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

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

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?

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.

Dec 02, 2014 03:Dec 3 | Phil said

Thanks for the article..

Anxiety attacks are also a pressing problem for those undergoing menopause. Numerous women experience fairly profound anxiety attacks that start occurring while they are going through menopausal symptoms. This blog is really very informative and the question-answer section are giving clear instruction. Easy to understand, keep it up!

I've listened & read about an effect which is able to reduce anxiety & depression, commonly people known it as the Trivedi Effect, Maybe it will help people to control their anxiety.

Dec 02, 2014 01:Dec 1 | lydia e mill said

how i got my husband back

After being in relationship with him for 3 years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is DRAISEDIONSPELLCASTER@GMAIL.COM you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other problem.

Dec 02, 2014 01:Dec 1 | lydia e mill said

how i got my husband back

After being in relationship with him for 3 years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email is DRAISEDIONSPELLCASTER@GMAIL.COM you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other problem.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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 29, 2014 06:Sep 6 | Elena Shephard said

Unhealthy way of living, such

Unhealthy way of living, such as smoking and not getting enough physical movement, can likewise consider into a lady's helplessness to anxiety, regardless of what phase of life she is in. A healthy adjusted eating methodology is one of the best solutions for the numerous illnesses that afflict mankind and Exercising consistently expands the levels of endorphins. These are 'feel great' hormones.

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.

Nov 07, 2014 12:Nov 12 | Trisha White said

Does that include Purex

Does that include Purex Crystals?

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

May 26, 2014 10:May 10 | madelene said

Thank you LeDonna, for your

Thank you LeDonna, for your reply.. it helps a lot when you feel that you're not alone . lately I'm seeking help from God by meditation and talking to him as a powerful friend .. it helped me to go through two awful days.
I'm taking 250mg magnesium a day , I hope it would help.
ladies I'm praying for all of us every night. please let me know if you have tried anything that helped .

Nov 02, 2014 18:Nov 6 | klp said

prayer and faith

Yes ladies seems like a lot of forget to pray and put your faith in God..he has delivered me from elements in the pass and pray he will show me the way to go with these new problems with hormo and depression. Just got to be patient which is hard for me to do

Aug 28, 2014 11:Aug 11 | Angie B. said

Thankfully not alone!

I've been having terrible anxiety lately and I too have been seeking God's help. I'm also going to see a herbologist to make sure I get the right supplements to help with the anxiety and menopause. I haven't asked but I really don't want to go on HRT therapy. Just knowing I'm not alone in this makes me feel better!!

May 06, 2014 16:May 4 | madelene said

anxiety during perimenopause

I'm 45 and I'm perimenopausal. My doctor put me on the contraceptive pills because I suffered from anxiety and sleepless nights.The pills helped me sleeping better and reduced my anxiety a little . I tried to cope by relaxing many times a day(yoga - breathing...)and with a great help from my husband, I survived my anxiety for 8 months ( I stopped driving and I don't stay by myself for long time) . When I started working again I had to skip my daytime relaxation and life went to the usual stressful routine..and I crashed :severe anxiety with panic attacks and scary fears..
I 'm trying Avena Sativa in the morning and can't tell yet if it will work for me. Does anyone try it before ? does it work?
Does anyone experience scary fears? Pease help

Nov 07, 2014 13:Nov 1 | Trisha White said

I thought i posted this

I thought i posted this before,but can't find it, But what scary fears do you have? does it make it hard to sleep at night because thinking of these fears? causing you to panic and every since you been going through this, do you have dread to have to get up of a mornings specially if you're by yourself when everybody is gone? I know i have. I like to know what the fears are.

Nov 07, 2014 12:Nov 12 | Trisha White said

What scary fears are you

What scary fears are you talking about?

