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Does Menopause Make You More Emotional

Menopause Rage Is Real Here’s How To Cope

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As you go through perimenopause, you may find yourself experiencing new and intense emotions. These emotions are mainly due to the hormonal changes taking place in your body. However, hormones arent the only reason for changes in your mood. Many women greet perimenopause with many complicated emotions around menstrual periods ending, trepidation about symptoms and body changes, and aging. Whats happening to your body physically is compounded by your feelings as you come to grapple with this new life stage.

The onset of mood changes can seem sudden and extreme and often take women by surprise. Quite a few women report that situations they used to take in stride with a calm, even demeanor now easily sets them off, and they are easily irritated by the littlest things. They also report that their ability to control their mood diminishes. The lack of control is perhaps more alarming to some women than the mood changes.

What exactly are the different changes in mood women experience during perimenopause? The inventory of the 34 symptoms of menopause typically lists depression, anxiety, panic, and irritability. Mood swings are often used as the catch-all term to encompass these issues, along with sadness, tearfulness, and the blues. The emotions many of the lists dont mention are anger and rage. More and more, women are reporting that they are experiencing this intense emotion they describe as rage.

Mental Health And The Menopause

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in Mental health, News, Recovery and wellbeing on 13th December, 2018

Helen, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at our Talking Health service, spoke openly to local freelance journalist Fran McElhone about mental health and the menopause:

A Devon mental health practitioner has spoken candidly about the impact the menopause had on her own mental health.

Helen from North Devon is a psychological wellbeing practitioner for the Devon NHS Partnership Trust and works with patients with long term physical health conditions who may also be experiencing a mental health problem like anxiety and depression.

The 57-year-old says the menopause took its toll on her own mental wellbeing at times and agreed to share her experiences in the hope of raising awareness about the link between the menopause and mental health.

The menopause can impact on a womans health both physically and psychologically, primarily due to the depletion of the hormone oestrogen in the body. In addition to hot flushes, the sweats and tiredness, heavy bleeding and vaginal dryness, some women also experience emotional and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, poor concentration and low self-esteem, which can often be mistaken for depression.

I found it very difficult at times, says Helen. There were occasions I thought I was losing my mind. I was exhausted all the time and couldnt order my thoughts and I had pain throughout my body and aches in my joints.

The Relationship Between Menopause And Mood

Menopause doesnt just have physical manifestations. It also has a significant effect on womens emotions. As youll see, many symptoms have to do with mood, the most well-known being mood swings and irritability.

Menopause can also affect womens sex drive, which can also have an effect on your mood. Next, well talk about the different changes that menopause brings that directly or indirectly affect mood and well-being.

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Mood And The Menopause

Mental illness is prevalent in all age groups and for women this manifests as affective and anxiety orders. The menopausal transition is a time of increased risk.

The presentation of mood disturbance in the menopause transition appears unique with less depressive symptoms, increased anger, irritability and fluctuation in severity of symptoms. Assessment of psychosocial stressors, menopausal symptoms and mood is necessary.

Most women with will benefit from education about the menopause transition and are likely to respond to treatment, if needed.

In the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing almost half of all respondents aged 18-65 had a mental health problem at some time in their lives. One in five Australians experience a mental illness in any year. The most common illnesses are related to anxiety, then affective and substance use disorders. Women have a higher prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders .

The menopausal transition is a time of increased risk of mood disturbance. Even women with no previous history of depression, particularly those with history of vasomotor symptoms or adverse life events are at increased risk of depressive symptoms compared to premenopausal women . The risk of a major depressive episode is also higher in the peri-menopause compared to the pre-menopause in women with a history of Major Depressive Disorder .

I Have A Hard Time Concentrating And I’m Forgetful Is This A Normal Part Of Menopause

Image result for What causes PMS mood swings? (With images ...

Unfortunately, difficulty with concentration and minor memory problems can often be a normal part of perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause . The good news is that it is likely to be temporary.

Current medical knowledge is limited as to why memory changes occur with perimenopause, and there are currently no treatments available to relieve these symptoms. If you are having memory problems, discuss this with your doctor. They can help manage memory problems or refer you to a provider who can.

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Duration Of Menopausal Transition

Perimenopause is divided into two stages: Early-stage perimenopause is when your menstrual cycle starts to become unpredictable. Over the span of a few months, you get your period a week or more later than your usual cycle. Late-stage perimenopause occurs when you start having two months between cycles. This whole process can start 8 to 10 years before menopause.

