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

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??

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.

Jan 04, 2015 12:Jan 12 | said

I'm 55 and post menopausal.

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

Jan 12, 2015 21:Jan 9 | Linda0818 said

I feel ya

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

Ativan has saved me on more than one occasion.

Dec 05, 2014 22:Dec 10 | treelady said

post menapause

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

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

postmenopause symptoms

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

Dec 19, 2014 12:Dec 12 | madelene said

Go to ENT doctor and let him

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

Dec 04, 2014 08:Dec 8 | Tired said

Why

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

Jan 07, 2015 10:Jan 10 | Kim said

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

Hello,,,,,

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

Jan 02, 2015 21:Jan 9 | julielind said

Tired

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

Jan 06, 2015 01:Jan 1 | heidi said

it's amazing, you have

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

Dec 03, 2014 16:Dec 4 | Dally said

Most women should be aware by

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

Nov 06, 2014 13:Nov 1 | Ella said

I'm at a loss for the most

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

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

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

Jan 17, 2015 18:Jan 6 | kim said

hormone levels

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

Thanks,

Dec 04, 2014 03:Dec 3 | said

Be patient with yourself

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

Nov 25, 2014 03:Nov 3 | Tammy said

you are definitely not alone

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

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

Feeling crazy

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

Sep 19, 2014 12:Sep 12 | madelene said

anxiety during perimenopause

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

Oct 01, 2014 08:Oct 8 | said

Thanks madelene

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

Jul 30, 2014 20:Jul 8 | tammi said

anxiety

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

Jun 10, 2014 11:Jun 11 | madelene said

flaxseed oil

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

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 .

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.

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.

Nov 20, 2014 15:Nov 3 | Amanda said

I have the same

Hi LeDonna,

The last few lines of your message really connected with me. I can almost deal with the anxiety in my gut, the sweaty palms or chills, the mood swings, but the rapid heart rate scares the crap out of me. I found an app on my phone so now I check my BPM whenever I feel it rise and my psychiatrist recommended I get a blood pressure monitor at home that also does heart rate. That's been very helpful because if it's up at anxiety level I can take it a bit later and see it come down. She has also prescribed a very low does of propranerol (sp?) a bet blocker which helps calm the heart pretty quickly. The rapid heart rate has made it almost impossible for me to fall asleep now. It really scares me and sends me into a fit of tears every time.

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.

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