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

Nov 24, 2016 14:Nov 2 | Sharona said

This is frightening

I hate to see so many sufferiing and at the same time, for the first time, I feel that I am not alone. I am 53. have intense anxiety, and cry alot, and my insomnia is just awful. When will this stop! How long will I feel this way? My mom did not suffer like this when she was my age. I tried 3 different psych meds, but they all made me feel horrid, even worse than the initial anxiety, so I went off the meds. I am afraid to try HRT due to the cancer risk. HELP! What are you all doing to cope. I am losing it.

Nov 14, 2016 09:Nov 9 | Adrianna said

This was sooo helpful!

Thank you lovely lovely women , willing to share your experiences in order to lighten MY load! I have thought i was going MAAAAAAAD ! Crying once or twice a day at the slightest thing, maddening anxiety waking me up in the night ! THIS IS NOT HOW I SEE MYSELF!! Its been very frightening. I feel better knowing I'm not alone and indeed going around the bend. I work hard at eating well, exercising daily ,regular yoga and sleeping plenty.It does not cure me, and maybe I have to wait it out......

Nov 07, 2016 08:Nov 8 | Diane said

Glad I found these posts,

Glad I found these posts, menoupuse has been horrible for me! I'm 54 and had a partial hysterectomy at 40. Started with hot flashes at 48 and weight gain, then In the last two years all hell broke loose! Allergies, anxiety, depression, burning tongue, hair loss, loss of libido, tingling extremities, heart palpitations, the list goes on and on. I lost my mom suddenly 2011, my brother suddenly 2013 and this 4th of July my daughters fiancé was killed, so to say depression kicked in heavy was not an understatement. I just started taking Zoloft because I'm at my wits end, praying I get some relief from not sleeping and crying everyday! I cut out caffeine, eat healthy and exercise and still feel bad, so knowing I'm not alone surely helps!

Nov 24, 2016 12:Nov 12 | Sharona said

So sorry, I hope all works out

I am 53, and having debilitating anxiety. I am hoping and praying the zoloft works for you. I know it sounds awful, but it is good to know that other women are dealing with this so severely. I tried meds, but had bad side effects on all of them. I may try hormone therapy. Best of luck to you, and hope all your issues are resolved.

Nov 06, 2016 05:Nov 5 | said

Looking for urgent answers

Thank you for this awesome blog and for everybody's comments. I had a full blown anxiety attack yesterday - my first one - and it scare the living day light out of me, leaving me exhausted. Right in the middle of the attack my husband took me to see the nearest Dr who wasn't aware I had been diagnosed 3 weeks ago with depression. Before I could fill her in, she diagnosed me with depression as well and told me I was having a major panic attack. I am 53 years old and I am in full menopause. (started at age 45). Like most woman, I am extremely stressed out, my last born has flown the coup, we are immigrating in a few months, I have been nursing my ill husband for the past 6 years (now fully recovered) and to top it all have had a frozen shoulder for the last 7 months. I don't feel depressed, I just feel I am dealing with a little too much at the moment and really don't want to take meds for depression. Can anybody give me advice on staying away from meds but healing a more natural and holistic way. Hope this makes sense... Thanks in advance.

Oct 30, 2016 22:Oct 10 | Elderkind said

I am so happy to have found

I am so happy to have found this site. I was about 38 when I started to experience peripausal symptoms. This process is about a 10-12 year gig for the women in my family and I am 47 now. Anxiety has never been an issue for me until the last several years and it is crippling. The constant knot, nausea and churning sensations in my stomach are horrible. The overwhelming feelings of sadness and depression along with the physical symptoms of hot flashes, bowel issues, irregular periods, night sweats, dizziness and weight gain are immense. Even the smallest of issues are blown way out of proportion so when something actually significant happens, I go to pieces. My fiance and I have 9 rescue cats and dogs, most of whom have health issues, are older and in the winter phase of their life. When one is sick I am an absolute basket case. I have lost pets before and it has always been terrible but now that prospect is so totally unbearable I sometimes cannot catch my breath. I am now starting to have issues driving. I live in a small town in Texas so driving more than 50 miles one way is the norm and a necessity. Several times over the past month while driving I felt like I was 'out of my body' so that I almost pulled over and could not go over 55 mph. I was in a 75 mph zone. That might sound crazy but that is the best way to describe it. Totally surreal and weird. I hope, hope this ends soon as I don't know how much more I can take. My mother is sympathetic as she went through it but no one else has any idea of the utter despair I feel every day. I am not taking anything but am ready to try some of the herbal supplements to alleviate these symptoms. I WANT MY LIFE BACK!!! Sending hugs and prayers to all who are going through this.

Nov 24, 2016 16:Nov 4 | Sharona said

I'm so sorry

I'm so sorry, can you tell me how long this lasted for your mother?