The Mental And Emotional Effects Of Menopause

Although physical symptoms, like hot flashes and night sweats, are most often associated with menopause, the emotional effects can be equally pronounced and troublesome. A lot of women describe these perimenopausal symptoms as being like bad PMS. Common emotional side effects include irritability, disproportionate emotional displays, anxiety, lack of motivation, worsening of pre-existing depression, fogginess and forgetfulness. While these symptoms may all be directly related to menopause itself, there may be other reasons unrelated to menopause for these symptoms, as well, so it is worthwhile to discuss these with your doctor.

Perimenopause and menopause happen to coincide with what can be the most stressful time in a person’s life. Aging parents, kids moving out of the home, job stressors, planning for retirement, divorce and financial worries all happen in high frequency in our 40s and 50s. Lucky us! We get to go through menopause on top of all this. The stress alone may be adequate explanation for many of the mood and mental symptoms women suffer during menopause.

Depression is very common during menopause, but in and of itself depression or other mood disorders are not caused by menopause. But for those 20% of women with a prior history of depression, it is often exacerbated during perimenopause.

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How Might Menopause Lead To Mood Swings

During the transition to menopause, levels of the hormone estrogen drop, causing wide-ranging changes throughout the body. Many of these changes have direct connections to menopausal mood swings.

For example, the drop in estrogen is thought to affect the way the body manages serotonin and norepinephrine, two substances that have been linked to depression. Lower levels of estrogen have been linked to irritability, fatigue, stress, forgetfulness, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.

The impact of these changing hormone levels may not be limited to a direct cause-and-effect relationship with depression, anger, and anxiety. Hormone shifts may also intensify these feelings.

Also, researchers have found higher levels of a brain protein known as monoamine oxidase A , which is linked to depression, in women entering perimenopause.

Sometimes, reactions build on each other, such as with night sweats. These are hot flashes that take place when someone is asleep.

Night sweats can be so intense that a woman is woken and sleep is disrupted. Several nights of disrupted sleep can result in foggy thinking, irritability, and other characteristics associated with menopausal mood swings.

Emotions And The Menopause: Mood Swings Anxiety And Depression

Can menopause make you feel crazy?

Womens emotional symptoms during the menopause vary. Some have no symptoms at all, others have mood swings, anxiety and depression. These symptoms can be frightening and surprise many women, adding to the burden of hot flushes and irregular periods. They talked about these symptoms and how they affected their lives.A range of emotionsSome women noticed no emotional changes during the menopause, or found their moods levelling out as their periods declined.

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Causes Of Midlife Depression

There are many reasons that women may suffer from depression after the age of forty. Some of them are biological, some are situational, and some are psychological. A few common factors in midlife depression are:

  • Hormone changes: Decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone can upset the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin , which in turn affects mood, sleep, and appetite.
  • Response to loss: Loss of parents, children leaving home, divorce, friends lost to illness, loss of youth, or poor healthany one of these might trigger an extended grief response that could turn into major depression.
  • Medical conditions: Some medical conditions can make you more likely to suffer from depression. If you have heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, sleep disorders, seasonal affective disorder, or a previous head injury, you may be more prone to major depression.
  • Drug and alcohol use: Alcohol and opiate pain medications are depressants. If you regularly use these substances, they can interfere with hormone activity and can have the side effect of depression symptoms. Alcohol can also worsen hot flashes and night sweats, adding sleep difficulties to your list of things to cope with. Although it’s tempting to ease your emotional pain with an extra glass of wine or other drugs, they can actually make your symptoms worse and make it harder to sort out whether or not you’re depressed.

Does Menopause Make You Emotional

Menopause is a real thing and affects every woman differently. There is no cookie-cutter solution. Some women have horrible anxiety, night sweats and sleepless nights. Some women have no effects at all.

If youre a perfectionist, its even worse. Menopause tends to trigger feeling out of control. The loss of ones body and how it changes shape and how it is affected by stress starts to feel very out of control, which is poison to a perfectionist. It drives the need to have control and be perfect even stronger.

The more out of control we feel, the more we try to control, the more strife and conflict we will notice in our marriage. This is where it is easy to become a nag. We find every little thing that is bothersome, and we point it out to our husbands. They then start to feel like nothing they do is good enough. This dynamic may have been in the marriage before menopause, but the change makes it 10 times worse.

How many of us feel I must handle every situation correctly? I must be in a good mood all the time. I must look good and be desirable. I must handle my emotions with extreme class and God forbid I raise my voice or show some emotional charge.

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“My hormones still fluctuate and I still have some blue days, so I use meditation and exercise to focus myself and am looking at my diet to feed my body the best nutrition I can. I also tell myself that this is hormones, not me, and try to speak nicer to myself.

