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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Comments

Mar 18, 2015 10:Mar 10 | aurora said

anxiety at 50

hi everyone
im 50 this year and last year i noticed a big change im definatly going into menopause but get this low grade anxiety going on. i fear im gonna loose my buisness and have no money and have to take a job i hate.ive alwasy been like this before a period and antidepressants have helped me over the past 20 years but there not working now, maybe i need a stronger dose, being on the mini pill helped the past 3 years as i had no periods so no hormonal fluctutaions . i came off it a year ago as my periods can back again so being on it was useless [dont need it as a contraception] so ive put myself back on it to see if it helps. only one month in as yet, but i walk round feeling sad and worried all the time its awfull

Mar 15, 2015 11:Mar 11 | Madelene said

Hi ladies I'm 46 and peri

Hi ladies
I'm 46 and peri menopausal , taking birth control pills and lately Ativan to help with my horrible anxiety. But I start spotting between periods and I guess it's because of Ativan. Did anyone experience that? My FSH is 31 and my doctor said it means nothing and I have to stay on the pills( BCP) .
Ladies I'm the one who posted " your fear is not real" and it helped a lot to keep repeating it. My supplements helped me too.
I have a big question : what kind of fears do you experience and how many times a day? Mine are about losing it and doing something wrong . I'm not ashamed of my fears because I know they're the result of the hormones changes and as a result a horrible anxiety.
Let's share our fears, it would help to know that we're not unique .
I'm thinking about getting off the pills and switch to BHRT and progesterone any advice?
Peace

Mar 18, 2015 19:Mar 7 | gypsy said

it's so universal!

I came upon this while researching menopause and anxiety, because like every one on here, i feel like i am losing my mind, my hold on reality, and it is the most frightening feeling of dread, that i live with, day after day. (all while i somehow manage to keep a job and raise a 15yo teenage son.) but i am AMAZED at how many of us it is....and where oh where is the ANSWER?! they haven't figured our a treatment yet?!?! i know every body is different, but it looks like a lot of psychiatric meds are being prescribed for what is clearly and obviously a menopausal issue. i'm still about to jump out of my skin, but i feel a little more validated about it. (I also have an appt scheduled with an endocrinologist in a couple of weeks to have all of my hormone levels checked, and if something good comes of it, i'll be sure to stop by here and share! PEACE, to all my suffering sisters!

Mar 10, 2015 06:Mar 6 | Alice said

It really does get better, little by little.

What a great group of supportive women! How I wish this site existed years ago. Well, the least I can do is talk about it from, knock on wood, the other side. I am 57, and I have to say, all the different things you are doing and trying out, I and other women I met or talked to, tried too. And when you find something that helps, stick with it, and keep trying new things as your friends, including the wonderful women posting here, suggest them. Because something will help for awhile, and then may not help as much, but then something else does. I can't think of anything different that I or anyone I know has done than everyone here is already doing, or by gosh I would post it. I too always saw myself as, if nothing else at that moment, by gosh, I was brave! So when I was hit with the panic, the sensation of roasting like a chicken in the oven coming out of nowhere, the anxiety, etc. I verbally whipped myself "What is wrong with you?" and on, and on. Such a terrible waste of time and energy. Now I value trying to be compassionate to myself in the way I hope I would be to another. What takes real courage is reaching out for help, talking to others, to docs, the internet (even though some docs don't love that! friends, books, anywhere and everywhere). I think when I thought I was so brave, I just hadn't run up against what really scared me, which was feeling I wasn't in control of a whole lot of things! That is scary! And with everything one does to help it, and with, and I know this doesn't feel like it will help much, time, it gets better, even when I wasn't noticing. If I could have known before, absolutely that I would be awake at 3 am because I have a sick dog who has to go out every 45 minutes while he is on the meds he is on, and not sitting up in mortal terror, soaked with sweat, burning up yet clammy, my mind racing, thinking I was just going to be going crazier and crazier, exhausted during the day, I hope it would have helped me a little bit. I promise it does get better. And absolutely everything you great women of every age are doing, and most of all sharing that you aren't alone, is so wonderful. So, there is strength in numbers. I had my child at 38, and I felt pretty much untouchable, except for worrying about him, of course. I had been so lucky with health, that I didn't even realize it. And then around 45, just the constant sense of fear, along with the physical symptoms, was a shock. And there will be ups and downs, where it gets better, it doesn't just keep getting worse and worse, especially as you start trying different things. And then, one day, for me a couple of years ago, I realized it seemed to have passed. And I still wouldn't mind if they come up with a completely safe, one little pill, that would make it all better, that's just me, call me lazy! Cause I remember when my doctor said, "well, the whole course of it is ten years usually", she might as well have said 50, it sounded so long. But it doesn't take ten years for everyone, and I wish everyone here a shorter trip, and remember, you still will come out on the other side. Love to all, Alice