Nov 07, 2016 16:Nov 4 | Nelsia Loraine-Smith said

Anxiety and menopause

There's a saying that "misery loves company" and its so true.....it is comforting to know one is not alone and that this right of passage will soon pass....i take life moment by moment, at least i'm trying. i at times feel like a stranger to myself. I'm angry, sad, weeping for no reason, twitching, itching, tingling and vibrating like some damn cellphone....i hate it but what can i too...im getting older and its what comes with getting older for some of us women. I thank God for the good days. i pray and trust that He will get me through...i found this breathing exercise on youtube that relaxes me..by the time I'm done doing it if fall asleep before i know it but in heaven's name i cannot remember the man's name...one of the " perks ' of living long..forgetfullness""' lol..o lawd....some days i just lol at myself and hope no one hears me then i question if I'm normal or losing my mind. Exercise helps. i lift weights and it helps me to relax. someone recommended a book to me - MUSCLE YOUR WAY THROUGH MENOPAUSE- i hope to purchase it soon. talk to anyone who will listen but note that not everyone will understand unless they too are experiencing what you are experiencing. I feel for you my sisters....im with you. take heart. This too shall pass. let's look forward to tomorrow. blessings.

Nov 02, 2016 09:Nov 9 | melendez said

Hi, I am 50 and have been

Hi, I am 50 and have been going thru premenopause for a while now I'm in full menopause and started getting panic attacks which I suffer from since 1993.
I take meds for the depression and anxiety but I think meds are not helping at all!
I have to keep busy so my mind is not running wild.My mom passed away in 2011 and that year my panics were so bad my family thought I was going to OD on meds because they were not helping.Now three weeks ago and five years later I got one at 5am and it was like I had a stomach virus very bad.
I have an appointment today with my doctor and I am going to ask her if she can change my meds.
I work from home so not going out and keeping busy isn't helping me.Right now I am sweating like a pig and my tells me it is not hot so I am wondering is it my panic or menopause??

Oct 27, 2016 14:Oct 2 | Crysta said

Evening Primrose Oil

Ladies, I hope this helps: I'm 58, about 10 years ago I began having heavy periods, perhaps the first sign of hormonal changes. The doc put me on two rounds of Depo-Provera which corrected the issue ( ha, pun intended)
Then a year later I had SEVERE breast tenderness. Doc recommended Evening Primrose Oil. Problem solved. I've taken it ever since. Well, it's been just over a year not since my last period and I don't have any problems to speak of. I've noticed a little irregularity in my body's ability to regulate temperature, but nothing I would call a hot flash, just warm flushes now and then. Never night sweats. Sometimes I do have a little trouble with anxiety. I've noticed that if I stay away from sugar and carbs and drink plenty of water, I feel much better. I don't take anything else. Now, it may still be early for me, I don't know, maybe things will ramp up as I get older, but I don't think so. So I'm passing this pearl on to you. Evening Primrose Oil. Barlean's is good, there are other high quality organic choices. Best of health to you.

Oct 25, 2016 09:Oct 9 | Sonya said

Hi I live in South Africa and

Hi I live in South Africa and have been battling with premature menopause for a few years now. I'm 48 and just been told that I'm actually starting menopause. Towards the end of last year I lost my mom. That's when all of my problems began. The hypertension the Hiatus heroin and the panic and anxiety attacks. The best thing is that doctors don't seem to relate menopause to anxiety and panic attacks. I've had several of these attacks at work which is not nice but very thankful for the great people I work with. The fear of not being able to go to shop by yourself to get into a lift on your own not to be in crowded places. I was to advised to at least to try and face one fear a week to conquer it. it sort of helping. I also just want it all to end. We have to just keep the faith and pray that our families and friends give us the love and support we need.
I've just just started with medication but not liking side effects. I do understand everyone's body is different but this something I so wish we didn't have to go though.

So glad reading all your comments that so relate to my own it makes now I know I'm SO not alone this happens to women all over the world. Thank you ladies.

Oct 30, 2016 17:Oct 5 | Cher said

Menopause and anxiety

I am 52 years old. Had thermal ablasion procedure done in 2002. Have had no periods for many years. Had no idea when menopause would begin. Have been on blood pressure meds for 15 years. Thought I was having a heart attack in 2011 but was diagnosed with menopause and anxiety(ofcourse I dismissed the doctor's findings). Had a really bad anxiety episode 2 weeks ago..pounding heart, diarrhea. Called out from work..just felt I could not make it. I do practice deep breathing, listening to Gayatri Mantra and have acupuncture sessions. But the feeling of doom still looms. Thank you all for sharing. I now feel that I'm definitely not alone and not a crazy person. I'm going the the cardiologist will have a thyroid panel done just in case.

Oct 24, 2016 23:Oct 11 | Ann said

Post menopausal anxiety

I started through menopause at 56 years old, I am now 63 years old. The hot flashes have been going on for at least 5 years. A year and a half ago I started to have trouble sleeping. I dealt with it okay for awhile, but soon started waking up at two or three am with anxiety real bad. So I went to the doctor and got lorazepam to take at night and I slept a little longer, but still woke up in the wee hours of the morning with this awful morning anxiety. I would always start to feel better by late afternoon and evening. I just could not believe the change from morning till evening. But in the morning it started all over again! I was nauseated most of the day, but in the evening everything tasted so good and that's when I ate mostly. So I went back to the doctor and got Zoloft. It made things so much worse before it got any better. I was to a point I didn't even want to leave the house! Finally I seemed to be getting some better. The doctor kept raising the Zoloft and he raised the lorazepam once. Finally at 175mg of Zoloft and 1mg of lorazepam, I started to enjoy life a lot more. But the Zoloft changed me and I didn't like the feeling so I lowered the dosage myself back to 150mg with the intention of weaning off the drug entirely, but immediately upon lowering the dose, my morning anxiety has resurfaced. Not near as bad, but still wakes me at 6am feeling crappy. I just wish I knew that this is due to menopause and there is an end somewhere in sight. I did have my thyroid and vitamin D checked also and they were okay. Is there anyone out there with similar problems? I would love to hear from you.