Nov 25, 2014 15:Nov 3 | madelene said

Hi Trisha I fear to stay by

Hi Trisha
I fear to stay by myself and Sometimes I fear to lose my mind and do something wrong .. I bought Panic away and it helped a lot with understanding that the fears are not real and do not have any reaction toward your fears.
It works but when I'm around my periods and my ovulation it's hard to deal with all the fears without reaction but I keep trying.
Tr y to see the light at the end of the tunnel. IT WILL PASS.
I asked many ladies and three Gyn and they all told me that.
My life is crippled but I'm not giving up.

Jun 17, 2014 16:Jun 4 | Jil said

I am going through EXACTLY

I am going through EXACTLY everything that you described. Thank you for your post...I'm going to talk to my doctor about contraceptive pills now, I hadn't thought about that. I also, do very limited driving, no freeways anymore, and I don't like being alone. I always assume the worst imaginable outcome of every situation. It's horrible. Can't wait for this to pass! I feel so much better knowing that I'm not crazy or alone. Thank you so much!

May 25, 2014 10:May 10 | LeDonna said

anxiety and menopause

Madelene, I too am 45 and going through menopause. I have been suffering with massive anxiety, panic attacks and phobias for a very long time but it has gotten worse over the last 3 years. I had my hormones checked about 3 1/2 months ago and they were normal. I have actively been seeking help for the last 2 years for my massive fears.. I am hopeful that I have found the help I need at last. Keep seeking help until you find what you need. It sounds like there are so many of us in the same boat.
I can tell you the phobia or intense fear I feel is crippling. I don't like to drive outside of town and I hate staying by myself. The anxiety I can handle it's the constant rapid heart rate that bothers me the most. But just keep seeking help and remember you aren't crazy or alone.

Sep 29, 2014 14:Sep 2 | sara an said

Black cohosh.

Hi, try Black cohosh and Sea bucthorn, herbal remedies. My palpitation is gone and you will sleep like a baby without hot flashes. In Holland lots of women are using this. We can buy these combination with magnesium on it in one tablet it really helps with dizziness and palpitations.

May 29, 2014 02:May 2 | lety said

menopause and anxiety

I am glad i am not alone, been suffering from this syntoms for many years, hot flushes headaches, anxiety, shaky scare of not what. dont get hungry can go two day without food, irritable to loud noises , very weak and tired want to sleep it off.
my first Dr.s keep saying i had anxiety, but i keep telling him if thats the case why do i get this only around my period cycle....i lost my good job because of this it takes over me, i call them "waves" when saddently i get all this at once the shaking, hard to swallo, hot , cold, and feel space outl like I am not there. nervous. Do you think i can work like this no way. i try to get dissability but i didnt push it cause they want a lot. even thought i have a history of Lorezapan, sanax, and all kinds i dont take them cause they dont take it away. . i wish i can find someone that can tell me ....is all gone ..do this!! I wish this has taken over my life and i want my life back. i am 60 but been going trough this for 20 yrs.
thank you

Aug 27, 2014 20:Aug 8 | said

Menopause and Anxiety

These comments could have been written by me! The first time I had an "attack" was in May. I was out of work for 2 weeks with nausea, sleeplessness, shaking, diarrhea, nervouness, irritability and buring sensation in my necky and arms. After 3 ER trips and multiple trips to the doctor I was diagnosed with General Anxiety. Everything I have read about these attacks say they usually only last 10 to 30 minutes. I am on Zoloft now but I still have an attack occaisonally but they don't last as long. When I have the first "wave", if I take a xanax it does lessen the severity. Lety you are not alone! I am 60 and thank goodness unlike you I have just started having these. Doc says its an accumulation of stress over the years. Whatever it is it is horrible! I am hoping for a miracle cure.

Jun 24, 2014 22:Jun 10 | Janet said

I totally relate

Hello Lety,I feel for you. 6 years ago I had my first serious bought of depression ..I was put on anti-depressants.Now I have weeks of debilitated anxiety and terrible depersonalization due to the anxiety. I have been going through perimenopaus for 6 years. My G,P recently put me on HRT. It seems to be helping . I have only been on them for 13 days . But will know more in a couple of weeks. meditating helps a great deal. My acupuncturist has been a great help and keeping life really simple reducing stress as much as possible.........Exercise is also key. CBt. helps greatly .I have been looking for a local support group I can meet with . I think it would help a lot to talk to other women about things and also be able to laugh about it as well. a lot of times due to my symptoms I feel so alone even when I have people around me,But I am fortunate to have an extremely supportive husband . I hope you have a few friends or family members that you can talk to .