Mar 06, 2015 05:Mar 5 | said

Menopause

Ok if you are "post menopausal" doesn't that mean you are past menopause and that the symptoms should subside at this time? Also why don't we hear anything from women who have "made it to the other side" I have never heard anyone say something like this will all pass and you will feel normal again. I am 57 and still have regular monthly periods but also have many symptoms of menopause like night sweats, fear, confusion and I can't remember anything for more that a minute. I wish there was a more clear explanation of whats going on with us. i truly don't know the difference between Pre- Peri- Post or plain menopausal and since I still have my regular periods Ive been told I am NONE of the above. (SIGH)

One thing I did that was VERY helpful. I read this book called 'A STRANGE PERIOD" I READ THE WHOLE BOOK IN ONE SLEEPLESS NIGHT. I laughed so hard I was crying, I think it somehow helped? Every time I think about it I start laughing. Its a book written by two girlfriends who were fed up with the LACK of INFORMATION about MENOPAUSE so they interviewed tons of women. I recommend it to anyone who has not laughed lately its amazingly therapeutic. I wish Peace and laughter to you ALL.

Mar 04, 2015 00:Mar 12 | lily said

hello everyone I'm so glad I

hello everyone I'm so glad I found this site I'm 42 I have 3 kids I was a strong women happy active.i got to much stress in my life I never thought it's gonna hit me with anxiety and panic attacks like this. I avoid driving or even sit in the car or go somewhere even to the store I feel I'm gonna pass out, I want to the doctor but as usual he put me on medication I refuse to take it . I thought I'm the only woman who suffer frome what can we do to go back on our feet without thank you so much

Feb 28, 2015 15:Feb 3 | Liz Jones said

.

Having googled menopause and anxiety, I can't tell you how relieved I felt to read the comments.. I've just returned from collecting my 12year old from softball practice, and I became utterly panic stricken in the car. I pulled over and felt like I must be having a stroke. Thankfully I pulled myself together and managed to collect my daughter and get home. At the age of 43 and on tamoxifen following breast cancer at 40, I'm well into menopause. Hot sweats, restless sleep, and feeling like I'm losing my mind. Time for help. I can't be a good mum to my three daughters whilst feeling like this. Thank you to this thread for reassuring me that I'm not alone.

Mar 09, 2015 04:Mar 4 | silke said

menopause

Hi, I am 58 and in the same boat as you gals. Periods stopped a few years ago but as they walked out the door anxiety moved in! Yep, panic attacks were the beginning and I also thought I was having a heart attack and begged my daughter to call an ambulance.Felt like a real dick and such a drama queen! What a fool anxiety makes of you! Anyway,I had also been suffering UTI's for years and one day I rushed to my Dr with the symptoms and he tested my urine only to tell me it was as clear as a bell! At that moment my symptoms vanished and I realised with startling clarity that it was all psychosomatic!!!! That was the moment I asked him to put me on anti anxiety meds and I got my life back. I can't function without them. All my anxiety left as well as my UTI's. You need estrogen to produce seratonin so it's mostly a chemical thing.Being an old hippy I have always tried alternative meds and practices to control anxiety but I am afraid that nothing really works like medication. My main problem now is accepting that it has to be this way.And I am gradually getting there and just learning to be grateful that there is something out there that works for me to keep the hell at bay.

Mar 10, 2015 15:Mar 3 | cats said

Anxiety and menopause

Just have to say thanks for the "sharing" makes me realize I may be OK. I am also late 50's, but just now going through menopause--night sweats/hot flashes, anxiety, hopefully never another cycle--last one in January! Many years ago I took some antidepressants for a short time during a difficult time in my life and they really helped. And I also have avoided many meds and tend to use a holistic approach, but I think I am going to go talk to my doc. I have had anxiety, "brain fog", and just generally feel like I am losing it. I am functioning, but boy does it take a lot of energy. Helps me know I am not alone and maybe time to go to the doc.

