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

Apr 13, 2015 15:Apr 3 | Madelene said

Hi ladies For the ladies who

Hi ladies
For the ladies who are using BHRT- prometrium, what is the dose for each?
Thank you

Apr 12, 2015 11:Apr 11 | sister said

meno/anxiety

Thank GOODNESS for this forum and article! Does anyone out there feel shaky inside? Like just under their skin? I am post meno. and have had more symptoms POST than peri. I feel like I am going crazy!! I am due to have my thyroid tested in a couple of weeks....any thoughts? I read posts about thyroid and maybe that is what is going on. That plus the out of my shirt heart beat and anxiety have been so disturbing......thank you all for posting and knowing I am not alone in this !!!!!!!

Apr 09, 2015 15:Apr 3 | said

rimen

I am 59. I am sleeping again and back to the wt I was before menopause started.
I have focused on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy and lean meats. Although a glass of wine seemed like a good remedy for feeling run down at the end of the day, but I am doing much better without it. Staying hydrated, I've found, is majorly important. The biggest factor in my feeling better and recognizing myself in the mirror again was exercise. You don't have to like it for it to work. In a couple of months you may see a huge difference in how you feel. Check with your doctor first! Even just walking can create a huge difference in your energy level and sense of well being. Staying hydrated is very, very important too. Our bodies were made for drinking water and healthy fluids.

My memory came back over time!

This is the time to foster routines that will support you the rest of your life. I don't know about anyone else but I want to be here...for as long as I can and as well as I can. Sisters, best wishes to you all!

Apr 08, 2015 15:Apr 3 | said

menopause and anxiety

THANK YOU THANK YOU LADIES!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT tell you the mental relief I feel just reading your posts. I am pot meno. and have had more anxiety this year than ever! Hot flahes continue, as do mood swings and feelings of dread. THIS is ALL since meno. But hearing what all of you have been said, just helps so much to know I am not alone and NOT LOSING MY MIND!!! Hugs to all of you!!!!!

Apr 07, 2015 14:Apr 2 | Dana 11 said

Menopause and anxiety / migrains

Hi,
I am so thankful to have found this forum. I had a severe panic attack in January and have since found out I am in menopause (47 yes old). I also have been diagnosed with Hashimotos and am on thyroid medications to help. My problem is the daily headache and anxiety . It has been 3 full months with no relief. I started bio identical hormone replacement 4 weeks ago and last week started prometrium pills but still no relief. I am scared to death and my fears are beginning to take over. I need help but don't even know what else to do. I will keep reading your posts in hopes that they will remind me that I am not alone.
Thanks and good luck to you all !

Apr 08, 2015 11:Apr 11 | Madelene said

It will pass Dana, don't give

It will pass Dana, don't give up.
Take supplements(Mg, Ca, B6 and B12).
Try acupuncture , it helped me.
Learn the techniques of deep breathing and meditation.
Dismiss the thoughts you have when you're in bad mood.
And remember : Your fear is not real , it will go away every time.
Be strong and don't give up.

Mar 31, 2015 11:Mar 11 | Reese said

Menopause

Thanks for the read. Sharing this similar article I read recently, hope you find it useful to you and your readers. Thanks!

http://anti-aging-today.us/symptoms/signs-symptoms-perimenopause/

Mar 29, 2015 05:Mar 5 | Marilyn said

Hi everyone, I am happy to

Hi everyone, I am happy to have found this forum and read everyone's stories. I know that I am not alone. I am 54 and am in perimenopause. The hormonal fluctuations are causing severe anxiety. I have a foggy brain and somedays think I am going crazy. This is such a scary time. I just started taking Lovan for the anxiety. I also have empty nest syndrome as the last of my six children leave home for university.

Apr 01, 2015 07:Apr 7 | joolz said

Hi Marilyn Im so glad I came

Hi Marilyn
Im so glad I came across this forum. I have been thinking I am going crazy too. Its so good to read that so many women are feeling the same. I'm 48 and periods have become more and more erratic over the last 3 years. The anxiety I have experienced in the last 2 months has been unbearable mainly due to the effect on my sleep. Visited GP, tried mild anti anxiety drug which worked for a couple of nights, then went back following blood tests which showed an fsh level in the 80's and was told I was menopausal and very unlikely I would have another period and suggested HRT. I panicked because of bad press on HRT and opted for an SSRI which I thought would help with night hot flushes and hence sleep. But heck, the anxiety and insomnia got worse and came off them after 10 days which caused even more anxiety. Now trying another type of medication to help sleep but am at my wits end. I feel like Im not in my head sometimes and just want to feel 'normal' again.
I do know that exercise does clear some of the fog for me and want to try meditation.
What I have realised from the forum is that a problem shared helps so much and that the support from others is one of the best therapies.
Xx