Nov 22, 2016 18:Nov 6 | Patty said

menopause! ugh!

Hi Ann....oh yes what you just explained is exactly what has happened to me...I am 57 I went through most of my menopause symptoms..at 50..thats when my period also stopped...then had some symptoms after that but they subsided...THEN at 56 out of the blue...in July I started with severe anxiety attacks...my regular dr tried everything with me...then she finally sent me to my gyno...he said it seems like menopause symptoms ...I told him I went through all my symptoms at 50 ! well to make a long story short...he ended up giving me xanex..and I also take nortriptylene that I had stopped and started up again...AND after exactly one yr of severe anxiety from last july to this july...I am better...but I also had the bad anxiety in the mornings...had to leave my housekeeping full time job..and is now just working part time companion/homemaking..alot less hours...just wanted to say I hear you with the morning anxiety at 6 am every day...it was horrible!!! real sick for a solid year...felt like a real bad adrendelin rush everyday! I am better now...but I am also working alot less hours.....good luck to you it will get better!!

Nov 01, 2016 15:Nov 3 | Sherrill said

I can relate to so much in

I can relate to so much in your post. I am 57 and am experiencing so many of the same symptoms. The anxiety in the morning is the worst. It comes with heart palpitations and scares me silly. I feel nervous and wired most of the day. Afternoons and evenings are much better. I've read that stress cortisol levels rise in the morning and maybe that has something to do with it. But you are not alone and I definitely sympathize with you. Hang in there.

Oct 24, 2016 23:Oct 11 | Kaybee said

Post menopausal anxiety

I started through menopause at 56 years old, I am now 63 years old. The hot flashes have been going on for at least 5 years. A year and a half ago I started to have trouble sleeping. I dealt with it okay for awhile, but soon started waking up at two or three am with anxiety real bad. So I went to the doctor and got lorazepam to take at night and I slept a little longer, but still woke up in the wee hours of the morning with this awful morning anxiety. I would always start to feel better by late afternoon and evening. I just could not believe the change from morning till evening. But in the morning it started all over again! I was nauseated most of the day, but in the evening everything tasted so good and that's when I ate mostly. So I went back to the doctor and got Zoloft. It made things so much worse before it got any better. I was to a point I didn't even want to leave the house! Finally I seemed to be getting some better. The doctor kept raising the Zoloft and he raised the lorazepam once. Finally at 175mg of Zoloft and 1mg of lorazepam, I started to enjoy life a lot more. But the Zoloft changed me and I didn't like the feeling so I lowered the dosage myself back to 150mg with the intention of weaning off the drug entirely, but immediately upon lowering the dose, my morning anxiety has resurfaced. Not near as bad, but still wakes me at 6am feeling crappy. I just wish I knew that this is due to menopause and there is an end somewhere in sight. I did have my thyroid and vitamin D checked also and they were okay. Is there anyone out there with similar problems? I would love to hear from you.

Oct 06, 2016 07:Oct 7 | Chanella said

menopause is disgusting.

Doctors just give out antidepressants, that make you feel worse, don t take them, they are horrible things. Use natural things as much as you can. The menopause is a disgusting horrible thing, and Doctors want to sit up and take notice, and help women more.

More Research into this horrible condition needs to be done, don't take HRT, either, because that causes one word CANCER. like smoking don t do that...... Anyone suffering visit your health shop with all the conditions you suffer from they will help you much more than Doctors, who truly do not understand, good luck.

Nov 24, 2016 12:Nov 12 | Sharona said

What supplements are you taking

I am so glad to see your post. I tried meds, but had horrific side effects. I am too scared to try HRT. I have not found any supplements that work. Have you found any?

Nov 04, 2016 14:Nov 2 | Fairness said

HRT

Chanella, you scared me. I just started HRT , low doses as I've been suffering severe anxiety for over a year. so anxious I had separation anxiety, hormone related. I had it once before years ago and it lasted over a year. I certainly am apprehensive to take any drugs. The antidepressants horrible. Every dr wanted to throw drugs at me. I finally went to a women's clinic, they put me on hormone therapy, only in three days and my anxiety is already much better. I don't want to be on HRT, but I certainly don't think all who use it get the latter, cancer. Lots of people who never use it get cancer, and I have been reading that it actually prevents cancers and osteo in older women. Hope so...

Oct 05, 2016 20:Oct 8 | Jackie said

Yup, yup and yup

Just found this article. Wow, I am 48 and can relate to everything everyone said. Thank you for sharing your stories. My anxiety is awful. I carry all my stress in my neck and some days my neck is so tense I think it might snap. The dizziness, the memory issues, and yes, the change in bowel function depending on my crazy cycle is all happening. Oh and the hot flashes, let's not forget about those. I also went to the hospital once because my heart was pounding so hard in my chest I thought it was going to break through my ribs. The Drs detected NOTHING. I couldn't believe it! I kept saying, don't you hear that???? It's pounding!!! Nope. Now I'm trying to manage my symptoms best I can but some days are terrible. Let's all hope this passes quickly!! Thank you for your honest comments and helping me see that I'm not crazy!!!!

