alittle ocd have learned some of that has a play in the anxiety.it makes my brain react differently to stuff I have no control over.i have found that Magnesium(250mg)being a natural muscle relaxer takes all the anxiety away.I eat healthy and don't take medication I always look for a natural solution.I have studied the chemistry of food for sometime now due to the fact of being a Cancer survivor and get not take HRT.I hope some of this will help you !

Jun 12, 2015 08:Jun 8 | said

I have recently started

I have recently started experiencing tremendous anxiety. I have joined a local buddhist chanting group (although I am not a buddhist). I find that faith, chanting and support of peers has helped me atleast deal with some of the issue

Jun 09, 2015 07:Jun 7 | Janet said


Wow!!! As I was reading your post I realized right away that what you have written is exactly how I have been feeling. I am 52 and have recently gone through the menopause. After doing some research I connected my anxiety to the menopause. Like you it has affected my work, interactions with others and my general sense of who I am. Thanks for sharing... it is good to know I am not alone.

May 27, 2015 10:May 10 | said


I have been reading through everyone's comments with interest and with some mixed emotions. I too began experiencing problems with anxiety around the age of 43. At the time, I attributed the problem to stress and a change in jobs. However, after returning to my previous job, the anxiety continued and is lurking there all the time. Like many of you, the anxiety feels like a toad squatting at the base of my brain. It is free floating and irrational. As a mental health professional who works with clients who deal with anxiety, panic attacks and depression, I am well versed in the use of CBT and highly recommend and use it with my clients. However, I have a harder time using it for myself. Physician, heal thyself, right? I am capable of dismissing the irrational beliefs that accompany the anxiety and get momentary relief from relaxation techniques and strenuous exercise. I have recently been very frustrated to find, however, that exercise and a healthy diet are no longer working for me. In January, I got an upper respiratory infection. My doctor put me on a round of steroids. Between the steroids and lack of activity during that month, I gained between 10 and 15 pounds, and now, I can't get it off. As if it is not bad enough to deal with constant anxiety, feeling fat and bloated at the same time does little to help the situation. I have also been to my Internist and my OB/GYN and continue to experience frustration with their insistence on antidepressants as an answer for everything. I have tried Effexor and Lexapro. I have also tried Xanex and Ativan. Nothing worked to address the anxiety. While I experience some downshift in mood two weeks prior to my period, I generally do not feel like depression is the problem. I feel like my doctors are frustrated with my reluctance to follow their advice and "swallow the pill," and I am equally frustrated with them. I have to admit that every time I see a commercial for Viagra, I want to throw up in my mouth a little bit. It does seem that as long as women have been dealing with this issue that better strides could have been made toward helping us rather than having most of us feel like we are crazy.

Sep 21, 2015 08:Sep 8 | debHbg said

Your post

Very well said. I had a hysterectomy 15 years ago at age 40. I still have my ovaries. My OB/GYN has been telling me for 15 years that "it will pass". Hot flashes for 15 years are not funny but now I'm have the panic attacks and anxiety. I have an appointment with a new doctor and I'm hoping that she has a better solution. You are right, exercise, eating well and taking care of ones self does not work. Although, I hate to think how I'd feel if I stop doing those things. I have a bachelor's degree in nutrition. The only reason I said is because I know how to properly eat and I do take supplements, but one thing I did learn from all those wonderful womans' posts is that I'm going to try a magnesium supplement, maybe that will help with symptoms. As far as the Viagra comment, I feel the same way. If it has to do with a man's sex life, they find a cure quick, makes me sick that woman just suffer.

Aug 02, 2015 20:Aug 8 | janet andrews said

I here ya!

Amen! I am astounded that women are basically left to suffer like this. I am a scientist(biologist) and am having a hard time wrapping my head around how this is all "natural".

May 24, 2015 17:May 5 | Teacher said

Menopause humbug

Stumbled across this site and relieved that I'm not alone in suffering going through the menopause. I'm a strong independent woman, good job, great partner however today I've felt that bursting into tears, I'm very touchy too. Totally bonkers, I've a lot to be thankful for and hate feeling this way as I'm normally an upbeat person. The hot flushes torment me, no sweats just my own little furnace I'm approaching 50 with hypothyroidism which is under control however this menopause malarkey is no fun. Can anyone recommend alternative treatments other than antidepressants as recommended by my doctor for the flushes. Surely there must be something out there. Good luck everyone. I feel a little better just having this rant!

Jun 10, 2015 12:Jun 12 | stephanie Krell said

Hot Flashes

My dr put me on the combi-patch whitch is estrogen and progestrogen and my hotflashes are gone. I feel the same as you are feeling and I am 47. I started Lexipro for the anxiety and it has helped me for several months. Good luck to you and you are not alone.

Jun 07, 2015 17:Jun 5 | Geraldine said

Sage Tablets

My sister recommended me to take these as she said she was having regular hot flushes but since started on these is down to two a day, I just started on them yesterday so hoping to see an improvement in a couple of weeks - anything is worth a try.

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