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

May 24, 2015 17:May 5 | Teacher said

Menopause humbug

Stumbled across this site and relieved that I'm not alone in suffering going through the menopause. I'm a strong independent woman, good job, great partner however today I've felt that bursting into tears, I'm very touchy too. Totally bonkers, I've a lot to be thankful for and hate feeling this way as I'm normally an upbeat person. The hot flushes torment me, no sweats just my own little furnace I'm approaching 50 with hypothyroidism which is under control however this menopause malarkey is no fun. Can anyone recommend alternative treatments other than antidepressants as recommended by my doctor for the flushes. Surely there must be something out there. Good luck everyone. I feel a little better just having this rant!

May 23, 2015 17:May 5 | said

menopause

I have been suffering with hot flashes for 10 years. The last couple years have been the worst. Sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, fatigue. I can't take it anymore but guess what I have to there's no escape. I'll be 58 this year. The hot flashes started way before my periods ended. I wonder if there's any end in sight. I'm sorry so many of you are experiencing these miseries but I'm glad to know it's not just all in my mind. I'm not going crazy. I just feel like I am because of hormones.

May 22, 2015 20:May 8 | Janie said

Anxiety/Menopause

Glad to know that I'm not alone. My hot flashes seem to go hand in hand with my anxiety; stress points will activate it as well. Sometimes it makes me light headed to the point I feel like laying down.

Staying positive because I know that my body is doing what it supposed to do.

Bless you all.

May 19, 2015 18:May 6 | Mazlinmagoo said

Menopause

Hi, fellow ladies, it's so ridiculous to be experiencing this anxiety! We were told at school about periods etc but nothing can make you feel normal till you read this!!!! I'm just 50, slight but not too bad hit sweats but I can't control my feelings of anxiety which come on from dreams to weakening early in the mornings . I've narrowed it down to things I can't control - I'm not worried or anxious about my own doings - just when I'm waiting other people's decisions - so glad to read this and know I'm not alone . Not seeking medical health- "safety in numbers" will see me through this hopefully

May 15, 2015 09:May 9 | EALM said

Never believed it

I am 50 plus and an RN. I never truly believed in "the change." That is until now! I have "changed" into Mrs. Hyde. I have become increasingly irritable and realize that I am experiencing a true depression. I have not had symptoms like this for years, since my early 20's. I believed I never would experience PMS again. This is PMS INTENSIFIED X 1000. I have an underlying current of anxiety. I feel electrified and in a constant state of agitation. I am a RAW NERVE, my skin is crawling. I vacillate between aggression, anxiety, and SIGNIFICANT depression. At times I feel like I could burst into tears, and I HAVE NEVER BEEN ONE TO ALLOW MYSELF TO CRY. I truly feel nuts, and to my family, friends,coworkers and neighbors, I think that I appear the same way-NUTS. I don't really care or I care very little about what some people think, but I don't want to be miserable myself and make others around me miserable. I have become very outspoken and brash and do not want to alienate everyone. At the same time, I think that being a people pleaser this has allowed me to say some things that should be said-when I have never permitted this from myself in the past. I need to find some way to constructively manage my symptoms, and as much as I resisted and refused to take psych meds for PMS symptoms, I am almost willing to give them a shot now, though it appears to be controversial about how effective or appropriate they are for menopausal symptoms. I think talking to someone may be immensely helpful, but I truly do not have the money or time for this type of intervention. I think this is why so many of us are willing to try medication. I need some peace of mind and to feel in control of my life again. I was so depressed last week, I felt like walking off of my job-WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY NOT AN OPTION, but this made me realize how devastating this period in our lives can be to some women if they cannot find a way to manage. I think the importance of addressing these symptoms can be underestimated! If anyone has found some techniques to manage the symptoms, I am open to hearing about it. I have been referring to myself as the menopausal maniac. Thanks Maureen for your input, I may consider some medication while other medications take the time to "work". Thanks to the rest of the post for being so candid about what you are going through, it does help to know that it is not just me going through this in this way or a similar way. I do exercise regularly, but recently have barely been able to crawl to my equipment, i have been doing very abbreviated workouts, it is all I am up for. I do not have a good diet. I know I need to make some gradual changes in a lot of things to help improve symptoms. It is hard when you do not have the mental fortitude to do so. Unfortunately I have been craving white pastas, cheese, fatty food, sugar, or the white stuff that all of us should avoid. I am also a coffee drinker, which given my symptoms, I know it has to go or at least be minimized. so these are the things that I need to find the strength to change, but I think it is only a small answer to big problem.