Mar 28, 2015 17:Mar 5 | judith Baker said

I am 73 I began menopause at 45

Since I started menopause I have had a problem walking. Before that I road my bike and dispite bad feet, I could walk just fine. Now I have good days and bad days. I have had tests done on my legs and there never seemed to be a problem. Menopause seemed to take away my confidence and has prevented me from doing many of the wonderful things I enjoyed. I also have terrible bloating even when I don't eat.

Mar 28, 2015 11:Mar 11 | Sandra said

Menopause

It's been really good to read other people's comments about menopause and not to feel like I'm losing my mind. Had a bit of post natal depression 20 years ago but have been fine ever since. Now severe anxiety all day long and night time is a nightmare as sleep disrupted and have had to resort to taking sominex OTC sleep remedy which leaves me feeling groggy the next day - not good when your work involves teaching 30 ten year olds. Add to this irrational worries regarding my husband and his relationship with a female work colleague. Their friendship used not to cost me a thought but the last few months anxiety levels through roof and imagining all sorts of scenarios. Sleep disturbance also means feeling constantly tired and feeling detached from those close to me. Will definitely try the magnesium and get more exercise and will go to doctor as have heard CBT works well. This menopause subject should be discussed much more openly!!

Mar 27, 2015 12:Mar 12 | jordan said

Anxiety and Menopause

Has anyone considered that the anxiety women feel around menopause might be due in part to the fact that we as older women become invisible? Society tends to discount women, and the older we are the more this happens. So, how much of this anxiety is a reasonable response to our environment?

Apr 14, 2015 16:Apr 4 | said

Yes, this us exactly how I

Yes, this us exactly how I feel. I'm 56 and struggling with these thoughts. I've been up and down since I was 52. It's been really bad the past few weeks. Incredible sad feeling. It's like a death of the person I was to this aging under desired version. Def feeling of becoming invisible. It's a very difficult time in my life.

Mar 26, 2015 13:Mar 1 | Madelene said

Ladies I had 2 sessions of

Ladies
I had 2 sessions of acupuncture and I'm feeling some relief , I start dealing better with my fears. I also read "Stop thinking , start living " and I highly recommend it.
Keep looking at the light at the end of tunnel, millions of ladies have made it through.
Peace and Faith.

Mar 26, 2015 12:Mar 12 | Floss said

Menopause symptoms

Hi

I am 56 and in menopause. I have always had times of feeling anxious and had bouts of panic. It's weird because when I have a good spell of not feeling the panic I can't imagine how it felt. Unfortunately the feelings of anxiety and panic always eventually come back.

Before my last period at 53 I had suffered 8 years of hellish periods. Sudden flooding to the extent I couldn't go out and was afraid to move. Several times I needed progesterone tabs to stop my periods for a few weeks. These were good and seemed to regulate me for a while. I had always been regular up until I was 46. After this I had periods lasting months, dipping as though I was about to stop and then the awful flooding. I became anaemic several times. It was found out I had a few fibroids, but I have friends who suffered the same as me who didn't have them.
Anyway, I am now having other symptoms I don't like. I am lucky that I haven't had the awful hot sweats most of my friends suffer. I do get hot sweats now and again, but they are mild. What I do get a lot is tingling in my face and neck. It can be anywhere on my face or all over. Some days I cope with this without worrying about it. Other days I get very frightened and think I might have something dreadful wrong with me.
I did see my doctor over this and had a basic xray which came back normal. I had a blood test and my thyroid was slightly out of range, but when I had a repeat test the following week it was normal. My doctor said I had a type of neuralgia. I am not totally convinced and wonder if this tingling is a type of hot flush. Sometimes my lips really tingle and look very red. They can feel hot or cold but even when I think they feel cold they are very warm to the touch.
I live in fear of dying and my getting older.When I get really anxious I feel it affects my co-ordination, and then I worry more and think I might have a stroke. My memory too is dreadful and I can't seem to hold onto information I have been told. I get my words mixed up and then panic more again. I really feel I am losing my mind at times as I do the most stupid things. I have laughed about my mistakes for years but now it is scaring me.