Oct 01, 2016 18:Oct 6 | Lynda said

Menopause, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks

On top of all the other symptoms of menopause, I am experiencing the sudden onset of diarrhea! I am in hell!! I am to the point where 99% of the time, I don't want to leave my home because I feel the panic coming which makes me have to suddenly go to the bathroom. It's horrible! Is anyone else going through this??

Nov 12, 2016 12:Nov 12 | Kelli said

Lynda, I started having the

Lynda, I started having the same issues about 2 months ago and Im 46 years old. My first episode happened suddenly with nausea then diarrhea then a very bad episode of anxiety and panic. I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. It lasted about 30 minutes. The worst is when the episodes happen at work. It's very hard to hold back a panic attack in front of customers. I've since been trying breathing techniques such as taking a deep breath for 5 seconds, holding for 2 seconds and releasing slowly to calm down the panic attacks. The deep breaths are from expanding my stomach, not my chest. I've done the breathing during 3 episodes now and I feel like it's working but it may be too soon to be sure it's going to always work. Guess I need to go ahead and set that doctor appointment. After hearing other ladies comments, this is not going to be an easy road.

Oct 01, 2016 18:Oct 6 | Lynda said

Crazy Anxiety and Panic Attacks

I was so glad to find this website! I'm having all of the same symptoms as I've read here except for one thing...nausea and the sudden diarrhea! I feel like I'm losing my mind. The anxiety and panic attacks came out of nowhere and with them comes loose bowels. As soon as I think about going anywhere outside of my home, I get sudden anxiety and my stomach starts to churn and then I have to go to the bathroom! I'm 52 now and this started with the hot flashes when I was 40. Sometimes I feel so bad that I want to cry. The night sweats and hot flashes are crazy! I sweat so bad at night that when I get out of bad you can see exactly where I was sleeping! Yuck! I have never felt this bad in my life. Can anybody out there help???

Oct 16, 2016 18:Oct 6 | catherine farrell said

anxiety

Hi Lynda just read you post oct17 2016 I have had these symptoms for over 30 years now so reading about you(oh I am 74) I understand what you are saying I no longer have hot flushes but wake every morning about 4am feel not so bad by 6am my gut starts to churn have to go to loo few times then have anxiety and nausea most of the day abates a bit at night hard to eat I have tried colofac mintec immodium hypnotherapy reiki herbal stuff acupuncture yoga chair aerobics oh you name it I have tried it gp and physchiatrists say is my make up and have been on Xanax for many years find only thing that stops churning gut and anxiety not for all day but helps get me thru. you have to see a physc to get Xanax now as people were abusing it..however valium does not help and am not depressed just frustrated..Have tried anti depressants they just make me throw up they also say have IBS as have had all tests you can think of so guess that is part of it.. Good luck just know so many out there with it I have tried support groups as well to no avail and I am still trying to come up with an answer maybe it is what it is and have to live with it. Good luck I feel for you kind regards

Oct 08, 2016 15:Oct 3 | Sherrill Young said

Menopause Symptoms

Happy to have found this webpage

Sep 24, 2016 02:Sep 2 | Gini said

Highway driving panic attack Age 52

Age 52 - About a year ago I was driving home on the highway and had my first panic attack -I was in the far left lane passing a semi going down hill pitch dark on Hwy I40 Arizona side - scary highway and worse at night and being next to a semi going down hill- panic came on strong ( I had never a had panic attack ever!) it was so bad I pulled off the highway sat for an hour shaking and then got out of car waked around and stretched - I had no idea what had happened but it was very frightening- figured it was a one time fluke but when I got back in the car and started back on that highway the panic came right back! I pulled off the highway again and a state trooper pulled next time me to see if I was okay- I told him what happened(panic) he said I had to move I was not safe where I pulled off- I was too shaken to drive but he was kind enough to escort me ( he drove behind me) so no one would hit me so I could drive slow to the Cali state line (about two mile) The next time I got on a different highway close to home- a highway I had driven so many other times for years - but panic happened again - and I tried several more times each time first trying to release any stress before getting on the highway- still panic came- never as bad as the first time. I went to the doctor and got several blood tests that all came back normal- I cut way back on caffeine - I am a healthy eater - no meat - I tried 5http -made it worse for me- Tried rescue remedy That made panic worse - I am mostly into natural remedies so when the doctor offered a bunch of antidepressant and other pills I said no not for me- if they work for others that is great but not me. I finally just quit driving on highways but then I was getting panic on any road! Then I figured it has to all be in my mind -So I tried self hypnosis , meditation, longer walks, working out more etc and I still got panic ( only when in car ) then I discovered comedy radio on Sirius actually helped!! The laughing out loud seems to help at least on regular roads - I am still too scared to drive highways - Well today I was on a road in town that is 50mph and I did Not have my comedy radio on so my mind started thinking about panic and before I could get the comedy station tuned on, I had a panic attack
- I got a wave of intense fear like I was going to lose control of the car ! I took the next turn off and the panic stopped ! It does appear to be a lot in my mind - And I can kind of control it with comedy radio- something to keep my mind off the thought of panic. The not knowing why I got that first original panic bothers me. I think it may be Age related and it could very well be hormone related. Recently another possible symptom that I noticed is when I am walking my legs feel weaker - kinda wobbly- I do work out but not a lot - maybe muscles are weakening -My next step is I am going to a doctor I saw a little over two years ago - He had tested me and put me on bio-identical hormones- I felt great then- I only stopped because it was pricey. I really do think it will work - I believe what Suzanne summers wrote about bio- identical hormones - also dr Lee online great info on bio identical hormones. I am hoping when I get my hormones back in balance and improve my workouts that all will be Better and I will kick panics butt!
I will not take Xanax And I will not take Premarin .
I take a multi vitamin, calcium,herbs ashwaganda schishandra shatavari and Maca red powder .
Thank you to the wonderful ladies who have shared here!