Mar 10, 2015 15:Mar 3 | v negley said

anxiety meds

Could you tell me what the name of the anxiety medication is that your doctor prescribed.

Mar 21, 2015 15:Mar 3 | SusieQ said

I just stumbled upon this

I just stumbled upon this group. Wow, it's wonderful!
I went on Effexor when I was 40 for very bad anxiety and panic attacks. I'm 48 now and it still is working. Saved my life!

Mar 19, 2015 16:Mar 4 | cats said

reply about meds

The meds were prozac.

Feb 23, 2015 03:Feb 3 | said

solidarity

Good to read some of these posts.well not good to hear people are suffering, but there's safety in number so either we're all crazy or none of us is...finding it so hard aged 49 nearing 50 to go and do my job, as all I want to do after a nights broken sleep following a weekend of dark, sorry thoughts is hide under the duvet.. .I don't like the way doctors just don't seem to know much about perimenopause and stare blankly if you question the automatic 'take antidepressants' stock response to anything(seems to me, but then, am I just crazy?)dread driving to work after so little sleep, anxiety begets anxiety I suppose. But better knowing there are other women trying to sort this together. I forgot to take my St Johns wort for about a week, and the difference is horrible.I'd really recommend it

Feb 22, 2015 21:Feb 9 | Michelle said

Hello ladies. Thank you all

Hello ladies. Thank you all for sharing your struggles during this difficult life phase. I am a clinical social worker who has spent the last 25 years helping others cope with life situations. Now, at age 48, turning 49 in a few weeks, I am experiencing a great deal of difficulty coping with the anxiety and panic attacks that I have been having for almost a year. I believe this is due to menopause as I got my period very early, at age 9. The past several months have been the worst, and yet recently I've been feeling overwhelming anxiety, sadness and easy crying almost everyday. I have always been a strong person, however I sometimes now feel that I'm losing my mind too and cannot cope. I even feel like just running away sometimes, even though I love my two children very much. Although I prefer not to take medication, I have started taking generic Xanax as needed to take off the edge because sometimes I feel so restless and unable to calm myself that it is scary. I plan to consult also with an endocrinologist about this because I am currently being tested for my thyroid as well. I do believe that each of us needs to find whatever helps us and no one solution will work for everyone. I share this because I think we as women sometimes try to handle all the things we have to handle, and yet it is good to be open and honest about our struggles so we are authentic and can learn from others. I've always believed that hormones play such a big role in women's emotional regulation, and I hope the medical community will become better advocates for us in this matter, especially during this very difficult time. I send best wishes and regards to you all for discovering what helps you individually so we can keep moving forward.

Feb 16, 2015 18:Feb 6 | Sam said

I'm glad I found this site

I'm glad I found this site because now I don't feel so alone.
I have some of the same symptoms that I'm reading here. Between the depression I feel during the day and the anxiety at night, I sometimes feel like I'm losing my mind. I'm currently not working with no prospects and this doesn't help either.
I exercise but will try yoga and meditation to see if it helps.

Feb 13, 2015 15:Feb 3 | Dawn said

Reading all of your comments

Reading all of your comments have made me feel so much better, that I'm not the only one. At times I felt as though I was going crazy, losing my mind. In July of 2014 i had a full hysterectomy to resolve my hormonal issues, but this past January my anxiety has kicked up again. Im about to be 37 and have been having issues with my hormones and anxieties since I was 30.

Feb 10, 2015 19:Feb 7 | zsa zsa wade said

menopause

Hi ladies, Im 51 and starting off with the realness of menopause. for the last five years i started having hot flashes and great panic attacks the kind where u feel like u having a heart attack i did not know it had anything to do with menopause now i know what is going on. my periods have been unpredictable and i feel this month is my last cause all i got was a dark odorful discharge. it looked the end of something. so i know now i am getting ready for a storm so i really appreciate you ladies who have written about it giving me a heads up. and the ways to possible cope..THANK U AND GOOD LUCK MAY GOD BE WITH YOU AND HELP YOU.