On top of all this I lost my mum late last year and we were very close, seeing each other everyday all our lives. I helped my dad care for her and she suffered a lot. During this time my husband had to come of work sick due to a knee injury and ended up having an op just before Christmas. He is still off work and it seems he may not be able to go back to the sort of work he has always done as he cannot kneel down now, which he needs to do for his job. As he has just turned 60 the prospects of finding work which isn't manual - which is all he has ever down - are bleak. I am also looking after my dad so at the moment can't go out to work. Which is just as well as with my mind I would bankrupt a place within the month lols!!
I have to laugh but it is so worrying. If my husband can't go back to work I will eventually have to find a job as I have 10 years left before I can retire. I am terrified at the thought of going back to work as my confidence is at rock bottom and the more I get stressed about something the more mistakes I make. I just cannot concentrate and all my anxious feeling come flooding back and I go into a panic.
I can relate to you ladies who have been stricken by panic whilst out. It is terrifying enough to feel like that in your own home, never mind being outside of it.
A few years ago I went through a very bad time and became terrified for weeks on end. I was even like it in the house with my husband with me. It was the most awful time. I was feeling dizzy and off balance all the time. I felt like I was drunk and couldn't walk straight. When I looked at someone and spoke my head felt weird and like I was so aware of everything going on in my body. My eyes didn't feel right but tests shown they were fine. The doctor said it was all stress and anxiety, maybe due to the perimenopause/menopause. Whatever it was it was damn awful.
I came through that all ok, but am slipping back into those feelings again. I am waiting for an appointment with a therapist to see if that helps.
So I don't know if this is anxiety and stress on its own - menopause or a mix of both.

Heaven help us all!!

Mar 26, 2015 11:Mar 11 | eleanor said

menopausal anxiety

So glad I found this site, it is the only thing keeping me sane right now. I have terrible anxiety, sometimes think I can't cope. I worry constantly about getting dementia. I'm 57. I have ringing in the ears and a bit of hearing loss. Been to a specialist, he is sending me for a X ray. Some days I really wonder how I am going to get thru this.

Mar 24, 2015 12:Mar 12 | said

menopausal anxiety

I have very high anxiety, am terrified I will get dementia. This thought is with me every waking minute. I am on anti anxiety pills but they don't seem to be helping. Going to see a counselor tomorrow. I just seem to get rid of this terrible feeling. It is taking over my life. It is the most horrible thing ever. I work with the elderly so am around dementia patients a lot. I just can't cope anymore. Help! !!!

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 28, 2015 12:Mar 12 | misti said

aniexty and hot flashes

Iam 40 years old and suffer the same things you are describing.I thought I was the only person feeling this way.if you have found something that helps please post it.Thank you!

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 24, 2015 17:Mar 5 | Patricia said

47 and one ovary left

I am so glad I find these sites with do many amazing stories of hope and advice on how to get thru whatever it is my body is going thru 8 weeks after hysterectomy surgery these anxiety attacks r really messing with me. no meds at all never have been a pill taker even though doctor gave me estrogen to take I am not taking it. I know it's not the cabinet but I sm to afraid of all the side effects, why take a pill that says may cause anxiety to treat the anxiety I have now?

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.

Apr 03, 2015 01:Apr 1 | Susan said

Menopause

I take Lexipro 10 mg even with it I still have a little anxiety but it fluctuates which makes me think it is all hormonally induced

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.

Mar 24, 2015 20:Mar 8 | said

I am also on Prozac for

I am also on Prozac for anxiety

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.

Apr 02, 2015 11:Apr 11 | Bren17 said

perimenopause nightmare

I truly can empathize with every woman on this board. I am trying like crazy to see which hormone therapy is right for me in working with my doctor and NP in the middle of horrible anxiety and sleep is a joke. I am so discouraged with the medical profession in their lack of knowledge and help with perimenopause and menopause. I am 40 and my sis went through menopause before the age of 40. I have tried bioidenticals as a last resort and I can tell you the progesterone cream made me have AWFUL anxiety. I can only offer my personal advice is to keep working with them as much as you can and remember every therapy for every woman is going to react completely different and you just have to keep with trial in error. I will suggest caution on herbals and non-medical studied "natural" remedies as were not to helpful and just cost me more money in the long run. Acupuncture and breathing/relaxation were the ONLY natural remedies somewhat helpful. Be very weary of naturopathic Hope every women finds relief and peace from this misery I am also experiencing.

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.

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