Oct 17, 2016 20:Oct 8 | Slolizzie said

Oh Gini! I'm dealing with

Oh Gini! I'm dealing with this now too! Started about 1.5 mos ago, I too was driving fast on a hwy, passing a semi on a curve, and when I looked at the speedometer I had this rushing sensation of "Oh sh**! I'm going too fast!" and I the doom and fear was on me and I thought I was going to crash. I pulled into the right lane and slowed down, freaking out - should I get off the freeway?? How am I going to continue driving??? I somehow managed to drive, SLOWLY (60 mph) to my destination, spent 1.5 hours at my appointment, then had to drive home! I kept telling myself it would be fine, I'd done this drive a million times, etc., etc. Well, I did make it home, without having another full blown panic attack, but I've not been able to drive over 50 mph since without a little hint of a panic attack lurking in the back of my mind. I have been driving everywhere, long distances, and HAPPILY, for 34 years!!! I LOVE TO DRIVE!!! Well, I used to. I just started taking the bio-identical HRT 1 month ago, and while the panic has been almost non-exsistant, I did have another small wave just this morning as I was driving my teenager to school...it was very dense fog and I felt a little panicky. So, I'm checking with the naturopath doctor to see if we need to up my hormones to make this stop! It's SO frustrating, and SO very scary. I'm almost 52 and have been experiencing the depression, irritability, mood swings, crying for about 2 years, but the panic didn't start until recently. I feel for you too, and every other poor woman out there who's dealing with this horrible "life change"....But, with all of us out here sharing our stories, it does help us all feel a little less alone, and we WILL get through this, hopefully sooner than later and with a little suffering as possible!! Hang in there everyone!!! You are NOT ALONE!! :)

Oct 07, 2016 19:Oct 7 | Rebc said

Driving

Hi Gini,
I have had exactly what you described. I'm sorry it happens to you but glad I am not alone. I was driving on a freeway overpass and had a massive panic attack. I thought I was going to lose control, it was terrifying. I have driven all over California for work and vacations. Driving alone was actually one of my treats. I like the quiet of my thoughts or my radio turned up. Just today I chose a backroad home that added about fifteen minutes to a long commute but I didn't feel comfortable getting on the freeway. I also have the weak feeling legs, jelly legs I call them. I walk and use the treadmill so I just thought it is probably my muscles not being as strong as they were before my hormone drop off but it still adds to the unsteady feelings.
I hope this wears off I would really like to feel capable again.
Reb

Sep 20, 2016 20:Sep 8 | Merry said

Anxiety

So glad for this site! I'm not alone!!

Aug 29, 2016 10:Aug 10 | Robyn said

dizziness and menopause

I am so glad I found this web site. I am a woman in her mid 50's and have been going through the transition of menopause. My question is ( and I really hope someone out there has an answer for this), is how do you cope with the dizziness, anxiety, sadness and the crying during this time? I feel like I have lost all control of myself and feel helpless. I am going out of mind and it's a very scary feeling. Please, if anybody out there has any suggestions on this subject matter, I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.
I look forward to any HELP!!!!!!
Thanks for letting me vent.
To great days ahead.

Nov 12, 2016 13:Nov 1 | Angel V said

Hi I feel the same way you

Hi I feel the same way you do. Tried 3 different antidepressants and they made me feel worse with a lot more anxiety. My general practitioner gave up on me. Referred me to psychotherapy which is helping some. Went to another doctor and he gave me Xanax to help me sleep because I am so anxious in the middle of the night I get no sleep at all. If I start to doze off I all of a sudden wake up panicking with very weird dreams. I don't like medication at all and I don't want to get addicted to anything, but right now I feel like I have no choice. He also gave me gabapentin 100 mg breakfast, lunch and dinner. I haven't been able to go to work because I'm afraid of the anxiety making me look like an idiot. I drove my car with my mother for the first time in two weeks yesterday. I also went to bed bath and beyond. Felt a little strange in the store, but it passed. Today I woke up with a little anxiety but I'm doing my breathing and it seems to help. I also cry for no reason. I hope this passes quickly. When I first started getting all the strange feelings I really thought I was dying.