Feb 10, 2015 17:Feb 5 | Mandy said

Menopause

Hi everyone, I'm 52 years of age & believe I come under perimenapausal, although I'm nearer to a year of no periods so almost officially menopausal.

I too feel like I'm going crazy at times, mainly because I just don't cope with things like I used to, what helps me is trying to,understand what is happening to my body & mind & tuning into with ones like yourselves helps me to realise I'm not alone, I agree with all your comments, those on meds & those not, it's what works best for each individual, with the awful panic attacks I do my best to apply logic & calm myself down & wait for it to pass, but trust me almost every night I say to myself tomorrow I'm visiting my GP & getting HRT, so far I've not done so & wish like all of you that it will fade away & I will return to normal.

I'm so sad with it because as hard as I try sometimes my home life becomes too stressful to deal with & I feel like running away, so I thank you ladies for taking the time to share as it has helped me by reading all your comments, & I guess I just wanted to share that with you all.

Jan 27, 2015 21:Jan 9 | madelene said

Valverde, I have two

Valverde, I have two questions:
Do you still have your ovaries?
Did you experience scary fears?
Thank you and I'm so happy for you:)

Jan 26, 2015 16:Jan 4 | Mendy said

I am 50 years old and have

I am 50 years old and have had a pretty scarey 3 or 4 months... Here is what I've done to combat and conquer my issues...or rather, all of our issues. My doctor (Family Practioner)of 15 years put me on Duavee (a new medication for balancing hormones), yes, I know it's HRT but something's gotta give -- I HAVE to be able to function during the day, I HAVE to go to work, and I HAVE to be able to sleep. I refuse to let this take over my life. So I'm on day 21 of the Duavee and 95% of my issues are gone. My energy level is back up. During the day, I feel better than I did before. My only issue is the anxiety (I have a history of anxiety, and of course, now the anxiety is worse with the hormonal issues). However, since being on the Duavee, I now only have 1-2 bad spells a week whereas before it was every night. I take Ativan spotted-ly for the anxiety, but I'm seriously considering getting on a daily anti-anxiety medication. I think it will help me not only with the anxiety but with the general depression and mood swings. A lot of women do really well on anti-anxiety/depression medication during menopause. I would LOVE to be able to conquer this naturally but it just wasn't happening. This is too big for me, and there are things out there that you can take. We do not have to feel this bad.

Jan 24, 2015 11:Jan 11 | Valverde said

menopause and anxiety

Ladies reading this makes me feel better. I thought I was going crazy. I'm now 42 years old but all the symptoms you all talk about I'm your comments I experienced since I was 37. The hot flashes, mood swings, severe panic attacks and extreme pelvic pain. Last year (2014) was the worst. I was in and out of the hospital, the hot flashes got worse, my anxiety was at it's highest, I felt like I was having a heart attack a few times. My poor husband and my awesome sister spent a lot of time taking care of me and sitting in hospital ERs with me hoping for answers. I ended up with several UTIs and I had never in my life had had one. I became dehydrated and had to be hospitalized for 3 days. I later found out that perimenopsusal women tend to develop UTIs more frequently due to the hormonal changes. In March of 2014, I ended up in the ER again this time it was severe hemorrhaging. I had an ultrasound done and results showed ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. I was referred to a gynecologist for treatment. My doctor was my saving grace, I had a hysterectomy 4 months later. I am on HRT now and so far I haven't experienced anymore of my past symptoms. I am experiencing the bloating, water retention and high cholesterol that I never ever had; however, I can deal with those a lot more than I could deal with the horrible anxiety that left me without being able to work cause it seemed that anxiety hit me the worst when I was driving. I would have to pull over and cry to let it out but it sometimes made it worse cause I'd start having chest pain. A lot of people say I was too young to be going through perimenopause but my FSH results gave my doctor a good indication I was. I was not going crazy and I did not need all those horrible anti anxiety meds (Xanax, Ativan, Zoloft, propranolol) I am not currently experiencing any anxiety and I refused to take any of those horrid medications. I'm a social worker and I know the effects of those drugs and how addictive they can be. I had therapy CBT ( cognitive behavioral therapy) and my hysterectomy and I'm feeling better not a 100% but better every day is a new day! I hope every one gets answers and gets to feeling better soon!