May 01, 2015 13:May 1 | Sandra Leisure said

I could have cried when I read all your posts

I have been a mess for about a month now. I have experienced all most every symptoms each of you wonderful ladies have talked about.
My perimenopause started about 4 years ago. My period stopped about one year ago. I have had minimal night sweats and have not been very moody. My issue has been anxiety and panic attacks which I have struggled with in he past. As of recently I wake up every night with a racing heart and the feeling I want to jump out of my skin. I try every relaxation technique in the book but even if I finally calm my mind and heart I still feel jittery and shaky.
I guess I will schedule an appointment with my practitioner to see check my hormone levels ...ugh! Thank you all for your posts I have calmed a bit knowing what I am going thru is normal.

Apr 25, 2015 14:Apr 2 | said

manic period

I've been taking Effexor for 10 years and am at what looks like the final stage now. Since I had a history of generalized anxiety (spikes post-partum) the Effexor is perfect for the losing my mind symptom; too bad I didn't know that was the first symptom of the final stage because I had what turned out to be a manic phase for two months before going in for help. I had just started a new job, was relieved of every burden in my life, getting along great with my husband, a little lossy feeling at my daughter's departure for college, but the job and my new freedom was all in place to be happy about. And was I happy! So it didn't seem odd to me that I was more outgoing, productive and energized than ever. Naturally when the unexplained crying and mood swings came on, I wondered why.

I am blessed to have a General Practioner very skilled in these issues. She explained this would be a hard row to hoe because I was so long in coming in and that the increased dose would take 6-12 weeks to take full effect. She gave me Xanex for the anxiety. I have always used Trazadone for sleep since starting the Effexor. All this has been very helpful and enabled me to keep working, exercising and eating, though one of my first symptoms was loss of appetite so I lost too much weight and am working back to a healthier state slowly.

So what is my problem? I had a very damaging couple of months waiting for the full effect of the drug during which I was unable to get the CBT I begged for. Insurance companies in the US control our access and I had to live with the compulsive thoughts for 10 weeks without the type of training I needed to dismiss those. I have empathy for those with OCDC like I never could have before. I believe I could be much closer to a full recovery, though - which is expected so don't give up those of you who identify with this. The most uplifting thing I found was that people like us who were fully functioning and having perfectly normal lives prior to these episodes (manic or OCDC is not part of my history)overwhelming make a full recovery.

I know I am lucky to have had the right pharmacological treatment as soon as I knew what to ask for. I am, however, at the point with coping that I feel like the recovery is still far away. I've found that joining a loss support group is very freeing and healing. I'm surrounded by elders who actually have lost loved ones so my "loss" feels miniscule compared but their wisdom and loving embrace has nourished me in so many ways. My heart soars at the loving support of all those in my life who have responded to my calls for help so I keep positive with those gifts I receive daily.

