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Can Menopause Cause Anxiety Attacks At Night

When Is It Bad Enough That I Should Get Some Sort Of Help Or Intervention What Are The Red Flags That This Is Likely Beyond My Control

Can Menopause cause Anxiety, Depression or Panic Attacks ? | Apollo Hospitals

If youre experiencing anxiety or panic that may be hormonal, it may help to talk with a menopause specialist. Remember, hormonal fluctuations can cause symptoms that mimic panic or anxiety disorder, and treatment may depend on the cause of your symptoms. However, regardless of what causes your anxiety, persistent panic attacks and debilitating anxiety that cause significant impairment in functioning or lead to suicidal thoughts or concerns should be addressed immediately.

Women’s Health Topics We Need To Talk About In 2020

And she warns that for these women, it’s something to take seriously. “If you’re having serious depression, and your functioning is affected, if you’re having suicidal thoughts, or you feel completely hopeless, that is a major depressive episode that absolutely needs treatment,” she says.

A vulnerable time

Perimenopausal mood swings often resemble symptoms of premenstrual syndrome women might feel sad, or sluggish, or irritable.

“I’ve had people say that they feel like they have PMS all the time,” says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, who leads the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “They just don’t feel like they’re in control of their mood and they feel edgy.”

Generally though, these mood swings are manageable, she adds. “The good news is that most women will navigate their perimenopause without serious mental health issues.”

But a significant number of women about 18% among women in early perimenopause and 38% of those in late perimenopause experience symptoms of depression. And symptoms of anxiety appear to be more common during this time leading up to menopause, including panic attacks.

Those most at risk are women with a history of mental illness, as well as women whose moods are particularly sensitive to hormonal fluctuations.

“Women who had postpartum depression or have always had significant mood changes premenstrually are going to be at risk of having more symptoms,” says Payne.

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Why Does Menopause Cause Anxiety

Menopause may lead to an increased risk of anxiety because oestrogen levels fall oestrogen plays an important role in balancing chemicals in the body and a reduced level may lead to low mood. The changes you go through during menopause can also make you anxious, as you have to deal with symptoms you’re not used to and you may worry about your health, the process of ageing and how you feel once you’ve reached menopause.

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Other Causes Of Anxiety During Menopause

On top of hormonal changes, the physical symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, body aches, skin irritation and sleep disturbance can trigger anxiety and low mood. Women may not feel like themselves and struggle with low self-confidence.

“Women are often juggling many roles with home and work, and trying to carry the burden of all these expectations whilst not feeling themselves is a source of anxiety for many,” says Vohra.

“There are other psychological symptoms too. To name some, women can have low self-esteem, lack of motivation, panic attacks, poor concentration, anger and low energy. These can be really debilitating despite not being visible. This can result in a lack of pleasure in normal life.”

As a result, women may lose interest in activities that once made them happy, such as exercise or socialising. This can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and low mood.

Can Menopause Mood Swings Be Blamed On Hormones

Panic Disorder Symptom Information

Remember when you were a teenager and your moods swung from euphoric to depressed and back again with regular monotony? Although we didnt know it at the time, this was the result of hormonal mayhem when our reproductive hormones swung into action.

Unfortunately far too many of us forget how our hormones affect our moods. Getting hormone levels looked at is probably the very last thing midlife women think of when anxiety symptoms seem to come out of the blue.

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Why Does Menopause Cause Sleep Problems

When hot flushes occur at night, they are referred to as night sweats. Night sweats often lead to fragmented sleep and next-day fatigue. Before a hot flush, your body temperature rises and, consequently, wakes you up. Most hot flushes last around three minutes, resulting in decreased overall sleep efficiency.But quality sleep is essential for emotional stability. Inadequate rest can pave the way for anxiety and vice versa. Together, anxiety and sleeplessness intensify the effects of each other, creating a negative feedback loop.According to the sleep expert, Matthew Walker, the brain reverts to its primitive pattern of uncontrolled reactivity when sleep-deprived, which explains why anxiety is more likely after a night of broken sleep .

Tips To Help Deal With An Anxiety Or Panic Attack

A continuous stream of anxiety can ultimately lead to panic attacks. Especially if youve experienced anxiety before you hit menopause. But we wont talk about horrible menopause stories right now.

Whats more, is that if you have had anxiety or panic attacks throughout your life, theres the potential that it can only get worse .

Physical symptoms of a panic attack generally include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness in the limbs, sweating, nausea, and tingling in the extremities.

On average, an attack can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, rarely going beyond that.

However, there are severe cases that can potentially last hours of which youll need to contact your doctor or seek immediate medical relief to calm down.

Its true what they say about panic attacks, though. You may feel like youre going through menopause and heart attack symptoms together, which will, in turn, drive you to panic even more.