Oct 27, 2016 14:Oct 2 | Crysta said

Hope this helps

Robyn,
For me, I notice I feel worse if I eat too much sugar or carbs. Meditation helps and so does Magnesium lotion, and magnesium supplement. Also L-tryptophan, ashwagandha and holy basil. Drink plenty of water and maybe a little yoga or a walk on a regular basis should help.

Sep 23, 2016 08:Sep 8 | Susan said

Preimenopase nasty stuff I feel your pain

Hi.
Not sure if I'm doing this right and where I start a post , my first time ever posting on line beside Facebook of course lol
Someoem to talk to sure would be nice , my friends well one says no noomway nope I don't have that, the other no systoms maybe a little warm at times , other don't want to talk or thye are way behind me in bump ride we are on , I. So sorry for all us I'm in shock this is so difficult to go thught something so biological , a friend of my goes though some systoms like myself but no angxeity, a younger mom friend as just started she is only 41 but had many bouts of angexity before this stage in life min said nothing but she in for a ride poor dear , anyways thanks for reading , someoem ot talk to I'm not even sure if this is going work , sorry for the (sp) and grammar my mind just not there , a brief history.
I'm 53.5 lol over weight, still have a teen kid at home and a 20 year , a great husband who is tired of all this in a way , and how can he help...
The ups and downs of preimenoapse then went months no angxeity wow then a peroid odd angexity , not bad last for while then again last 5 weeks then went long time lasted 3 weeks then now then here and there day or two was not to bad at times .... jump ahead the last 6 years now I gues preimenoapse light ,heavy long peroids , then first time I skipped no peroids for 3 months. ....
Wow no angexity when I had no peroids not sure why and that one boggles me to no end then I felt awful angexity bloating gassy ovary pains headaches intense angexity like spiking ? Weird then a peroid very lite and clean only last 4 days settle down a bit but the angexity as not let up been 2 weeks now, I don't know what changed or why or how lol I take vituiams read all the blogs and I'm lost go to my doc next week I guess , thanks for reading this long winded story...someone to talks to . Blessings

Sep 10, 2016 21:Sep 9 | Lee said

Menopause - Evening of Primrose Oil

My co-worker, bless her soul, recommended Evening of Primrose Oil. She tried that when she was going through menopause. She would take about 1500 mg when she started to feel weepy, etc. until she felt better. I take 500 mg each day and up it when I feel very teary, hopeless, sad, etc. and it helps. Everybody is different. Whether or not this can help you remains to be seen if you try. I have experienced sadness, loss of control, tearfulness, fear and definitely as if I'm going out of my mind. I find that stress causes more hot flashes as does drinking alcohol, for me. I'm still a work in progress. I am trying to go for brisk walks, at least 20 minutes a day, several times a week, the more, the better. This is supposed to help with anxiety. Yoga and meditation are supposed to really help too. Something I'm hoping to make the time for. Anyway, it's a terrible thing to have to go through and I hope you find out what will work for you. Try some deep breathing when you are feeling anxious, concentrate on your breathing onlyB and know that it's the change in hormones that is causing this and you are not going crazy :)

Sep 08, 2016 11:Sep 11 | Rachael said

Same Here

Hi Robyn,

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. While I do not have solution, I just want to let you know that you are not alone. What you described is pretty much exactly what I am experiencing. I just do what I can with diet, exercise, supplements, relaxation techniques etc....and prayer. Here in the Northeast, it is ragweed season and the other day, my allergies were so bad, eyes watery and itchy, throat, nose itchy. I could hardly move without having a sneezing fit and tried to stay as still as possible. But as uncomfortable and annoying as that was, at least it overpowered the menopausal symptoms. It was a nice and welcomed change of pace and I almost enjoyed it...go figure. I hope you are able to find some relief. I'll say some prayers for you and others in the same boat as we are. Please keep in touch.

Aug 28, 2016 21:Aug 9 | Anna BMD said

anxiety

I am 51 and may be suddenly experiencing a lot of symptoms at once (heavy periods, cramps, headaches)-- but by far the worst is the jumping out of my skin anxiety that is sustained and generalized, unrelated to any specific trigger. I had to call in sick to work because I just could not handle going in there. My job is quiet and not stressful- I just thought I could not be still and focus and I might snap at someone. What the heck is happening!?

Sep 05, 2016 00:Sep 12 | said

what you are experiencing is

what you are experiencing is a hormone imbalance and should have your OB test you for it.

Aug 22, 2016 15:Aug 3 | Nan said

Menstration and anxiety

I have been struggling with panic attacks and anxiety for about 3 years now ever since I had to have open heart surgery. My heart has fully healed now and is totally back to normal, the thing is I still get anxious and panic attacks around the time of my period. I am 44 years old and think i am going through perimonopause because I have always been a positive and happy person never had these fearful experiences that like others have said come out of nowhere and wake you in your sleep. I'm wondering if I take care of maybe reducing my cycle in some way will these symptoms change?