Can anyone tell me about their experience with longer-term CBT and how long it takes to make a full recovery? My diagnosis says 6 months is the normal period of time, and that the countdown starts with the date of treatment...how about those 2 months I did on my own; don't they count ;)

Apr 21, 2015 14:Apr 2 | Sheryl said

To All My Commenters: Thank

To All My Commenters: Thank you for furthering this very important conversation. This post elicited the greatest response of any posts since I began writing Midlife Matters, in 2009. I'm so glad so many of you have found a supportive community. Because of that, I have followed up this story with another to keep you all updated on the latest research and information on menopause and moods. You can access it here http://www.healthywomen.org/content/blog-entry/menopause-and-your-moods.  Please feel free to comment and tell me what other issues you'd like to see addressed on Midlife Matters and thanks for reading! Sheryl Kraft

Apr 18, 2015 09:Apr 9 | said

No new news, and same old fix...

Is this anxiety or a 'panic attack'? Anger, fury, rage, crawling skin, bloating, anger, fury, rage, rinse and repeat. Going on ten years. Oh, and add in GI issues in the last five.

What does the brilliant medical profession offer? Drugs of course, the type that men offer - prozac to shut them women up. HRT, which causes breast cancer. A cure? Hell no.

But because there are no hot flashes or night sweats associated with the aforementioned menopause symptoms, yes they ARE menopause symptoms, the brilliant medical profession pronounces: nope, that isn't menopause, I've never heard of symptoms like that. Ah, so because you say it, it must be true.

You saw the part about going on ten years now, with no end in sight. Imagine if men had these issues for ten years, the medical profession would be jumping through hoops to help them. Ditto on the GI issues.

Thought your article - YAY! - had a ray of light in it. Sadly, no.

So, no help, no hope, just - as one lovely OBGYN, male of course, said - live with it.

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

May 23, 2015 13:May 1 | kim said

My gyn prescribed 100mg at

My gyn prescribed 100mg at bedtime. It does seem to make you sleepy and relaxed. Which is a good thing!

Apr 16, 2015 22:Apr 10 | kim said

Prometrium

Hi my gyn gave me a 100 mg dose at bedtime

Apr 20, 2015 17:Apr 5 | Madelene said

Thanks Kim.

Thanks Kim.

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 18, 2015 12:Apr 12 | said

Had thyroid tested...

and nothing.

"Does anyone out there feel shaky inside? Like just under their skin?"

Absolutely. Like ants trying to get out.

Find a doctor who can help with this. Oh yeah, they'll put you on Prozac to shut you up.

Apr 16, 2015 19:Apr 7 | Patty said

Panicky and anxious

I too am thankful for the blog and posts. I have been going through perimenopause for almost two years which included memory issues, emotional crying and hot flashes but just this past week I woke up in the midst of a full blown panic attack that took me to the ER. I have had anxiety and one more panic attach and am now taking Ativan to help but feel so overwhelmed with the addition of this new symptom. I too always feel like my heart is beating out of my chest. I hope that there comes some relief soon for this.

Apr 15, 2015 19:Apr 7 | Sandra said

I don't feel shaky but most

I don't feel shaky but most days I just don't feel comfortable in my own skin; it's hard to explain. The worst feelings I have are anxiety and as someone mentioned here previously, a feeling of dread (about what I don't know, but just dread).

I'm exercising and trying to eat healthfully and taking vitamins and still don't feel that much better. For me the nights are the worst. When I'm lying in the dark trying to get to sleep that's when I feel like I'm losing my mind sometimes.

Glad we're not alone in this. Good point about the thyroid; I never thought about it but will get it checked.

Good luck to everyone.

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 16, 2015 20:Apr 8 | Patty said

I am seeking help from a therapist

I started seeing a therapist this week who specializes in anxiety and panic just to try to get through the acute part of this new symptom that has arisen while I am perimenopausal. With only two sessions done I have found relief in a breathing exercise called progressive relaxation. It has helped break the feeling of anxiousness and fear. I think you can find more about it on line by googling cognitive behavioral therapy.

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

May 13, 2015 17:May 5 | JAM said

Hi, I was just wondering if

Hi, I was just wondering if the Lexapro helped you in anyway. I was just recently given a prescription. I was hesitate to take it, but just started three days ago. How is it working for you? Thank you.

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

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