Jan 26, 2015 17:Jan 5 | madelene said

Valverde, thank you for

Valverde, thank you for sharing your experience . Hope that each of us finds her way through this hard journey!

Jan 23, 2015 09:Jan 9 | Slowly going nuts said

Perimenopause anxiety

I'm almost 47 and it all started 8 months ago. I was shopping and all of a sudden my heart started pounding, got extremely warm, and felt like I was going to pass out. Went to the Dr. who did many tests and couldn't find anything wrong. Was sent to a cardiologist. After many tests I was found to have a non-life threatening type of tachycardia. Symptoms since have included waking frequently at night, heart pounding, tingling extremities, heavier periods, nausea, cry easily, very cold hands/feet, dizziness, among others. Tests on thyroid, TSH, estrogen, B12, and many others all come back "normal". My BP was elevated and I was put on low dose meds for that. Lately I have trouble driving. I get really tense and have trouble with my eyes totally focusing, like when you drive for a really long time and get over tired. I've now had three periods in 7 weeks. After bawling my way through yet another Dr. visit I was given Celexa. Dr says I'm too young for peri. Really??? I don't want to take this med as I've read it can have side effects that are the same as some of my issues. What to do??

Feb 15, 2015 10:Feb 10 | Lyn said

Just had to reply...

I'm 48 now. I started having anxiety attacks 3 yrs ago. Had long periods last months at a time, am foggy, can't remember things said to me after 30 seconds. Like you, I don't want to go on meds. Blood samples came back normal. Talked to my GP-doc, he asked me to do some research on Dr. Andrew Weil and breathing exercises for controlling anxiety. It's worked to calm me down when I'm awake. For my foggy mind, BHRT - progesterone has worked. I'm now trying to figure out how not to wake up from sleep in a panic 7-10 times in the night with adrenaline pumping through me.

Jan 28, 2015 03:Jan 3 | Leslie said

Your symptoms

Hi! I am 54 and have had a very simuliar experience. I went to a cardiologist and an endocrinologist and my general practionioner trying to get better. I was convinced I was about to have a heart attack - everyday. I knew it was an irrational thought but couldn't help it. My doctor put me on antidepressants and it make me really sick, I went off only after a few days. I finally went to a women's clinic that checks all your hormone levels and found out that I was estrogen dominate. Too much estrogen and no progesterone- they should be balanced. I also was extremely low in vitamin d and DHEA. I was given a prescription for a progesterone cream (plant based) and after 2 weeks all my symptoms were gone and I felt much better. Unfortunate your hormones are always changing during ( peri menopause for me) so after a great 4 months my symptoms have come back but not as bad. I made another appointment and hopefully will be back to normal again with a different dose of hormones.best wishes to you!

Jan 20, 2015 19:Jan 7 | KathFL2 said

Help for panic/anxiety attacks

I have been suffering from severe panic attacks for the last few years, enough to where I could not function on a daily basis. All I can say is...therapy, medication, and a wonderful book called "The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook" by Edmund J Bourne PhD. All 3 have helped me get back to myself, if not better. And, don't ever be ashamed. It happens to more people than you know and when you share your it helps others. Be well!

Jan 26, 2015 16:Jan 4 | Mendy said

Thank you, I too have been

Thank you, I too have been doing therapy and medication. I will purchase this book and start right away. Great advice!

Jan 19, 2015 20:Jan 8 | Adri said

Peri menopause anxiety hbp. Severe panic

Hi
I'm 49 years old and going through hell. Got my period at 9. Irregular periods due non ovulation. Had one son by miracle. Always been high strung but for past 4/5 months periods been off Night sweats. Then came the panic attack that sent me to er fearing heart attack. Now all time I think I'm having a heart attack. Chest pain neck pain left arm pain. I'm mild hypertensive 140/90. On mild meds. My dr feels I have panic disorders due to peri menopause. I can't take it. I feel like I'm crazy. All I think is I'm going to have heart attack or stroke. I'm all over the place mentally. I'm emotional normally but now I'm a crying bag.
I'm so scared.