Aug 16, 2016 13:Aug 1 | Lynne said

Im sorry everyone on this

Im sorry everyone on this site is experiencing these symptoms but it sure has helped me to know that I am not alone. I am 44 years old and have always experienced sadness and bad cramping with my periods, post partum with my kids, and have suffered with anxiety since childhood, but I have always been a functioning, happy person who loves to laugh. As the stress increased in my life, I started having uncontrollable anxiety, had to go back to bed after I got the kids off to school, and then it took every thing I had to look and act normal when they came home. My doctor gave me Ativan which has honestly saved my little bit of sanity I have left, and also an antidepressant. The antidepressants havent helped and I wonder if they increase the anxiety, so I went off of them. I have to take an Ativan in the morning as that is when my anxiety hits the hardest and then I can usually function throughout the day. But same as everyone, I wish I could just feel like myself again. I do think this is hormone related as the anxiety is a lot worse during my periods. I have tried the progesterone/testosterone supplements as well after having my hormones tested but did not help. I am guessing this is a stage of life that we will have to go through but I am hoping it will end sooner than later. It is an exhausting battle.

Aug 09, 2016 01:Aug 1 | Mich said

So, I'm NOT crazy!

Hi Girls,

I am so glad that I found this blog. I thought I was losing my mind, but finding all of you has made me feel so much better.

I'm 49 and had a hysterectomy 2 years ago, but have only had peri-menopausal symptoms for the past few months. My hot flashes are absolutely horrible. I have had anxiety issues for several years, but the hot flashes bring on anxiety attacks 12 or more times during the day and even strike at night.

I thought that I could handle this by myself, and I'm not currently taking anything for it, but I'm calling my doctor tomorrow. I can't do this anymore. I feel like my head is going to explode.

Thank you so much, ladies, for sharing your stories. I no longer feel alone in this crazy life!

VERY Sincerely,

Mich

Aug 03, 2016 14:Aug 2 | GG said

Perimenopause

Hello ... I am 51 years old and my symptoms started last year. I felt as though my body was slanted sideways when all along, I was standing up straight. I felt movement while walking or driving. I wish I could tell you I had one too many mojitos .... but; it just wouldn't be true. The next symptom I could remember was a sensation of electrical pulses going through my arms & legs. Like many of you; I too ended up in the ER. They did so many tests; found nothing. A family member who happens to be a female cardiologist listened and figured it out. I am now on Adre-all 2x daily and an estriol patch .05mg 2x weekly ... I also take 100mg of progesterone in the evening 3 wks. on and 1 wk. off. Is it helping? YES. Am I perfect? NO. I still get hot flashes, anxiety, irritability. But; it seems to be less than before. I have eliminated caffiene & alcohol from my life. Try to stay away from sugar. And; I pray a lot!!!! I wish it would pass but; it's here to stay for now. Ever heard of "invasion of the body snatchers????" That's what happened to all of us & it ain't fun?!

Jul 24, 2016 14:Jul 2 | Louisa said

I was diagonose of Emphysema

I was diagonose of Emphysema in 2010 and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) 3 years ago, our family doctor told me there was no cure but it can only be controled. Ever since then i have been running heather scepter looking for a solution to my problem because i was going to lose my Job if i dont get better, until i ran into this online testimony of Dr Lusanda who have been curing people of COPD with his herbal remedy i immediately contacted him via their email, to God be thy glory i bought this COPD herbal remedy and was cured within 3 weeks of usage, at last this is a break through for all COPD/emphysema patients contact this herbal clinic via their email drlusandaherbal(at)gmail(dot)com or website on www(dot)drlusandaherbal(dot)weebly(dot)com

Jul 23, 2016 03:Jul 3 | Don Lewis said

http://www.journalofnaturalhealth.com/panicattacks

When I read this story I was reminded of my long struggle with anxiety and panic attacks.

The first time it happened, I was a young teacher having a friendly meeting with the principal when all of a sudden I felt a strange flutter of nervous energy that went all through my body and became so intense that I could hardly breathe.

I thought I was having a heart attack. a co-worker rushed me to the doctor, who gave me a prescription and told me to go get some rest.

For many years after that, I suffered through more and more panic attacks. It got to the point where I never felt secure or at ease anymore. In fact, I felt that any day I would end up in a mental hospital.

When I sought help from doctors, they gave me the same knee-jerk reaction many of you with anxiety or panic attacks may be familiar with: a hasty prescription for a bottle of pills. Unfortunately, those drugs did nothing about the root cause of my anxiety and actually made my condition worse much of the time.

I knew that there had to be another way. I searched long and hard and finally came across some simple natural remedies that finally made my horrifying panic attacks disappear for good...to the amazement of my doctor.

In fact, you might want to check out this article, it really helped me a lot:

http://www.journalofnaturalhealth.com/panicattacks

Hope it helps anyone reading this!

Jul 22, 2016 05:Jul 5 | Alice Serinova said

Menopause

Menopause can wreak havoc on your psyche. Initially, you may have trouble sleeping and find yourself feeling unusually tired, moody or irritable. You may also have difficulty concentrating and suffer from memory lapses.

My mom faced symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats she even gone into hormone Therophy but nothing works. she went into depression also she lost her sex life too....only thing helped her from symptoms is fitness (yoga, cycling etc) and some natural products like viebien menopause support helps a lot to experience life without symptoms of menopause.

