What's happening to me: emotional symptoms of menopauseMood swings, sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, forgetfulness... The emotional and psychological symptoms that accompany the onset of menopause can be just as challenging as the physical symptoms.
"Every woman experiences perimenopause and menopause differently," says Marilyn Darr, MD, PharmD. "The good news is, what you are experiencing is normal."
Before you rip into another bag of M&Ms® or shriek at your loved ones, check out these options that can help control both physical and psychological changes.
Effects of fluctuating hormone levelsPerimenopause is the two-to-eight year phase before menopause, and fluctuating hormone levels are common during this period. The declining levels of estrogen have an impact beyond physical changes. There also may be psychological and emotional symptoms, such as:
- Mood swings or panic attacks
- Irritability and anxiety
- Forgetfulness, fuzzy thinking
- Lack of interest in sex
RecommendationsYour healthcare provider may recommend any number of treatment options, ranging from birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy to vitamins or herbal remedies. Taking care of your health with nutritious meals, regular exercise, and lots of water is also important. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can calm your nerves and soothe your spirit. And try to get extra sleep, too. As you discover what helps your well-being, both inside and out, your transition into menopause will become easier.
Published September/October 2009, Southwest Health