Feb 28, 2015 21:Feb 9 | Michelle said

You are not alone

Hi Adri, please do not worry.I am exactly the same.I also am having a heart attack every day.Its awful and scary and I cry so much.But try to tell yourself like I do, it will pass and you aren't going to die today. Maybe tomorrow, but today is not the day. I cry through commercials for cat insurance and I don't even like cats. I have just started taking Vitamin D supplements and I know its psychological but I feel like it is lifting my spirits. It is the sunshine vitamin after all. I have abscesses in places the sun has never seen or would want to, all due to stress and worry about dying.
You are not going crazy. This is all normal unfortunately. One day it will stop. It has to because there are too many old ladies walking around so it makes sense if they got through it, we can too. Fear as one of the ladies said is not real, it is so true. Come on Adri.

Jan 04, 2015 12:Jan 12 | said

I'm 55 and post menopausal.

I'm 55 and post menopausal. My anxiety symptoms began nearly a year ago and and having an extremely rough year emotionally has only exacerbated the situation. After a physical, the doctor prescribed Xanax. I am on a very low dose .50 (.25 in a.m. and .25 in p.m.). It has helped me immensely. I had never experienced a panic attack until last May in the middle of a traffic jam. It was horrifying. I knew I had to do something. Going on meds was the last thing I wanted, but my body really gave me no choice in the matter. Some days are worse than others and I may take an extra half a pill. But only if I really need it. I see it as a temporary thing and just try to cope through watching my diet and limiting myself to potential stressful situations. This is a time in life where we really need to take care of ourselves if we're to get through it.

Jan 12, 2015 21:Jan 9 | Linda0818 said

I feel ya

I've been dealing with anxiety since my early 40's (I'm now 51) and have been there with panic attacks, even in my car. A couple of times I had to pull over urgently and take an Ativan and sit there for a few minutes until I was finally able to get out of my car. Then I'd go into the store and shop, even though I had nothing to shop for, to give my Ativan more time to kick in and wait until I was calm enough to get back behind the wheel and continue on. These attacks in my car happened frequently enough to where I started taking an Ativan about a half hour before I'd leave the house and that seems to have stopped them from happening.

Ativan has saved me on more than one occasion.

Dec 05, 2014 22:Dec 10 | treelady said

post menapause

i am post menapausal, i suffer from dizziness, back discomfort, vision trouble, anxiety, depression , insomnia, pms severe .fluid retention,bloated, balance trouble, ect. antidepressants make me 10 times worse i cry on them worsening depression, severe dizziness , disorietned, an cannot tolerate hormone therapy either it causes the same water retention. an pms. i am 57 3 yrs. post. been going crazy , drs. cant seem to help. going for ultra sound of ovaries this week, an if dr. see,s anything on ovaries she will remove them an there is no garantee i wont get pms like symptoms after. but its my last resort. or i will end up in mental hosp. with severe symptoms if anyone has had ovaries removed let me know how u r doing please

Feb 02, 2015 16:Feb 4 | Diana said

Treelady, You mentioned you

Treelady,

You mentioned you have vision troubles, can you describe what kind? I ask because I am suffering from all the same symptoms and I now feel like my eyesight is beating in sync with my pulse. Thank you and I hope you feel better soon

Jan 02, 2015 17:Jan 5 | Laurie Doland said

postmenopause symptoms

I am a 58 postmenopause woman who is so anxious,crying, all the symptoms you mentioned above....How are things going for you????

Dec 19, 2014 12:Dec 12 | madelene said

Go to ENT doctor and let him

Go to ENT doctor and let him check if you have an inner ear dysfunction , because it might cause a severe anxiety. If you have a such problem, the treatment is so easy.GOOD LUCK.

Dec 04, 2014 08:Dec 8 | Tired said

Why

Why is this happening? So fired of feeling anxious. It hurts. I'm 49 and Menapausal. Anxiety kicked in over the last month when I had lots going on and now can't get rid of it.
I don't want to lean towards antidepressants and confused. I have Xanax and try to avoid taking it but knowing I have it I take 1/2?(.25 mg) to help me get started. Is that so bad. Is I it addicting.
I'm glad I'm not alone, but I wan this to stop. Mornings are worse for me. I try to fight it throughout the day and it's exhausting.
I don't want to worry my family so I stress more trying to hold back.
What has helped for some of you and when will this stop?