Jul 19, 2016 18:Jul 6 | Martha Alvarado said

menopause and stress

Dear all,

Thanks a lot for expressing your fears in this blog. I am very happy to feel I am not alone in this bumpy road. I believe in the power of the mind and I am learning how to cope with the panic attacks using CBT(Cognitive behavior therapy) . I work in my thoughts and in my breathing. I even think about punching those panic attacks on their face. I use a lot of distractions for the mind: music, candles and I read a lot in the nights when they come. I try very hard to distract the mind form what is happening and I have learned not to be so afraid. Is matter of time..getting use to them like getting used to a bad smell or an uncomfortable relative...takes time and conditioning of the mind.
Please believe in yourselves and never allowed doctors to play with your brain..taking antidepressants and other drugs is something that will come back to you sooner or later.
Pharmaceutical industries need Guinea picks to experiment with..love yourselves and think that if all women have gone through this previously we can also do it !! Cheers.

Jul 12, 2016 21:Jul 9 | Sanne said

Unbelievable perimenopause symptoms

I'm 54 with hypothyroidism (thyroid removed) and in perimenopause. Last period was 2 months ago and lasted 2 weeks! I have been having symptoms for about 3 years now. Started with heart palpitations, then night sweats/hot flashes, rise in blood pressure, feeling of internal shaking, can feel heartbeat pounding and shaking body, ringing in the ears, aching joints, anxiety/panic attacks, and muscle twitching to name a few. Seen my primary care doctor, OB/GYN, endocrinologist and neurologist. Got back normal reports except for Vitamin D & iron deficiency, thyroid levels fluctuating and cholesterol number was high. All this is so scary... I just want to feel normal again!!!!

Nov 07, 2016 16:Nov 4 | Nelsia Loraine-Smith said

menopause

Girl you sound like me....i have an appointment with a neurologist soon....thyroid functions borderline with t4 dropping yet they tell me i do not need L- tyroxine at this time. Whatever! i hate it as well...but its life. when i can i go to Tobago and just lie on beach and watch the sexy young men prowl and be glad i am not a young, pretty thing... i just enjoy the sound of the waves which is very calming. i try to find the humour in everything and laugh for they say laughter is good medicine. The other day my joint made such a loud sound, i was sure it was fire crackers.... i almost jumped out of my skin...lol....life. hope you feel better.

Jul 10, 2016 14:Jul 2 | Corrie said

Menopause symtoms never ending

I am so happy to find these comments. I went through an awful menopause starting at around 54. I am 60 now and its been about 2 years since my last period. My symptoms were so bad I prayed to die. Like many of you I ended up at emergency thinking I was having a heart attack. I would get continuous waves of dreadful crippling anxiety and my worry over having some sinister disease was out of control. I went to doctors for every kind of cancer you can imagine. Every test and doctors visit always concludes the same thing...my whole body is like a 20 year old, they can't even find any arthritis and yet I feel worse than people I know who are sick. I eat pretty much organic, take no medicine(except an a tiny Xanax as needed) and run about 4 miles every night...but the hot flashes and anxiety have now come back no matter what I do. I am thankful for Xanax, that is the only thing that is helping me, it doesn't matter what I eat, or if I drink caffeine, the anxiety comes. I have taken a small piece of Xanax when needed for 30 years. Sometimes I go weeks without it and sometimes I need it a few days in a row. I am so thankful I see many have menopause symptoms that return...it gives me hope that it can pass again. I have learned that menopause symptoms are beyond WEIRD and unless someone actually is feeling the same things they can never understand.

Jun 25, 2016 01:Jun 1 | Yvonne said

Not enjoying life

Hi, I'm 51,and I hate my life...ever since I turned 50 my life has gone down hill, mentally and health wise.....I work 5 days a week and I'm just so tired all the time..I can go to sleep because I'm exhausted but wake up a few hours later and can't get back to sleep , I have anxiety about the smallest thing. I have to follow a certain routine in my daily life and if something unexpectedly happens , I have a panic attack.....my body hurts all over , had ultrasounds of my body because I think I have cancer but nothing shows...I'm not enjoying life at all...my youngest is 14,and I'm forcing my self to try and look happy in front of her...my doctor put me on antidepressants ,but they make me so sick....my periods are all over the place...does anyone know what the best thing is on how to cope
Thankyou

Sep 21, 2016 12:Sep 12 | Cat said

Menopausal issues

Hi there,
All I can advise is - if you can - avoid anti-depressants, the side affects in my opinion, counteract any positive effect. My sister took them, and they made her worse, but unfortunately she cannot see it, she’s just as depressed, but her personality has changed for the worst. I was offered them due to having anxiety, but I opted for holistic treatment instead at a women's clinic. I would also advise anyone thinking of taking herbal remedies to be careful. I had a good herbalist doctor but I was allergic to any I tried, and had to cease treatment. I got so exhausted I had to stop working, pushing yourself will not work, you'll feel worse. Talk to your doctor, who can help you, and if they don't get one who will. What currently works for me is having regular reflexology, and learning relaxation techniques. Taking regular exercise such as walking, preferably in nature, lifts my mood, and makes me feel much better. Diet is really important, I cannot eat the way I used to, I’ve had to omit many foods that I previously enjoyed. I still struggle, but ultimately I feel it’s about acceptance, yes I feel like another person physically, but I have to move forward.

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