The thing to remember here is that youre going to need to try your hardest to control and stabilize your breathing. Inhaling and exhaling long and slow will help calm that heart down and will keep those thoughts from racing mindlessly.

If youre going through a panic attack, its always best to have someone with you, by your side. That way youll feel safe if anything were to happen to you, but also, you know youre not alone, causing even more of a freak out to happen.

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Your Health Questions Answered

  • Answered by: Healthily’s medical teamAnswered: 15/10/2021

    Lots of people take HRT for their menopause symptoms and it can be very effective. However, if youre taking progestogen , side effects can include mood changes. Its important to know about the benefits and risks before deciding to have HRT, so speak to your doctor for advice.

Can Menopause Cause Depression

Menopause, migraine, anxiety, panic attacks and heart palpitations.

The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.

When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.

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Depression Anxiety & Menopause

Hormonal changes may be a small part of the causes of the depressed mood and anxious feelings women often experience around perimenopause.

Identifying what is a menopausal symptom and what are ‘true’ mood changes, depression or anxiety can be confusing. Often anxiety symptoms get worse with perimenopause. What might start as a hot flush might lead to an anxiety attack.

In turn, the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats, can affect mood and make some women feel depressed. Many women kept awake at night because of night sweats find they are exhausted, can’t think clearly and feel more negative because they have had poor quality sleep.

Depression and depressed mood around the time of expected menopause is more likely to occur because of factors other than menopause, including:

  • prior episodes of depression

Emotional health around the menopause is also more likely to be influenced by previous experiences of prior traumatic events for example, past abuse. Women often seek counselling at menopause and might want to work through traumas they have previously experienced. This time of life seems to allow things to come to the surface.

Can Anxiety Be Blamed On Declining Oestrogen

Scientists have discovered that oestrogen has a significant effect on the brains regulation of moods and emotion.

This relationship is pretty complex. It appears that a decrease in oestrogen causes a decrease in an enzyme called Monoamine oxidase . This in turn causes damage to the neuro transmitters which offer neuro chemicals like serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and melatonin that affect mood, emotions and behaviour.

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When To See A Doctor About Menopause And Anxiety

Symptoms of a panic attack can be caused by other conditions and problems, so its important to get medical help if youre not sure whats causing your symptoms. If you have chest pains, trouble breathing or feel very dizzy, you should call an ambulance or get emergency medical help.

You should also call an ambulance if you feel youre at risk of hurting yourself or other people, or youve seriously harmed yourself, such as by taking a drug overdose.

You should book an appointment with your doctor if:

  • your feelings of anxiety are affecting your daily life
  • things youve tried to help arent working and your symptoms arent improving
  • youd like to get a referral for psychological therapy

Readers Ask: What Is Menopause Anxiety Does The Menopause Make You Feel Like You’re Going Crazy

Can Anxiety and Stress Cause Night Sweats?

Menopause anxiety is very common and often one of the most difficult symptoms for us to cope with during the menopause. However, it is important to know that you are not alone on this journey, and talking openly about your anxiety can be very therapeutic. Many of us suddenly feel unable to cope with situations that were never a problem before. We feel overwhelmed by the simple aspects of day-to-day living. This can be frightening and undermine your confidence and you might even think that you are actually going crazy! This thought has regularly crossed my mind. Anxiety is like a build-up of pressure in your mind. It is stating the obvious, but to alleviate this pressure we need to vent the anxiety.

    Try not to let anxiety build up, talk to others.

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Can Menopause Cause Anxiety And Panic Attacks

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The hormonal imbalance that starts in perimenopause not only causes physical symptoms but can also cause psychological ones. The psychological symptoms that impact on your mental health can be even more distressing than the physical symptoms. Anxiety and panic attacks are often part of a womans psychological symptoms as she goes through perimenopause and into menopause.

When To Get Help

See a GP if you’ve been experiencing symptoms of panic disorder.

They’ll ask you to describe your symptoms, how often you get them, and how long you have had them.

They may also carry out a physical examination to rule out other conditions that could be causing your symptoms.

It can sometimes be difficult to talk about your feelings, emotions and personal life, but try not to feel anxious or embarrassed.

You may be diagnosed with panic disorder if you have regular and unexpected panic attacks followed by at least a month of continuous worry or concern about having further attacks.

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How To Get Better Sleep During Menopause

On the other hand, cortisol and adrenaline are hormones linked to our stress response. Normally, progesterone and oestrogen can buffer the impact these stress hormones have on the body, but once their levels drop during perimenopause, this effect weakens. The result can be sustained high levels of stress hormones, which can play havoc with our mental health.

Often, psychological symptoms can appear during the transition to menopause too. “During the perimenopause, whilst still having periods, even if irregular, women may find that their mood changes during the second half of their cycle,” Vohra adds. “This again is due to the lower levels of oestrogen at this stage.”