Jan 07, 2015 10:Jan 10 | Kim said

menopause,,,,I have the same (help)

Hello,,,,,

I feel helpless,,i dont know what to do anymore,,I have xanax but really dont want to take it,,,i took it years ago for anxiety and stopped,,i don't like taking drugs and dont like the feeling but I'm getting anxiety from menopause and waking up at night,,,did you find any relief? what helps you?

Jan 02, 2015 21:Jan 9 | julielind said

Tired

I am 48 and am going through the exact same thing! It all starts up at 6AM and I have to fight through the anxiety and depression all day long until about 6 or 7 at night it starts to ease up. Then I feel almost normal again. I found out i was really low on Vit D and am being treated for that. I have an appointment next with with a hormone specialist. I am hoping this is related to Peri and the new Dr and fix me. It has been going on for 8 solid weeks! Your not alone!! If this can't be fixed with HRT then i will try ever anti depression pill i can because i can't live with this anxiety and depression! I need my life back.

Feb 11, 2015 21:Feb 9 | shelly said

same here

I have the same symptoms. Anxiety is the worst in the mornings at 5am. I feel better at night around 6-7pm. I have low Vitamin D and just started 50,000 units 3 times a week. Also started HRT. I see an endocrinologist. HRT and Vit D seems to be helping. (I also have hypothyroid treated with synthroid.)

I initially went to my OBGYN for help - big mistake - he suggested SSRI and no intervention. Waste of time and by then I was very ill. Vomiting, gagging, no appetite, weight loss; severe anxiety and depression.

Go to an endocrinologist who specializes in hormones/menopause!

Jan 06, 2015 01:Jan 1 | heidi said

it's amazing, you have

it's amazing, you have described exactly what had been happening to me... anxiety early in the morning, all day and the evenings are better. i have been doing bhrt, but i don't think i'm balanced at all... i cry to my husband and tell him how tired i am of all this.. good luck to you!!

Dec 03, 2014 16:Dec 4 | Dally said

Most women should be aware by

Most women should be aware by now that these changes can occur and are at the root of hormonal changes. Menopause can be really difficult for some women while others don't even feel it. Anxiety is a major problem here because it can also cause depression, that's why these women need real support from doctors. There's some information about it on http://tn-networks.com, you'll definitely find that helpful.

Nov 06, 2014 13:Nov 1 | Ella said

I'm at a loss for the most

I'm at a loss for the most part, as it seems the menopause beast has it's claws and teeth sunk deeply into me these days. My lab values are at the extreme low of the post-menopausal range, so I'm guessing that's why I'm having such horrid symptoms... including anxiety. I'm on a blood thinner, so I can't take anything for depression or anxiety, both of which I'm experiencing to the extreme. It's awful.

I'm considering acupuncture and/or hypnosis. I'll try anything at this point. So much pain all over my body, and fatigue that is beyond anything I've ever known. That all adds to the anxiety. Thyroid levels I'm told are 'normal,' though I do have a nodule they're watching. benign I'm told so far. I just want to feel normal. It would be nice not to feel like my stomach is in knots all of the time. :/

I'm glad I found this article, though. At least I know I'm not the lone ranger in all of this menopause business.

Jan 17, 2015 18:Jan 6 | kim said

hormone levels

Hi there Ella,
When you say your hormone levels( I presume you mean FSH) are at the low level of postmenopausal. How low do you mean. Mine is 46 FSH, dealing with horrible anxiety and panic attacks. Severe night sweats, feeling not my self. I am now on Prometrium 100 mg bio-hormone I do see some relief. However still have panic attacks. I tryed taking Celexa last year and felt even worse. So I stopped it. Can anyone tell me where in the world I am in this process? I thought 46 was peri menopause and that if you are with a level of 50 you are in full swing of menopause.

Thanks,

Dec 04, 2014 03:Dec 3 | said

Be patient with yourself

Try "The Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook" by Forsythe. Although not tailored specifically towards perimenopause anxiety, its message of accepting your physical symptoms and forcing yourself to "go through the motions" of what you want to do in your life despite your symptoms works for anxiety due to any cause. I find fighting it makes it worse. Show some compassion and patience with yourself. Your body is changing (which you have no control over) but you can control your attitude about it and your physical actions.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. Yoga for breathing. Increase Mg and Ca. IMO drugs tend to "mask" symptoms and as a result, you don't learn how to deal with them.
Also keep in mind we have a lot of other "normal" anxiety producers at this age! (kids, work, aging parents, etc). Stepping back and seeing some humor in the situation once in awhile helps too (When I feel overwhelmed I imagine myself screaming at the top of my lungs and throwing a temper tantrum like my 6 year old. Although I don't recommend actually doing this, the visual reflects how I and most perimenopausal women sometimes feel inside! I imagine the looks on my kids and spouses faces and I can get a good chuckle.."no, mommy's not going crazy, she's just perimenopausal..").