Jun 23, 2014 08:Jun 8 | RFisher said

anxiety

Hi Lety....I saw your post and I can relate. I have had the same symptoms you described but it only lasted about 5 months. I walked it off everyday and cooking and keeping busy during the day helped. I got laid off from my job just before this all happened. The doc said it came on due to the stress of suddenly losing my job I loved so much. I was an office worker at the time. I took canal as well but the anxiety came back when the pill wore off. I was lucky it all finally subsided though after 5 months. I had no insurance at the time so seeing different doctors was out of the question. I still don't drive though (7years later). Now I am experiencing anxiety again these last few days and think it's due to menopause. It really sucks. I will have my levels checked next week. I have been on disability for 5 years now. Have you been to a gynecologist to have your hormone levels checked? I hope and pray you will find an answer. May God bless you.

May 04, 2014 11:May 11 | Cwheeler said

Menopause

Thanks to all comments....just to say ...
I am not alone with all this...please add positive comments....

May 05, 2014 12:May 12 | Sheryl said

I hope that the group support

I hope that the group support gives you hope!

May 01, 2014 17:May 5 | Carole Heath said

anxiety related to the menopause

I am 66 years old and post menopausal my doctor has told me. My menopause wasn't to bad I never took HRT as I had a breast lump which was removed but it was not cancerous glad to say. My main problem with the menopause was migraine and trouble sleeping. But recently I have been getting some anxiety shaking in my chest and stomach region and feeling anxious when left alone at home. I hope this situation passes as don't like feeling like that as it makes me quite ill. Sometimes I feel like screaming as I feel everything gets on top of me. I have started taking St John's wort a tablet once a day I am hoping this will help the symptoms. I try to keep calm but when I haven't slept most of the night it does make me very anxious.

May 11, 2014 18:May 6 | Brenda Williams said

Post menopausal

Hi Carole your not on your own I am 63 at the moment I am going through a very bad time suffering bad anxiety panic attacks and scary thoughts I have suffered migraines since I was eleven and got worse through my change it was a nightmare l have a doctors appointment tomorrow fingers crossed she can help me with my anxiety she is quite useless all the best hope you fill better soon.

Nov 17, 2014 19:Nov 7 | Brenda Williams said

Post menopause

Hi Carole it's been a while since l last emailed you, my doctor as put me touch with a councillor l hope it helps feel like l am living on my nervous and aniexty and going crazy it's a shame that people don't talk more about what's it's like to be postmenopause l feel worse now then l did going through the change how do you fill be nice to here from you as l feel quite alone all the best

May 05, 2014 12:May 12 | Sheryl said

Carole, It does sound like

Carole, It does sound like you're having a tough time. I hope you get the right help that you need for your anxiety. Please make sure to find a good mental health professional that can give you some advice.

Sep 20, 2014 18:Sep 6 | Carole Heath said

menopause problems

Thanks for your comment Sheryl I have got some help from my GP and mental health professional and I am getting along much better glad to say my anxiety has improved and I am more relaxed now.

Apr 27, 2014 12:Apr 12 | Nettie said

Anxiety and Menopause

I too have been hit hard with severe anxiety attacks during menopause. I find taking deep breaths really helps and the support of other women in the same situation. Also, I had a sleep study done and found I have mild sleep apnea and will soon be wearing a mouth appliance at night which is supposed to help with the panic attacks as I will be able to breathe freely which stops the flight or fright reaction. The lack of estrogen in our bodies affects even the muscles and tissues in our throats making sleeping disorders worse. There's a 90% success rate in wearing the appliance. Anyone having problems with severe lower leg cramps at night and first thing upon awakening? Mine started 3 months ago and really add to my anxiety! I take calcium, magnesium and potassium at bedtime as well as do a routine of stretching. This helps the cramping only a little. I also have RLS and this too is out of control lately. Advice anyone?