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Can Menopause cause anxiety, Depression or Panic Attacks? | Apollo Hospitals

When you get stressed or anxious, do you reach for something salty or sweet, or do you lace up and go for a walk or run? For many who feel stressed or anxious, especially during times like these, our natural instinct is to reach for foods for comfort and maybe even for an escape.

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Does Anxiety Go Away After Menopause

The symptoms that you experience during perimenopause dont suddenly stop once you reach menopause. They can continue for several years after. The good news is that because your hormone levels become more stable after menopause the symptoms you have been experiencing usually calm down and may, for the most part, disappear. Again all women are different so what will happen to your symptoms will be unique to you.

If you suffered bouts of anxiety during perimenopause you may find that they become less frequent, less severe or no longer happen at all. Anxiety caused by other factors in your life wont just disappear though. You will still need to address any life issues that you have to solve the problem and reduce your anxiety.

Why Can The Menopause Trigger Anxiety

Menopause is a natural part of ageing that occurs when oestrogen levels drop, but it can be a challenging time for many women. Officially defined as the time when your periods stop, the menopause – and the period leading up to it – can cause a host of debilitating physical and mental symptoms, such as anxiety.

Reviewed byDr Sarah Jarvis MBE
17-Oct-21ยท6 mins read

Anthea*, 51, started to experience anxiety and low mood when her periods began to get more erratic and heavy, before they stopped completely. She stopped sleeping and had to be signed off work five times in a year.

However, it was only when she began to read about the menopause and its effects that she realised it might be contributing to her mental health problems. “I felt tearful all the time,” she says.

After speaking to several different healthcare professionals, she eventually started counselling and hormone replacement therapy , which relieves the symptoms of the menopause by replacing hormone levels that have dropped. After six months, her mental health had improved and she was sleeping again, seeing friends and back at work.

Anthea is far from alone in her experience. Research has shown that the menopause and perimenopause – the time leading up to the complete cessation of periods – can have a significant impact on women’s mental health. According to a recent survey of 2,000 women, 86% said they had experienced mental health issues as a result. One in 10 even said they’d had suicidal thoughts.

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Speak To A Health Professional

“Do speak to a health professional if you are feeling these symptoms, as seeking help can start the process to differentiate symptoms of menopause impacting your mental health from depression,” says Vohra. “Some women who have a past history of sensitivity to their own hormone changes, such as premenstrual syndrome or postnatal depression, may be more likely to experience these types of symptoms during the menopause.”

A GP is a good place to start if you are struggling with anxiety, as they will be able to recommend different treatment options. “Understanding the pattern of your mood and anxiety with all of the above, will help you share these concerns with a GP or health professional,” says Vohra. “Prepare and take a deep breath before you consult and know that you know your mind and body best.”

Complications Of Panic Disorder

Common Panic Attack Triggers

Panic disorder is treatable and you can make a full recovery. But it’s best to get medical help as soon as you can.

If you do not get medical help, panic disorder can escalate and become very difficult to cope with.

You’re more at risk of developing other mental health conditions, such as agoraphobia or other phobias, or an alcohol or drug problem.

Having panic disorder may affect your ability to drive. The law requires you to inform the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency about a medical condition that could impact your driving ability.

Visit GOV.UK for further information about driving with a disability or health condition.

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Tips For Sleeping Better With Menopause

If you are experiencing sleep issues related to menopause, consult your doctor. They know your personal medical history and can recommend appropriate treatment options, including medications and lifestyle changes that may improve your sleep. The following sleep tips may also help.

Sleep issues are a common experience of menopause, but there are many options for relieving them. If your sleep issues persist, seek out a therapist trained in CBT who has experience working with menopausal women.

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Perimenopause Can Bring On Unexpected Anxiety And For Some Women They Will Have Their First Panic Attacks Many Women Don’t Realise That These Are Very Common Symptoms Of Perimenopause

You may suddenly find yourself having general feelings of nervousness, maybe newfound social anxiety or full-blown panic attacks. Menopausal anxiety is very common and often quite unexpected. This may be a totally new feeling and experience for you or if you have previously suffered from depression or anxiety it may be exacerbated by menopause. In general, women suffer more from anxiety than men and at menopause, anxiety is very often made worse by changing hormone levels. You may find you have hormone imbalances as hormone levels change and adjust at menopause. Many women find that these symptoms come and go and different tools help at different times. It’s a case trial and error. Seek help! And don’t give up trying new solutions.

Listed below is a range of symptoms, which may be associated with the menopause. You may find yourself experiencing some of these symptoms for the first time in your mid-late 40s. Mood changes, anxiety and general feelings of nervousness are some of the most common symptoms of menopause and can be even more undermining than hot flushes or night sweats. These symptoms are often exacerbated by insomnia and fatigue. Loads of fun isn’t it?!

    Try to take some time out and about admiring the glory of nature.

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