Nov 25, 2014 03:Nov 3 | Tammy said

you are definitely not alone

Hello, you are definitely not alone as your story is all too familiar to me. I'm 55 and post-menapausal also with extremely low values. Since I had my hystrectomy 2 years ago, I've had terrible anxiety and one thing after another. I was wondering if the reason your on a blood thinner is due to afib caused by lack of estrogen? I've had 1 episode of paroysmal afib, that I believe was caused by a drop in estrogen. It was terrifying! I take aspirin only so far. I also have high colesterole for the first-time in my life, so on another pill for that but the anxiety and ringing in my ears, is just horrible! I try to control it and I take care of myself, but I wake up in the middle of the night in panic, (which is why I'm on this site at 2:30 am searching about the subject), I would give anything for a good night's sleep! I was did hypnosis so maybe that would help as I really don't want to end up on yet another pill. I've been researching about benign parathyroid tumors and I have so many of the symptoms. I say that because sometimes I wonder if the anxiety and other things are still menapause related or if it's something else. If your interested you can look at parathyroid.com. Good luck to you and be well! :-) BTW, I know a few women still in the pill that say it really helps, but it's like what's the point!

Oct 22, 2014 13:Oct 1 | Over 50 mom said

Feeling crazy

So glad to have found this. I am 50 and mine just started over a month ago but it's horrible. I have always had panic on occassions with being overstressed and anxiety but nothing like this. This is severe panic where noises and everything is making me freak out. It's out of control. I can't even watch the news anymore, read anything on the internet that is news related and every noise makes me anxious. My husband thinks I am going crazy but sometimes I feel that way. He tells me if anyone else heard you talking the way you do they would lock you up. You are talking crazy talk. I have gotten some anxiety and sleep meds from my Dr. and she has adjusted the progesterone. It has helped a little but still getting the panic attacks. I am hoping within a couple weeks it gets better or I am seeing another doctor. My friend told me about Flower Essences that have worked for her so I may check them out. Thanks for all your posts...helps me know I am not alone.

Sep 19, 2014 12:Sep 12 | madelene said

anxiety during perimenopause

Hi ladies . I'm perimenopausal and I'm struggling with anxiety and fears.
I heard about stresstabs with zinc and I tried them along with magnesium(250mg) , they worked for me . I'm still having bad days but much better than before.
I walk 30 min every day , meditate and deep breathing twice a day.
Watch your diet (I read Before the change).
Keep telling yourself : the fear is not real. It works.
Believe in yourself , you're much stronger than you think.
I HOPE this post will help.
If you can help with any advice , I thank you in advance.

Oct 01, 2014 08:Oct 8 | said

Thanks madelene

Thank you for your comments madelene. I am experiencing the same. I like your advice of telling yourself the fear is not real. I will also look into the stresstabs.

Jul 30, 2014 20:Jul 8 | tammi said

anxiety

FYI ladies if you have anxiety youmight want to getrid of the frebreeze or othe things that are chemical laced air fresheners. Not only air fresheners but 8 hour smelly soaps laundry soaps ect. There is a new chemical that 20 percent of people are allergic to. These chemical mess with the nerinons I the brain and hormones of your body. No lie, I suffered for years before I found out. Look under what stinks about air fresheners, or the toxic chemicals in fragrance. In the the world of science fragrance is the name of multiple chemical nota smell. Good luck and tell your friends. This does not just affect women.

Jun 10, 2014 11:Jun 11 | madelene said

flaxseed oil

I'm taking low dose birth control pills , and lately I learned that flaxseed oil reduce the estrogen dominance that cause my anxiety( I can't stop the pills now because they help me sleep) .
Does anyone use this oil along with BCP? does it help during perimenopause?
thank you ladies

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