Jun 27, 2014 00:Jun 12 | ChristineD. said

mouth piece

I was just wondering what kind of mouth piece that you wear? When I am having the anxiety it feels like im going to hyperventilate...but it never does I just breath really shallow and Id like to overcome this. I am 45 and started the anxiety around my cycle about 1.5 years ago. I hope you are doing good. Thanks C.

May 05, 2014 12:May 12 | Sheryl said

Hi, Nettie - It sounds like

Hi, Nettie - It sounds like you have been through a lot and are doing a lot to help yourself. I truly hope that you find the right relief.

Jan 20, 2014 17:Jan 5 | Patricia Nelson said

Anxiety linked to menapause

I have been suffering from severe panic attacks since starting menopause two years ago, I have stopped driving, lost my job because of anxiety. I do not have medical.

May 05, 2014 12:May 12 | Sheryl said

I am so sorry for what you

I am so sorry for what you are going through, Patricia, and hope you find help with your anxiety.

Feb 05, 2014 14:Feb 2 | anita said

Panic Attacks and Menopause

I have been taking medication for panic and anxiety since 1996. In 2007 I weened myself off the meds. Later that year I crashed. Had to go back on the meds. Been a very hard uphill climb. Now I don't drive, don't stay by myself and cant work. In '07 I was 43. Could it be menopause related? Had a hysterectomy in 99, but still have ovaries. Does anyone know how to stop this madness!!!! Feel as thou I will be this way forever.

Apr 10, 2014 18:Apr 6 | rachel said

I have been though something

I have been though something very similar. I went on SSRI's in 1998 and weaned myself off in 2012, at age 50. Was OK for a few months, and crashed. Had to go back on meds. It was a long way back for me, too. I felt that I recovered completely with the help of a good therapist. Now I am very anxious again, and am going to get my hormones tested next week. I can't blame the meds entirely, because I did have a depressive episode before I went off of them. I think that SSRI's can keep you from really bottoming out, but I would look into something called Estrogen Dominance - especially if you are overweight, it's a nasty culprit. I cope by eating VERY healthy, exercising, doing breathing exercises, and limiting alcohol. Hope that helps!

Jul 02, 2014 07:Jul 7 | melissa stoey said

I just started reading all

I just started reading all the comments and your is the first to mention estrogen dominance. It seems like a lot of doctors leap to giving women birth control pills or HRT assuming a woman is short of estrogen. These meds can have terrible side effects when the issues could actually be a lack of progesterone (the calming hormone) which in turn, causes estrogen dominance. It makes sense that if you're short on the calming hormone and it's not balancing out the estrogen in your body, you could possibly suffer from nervousness and anxiety. I have used a topical progesterone cream that I found quite helpful and almost predictably when I stop using it for an extensive period of time, I have more trouble with anxiety. However, in my 30's I had fertility problems so my progesterone levels were tested with a endometrial biopsy which showed that my luteal phase was short, caused by not having enough progesterone, so I know that I'm already deficient. I would suggest that all women consider their progesterone levels and not just their levels of estrogen.

May 05, 2014 12:May 12 | Sheryl said

Thanks for sharing your

Thanks for sharing your story, Rachel. I do hope you continue to find relief.

Jun 05, 2013 11:Jun 11 | Kraig said

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May 13, 2013 10:May 10 | Susan Hines said

anxiety

My husband doesn't understand why I am anxious. I am actually very happy in my life. We currently have enough money so we aren't too stressed with that. My children are grown and successful. But I do stress over things. I guess from what he's saying Imust be driving him nuts. I can't help it. I don't know what to do. I don't mean to be anxious. I've actually been this way forever. but normally I'm very happy go lucky. Am I not entitled to be a bit anxious about things?

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