Ive started a menopause support group in my city to meet and help other women seeing the relief on their faces when they realise theyre not alone in how they feel is humbling and I started the Pausitivity menopause awareness campaign to make everyone aware that menopause is more than hot flushes.

The most important thing, however, is to talk. Ive spoken to many women who have felt the same way women who felt they were losing their mind or starting early dementia and others now strong enough to admit they felt suicidal. They are amazing, powerful women raising families, holding down jobs, caring for elderly relatives, all while coping with menopause. Ive also met many inspirational women who are post-menopausal and living their best lives ever, which gives me strength because I know this will pass.

Fighting Menopausal Belly Fat And Midlife Weight Gain

Menopause &  Mood Swings

That stubborn spare tire around your middle owes its existence to the drop in hormones, which in turn slows down your metabolism. The scale number creeps up, and the fat migrates from hips and thighs to your belly. Resist the changes with these tips: Exercise regularly focus on aerobics for at least 150 minutes a week and strength train two or more times a week. If you get in an exercise rut or start feeling bored, mix it up with different activities, or exercise with friends to keep you on track.

  • Sit less, stand more. Try a standing desk.
  • When eating, control your portions and eat three meals a day. Dont eat late at night, and have healthy snacks around for that late-afternoon munchies attack.
  • Choose healthy unsaturated fats. Cut back on restaurant and takeout food, which are loaded with unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar.
  • Follow good sleep hygiene to get better z’s at night.
  • Reduce stress, which can lead to unhealthy eating.
  • Talk with your doctor or nutritionist.

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Carole Feared She Was Having A Nervous Breakdown When She Felt Weepy And Couldnt Cope At Work

But my menopause actually began when I was about 45 and physical symptoms began with hot flushes but the thing that I noticed mostly was the emotional, almost loss of control at times. Anger, emotional outbursts just tapping into things that I felt were a shadow side of me that I hadnt really felt before and certainly a darkness, a cloud coming over me. But normally, I suppose I would have been prone to mild depressions prior to that I think. I wouldnt say I was very depressed. I had been prone to mild depression and I always knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. In this experience I felt as though there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I was in just a very dark place and that I was peculiar. I wasnt being heard, paranoia, all of these sorts of things. It was that kind of thing that took me aback, a lack of confidence. The invisibility. I mean I suppose Im somebody, I pride myself on my physical appearance and I would be very confident about my physical appearance and all of that left me as well. So it was that kind of stunning kind of crushing of my sense of myself and the overpowering sense of loss.

How emotions affect family members

Emotional Disorders During Menopause

Menopausal women are classical portrayed as being moody, angry, and irritable. Any truth in this representation however, comes from women’s experience of the many menopause symptoms they are exposed to during the transition to infertility. Common symptoms that can leave you feeling on edge include hot flashes, sleep disorders, and physical changes. The good news though is that the experience isn’t permanent. Keep reading to find out more about how menopause affects your emotions and moods.

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It Causes Mood Changes In More Than 20 Percent Of Women

Have you suddenly begun crying during sad commercials? Snapping at your teenagers when you used to be calm? Had a meltdown during a staff meeting, seemingly out of nowhere? While most women who go through menopause will not develop a major mood disorder, many will experience sort of mood problem during the years leading up to, during, and after menopausewhich may result in . Wildly fluctuating hormone levels are to blame, and this hormonal shifts can begin as early as

There are several ways that your mood can be affected by the hormone changes and other events around menopause, and nothing will make you burst into tears faster than someone who dismisses it as all in your head. You know its not in your head, although it can feel a little crazy sometimes. Understanding why can help you cope, and it also gives you a way to explain it to your less-than-sympathetic family or colleagues.

A number of forces converge during midlife to shake your emotional equilibrium, and some women are more vulnerable than others. If you are one of the women suffering from mood shifts, there may be an underlying clinical reason for it and there are treatments and solutions that can help. Pay attention to the nature of your mood problems, and see whether one of the following could be at the root of your emotional symptoms.

Hormonal Imbalance After Menopause

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During menopause, there is a significant decline in production of hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. Hormonal imbalances are the primary triggers of menopausal symptoms as your body tries to adjust to the new state. Hormonal replacement therapy or medications are some remedies that most women try after menopause.

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How To Recognize Perimenopause Rage

Perimenopause-induced rage may feel significantly different than your typical anger or frustration. You may go from feeling stable to feeling intensely resentful or irritated in a matter of moments. Your family members or friends may also notice that you have less patience than you usually do.

Some healthcare providers suggest that having strong premenstrual symptoms throughout your life may mean youre more likely to experience drastic perimenopause mood swings.

If this sounds like you, you may want to watch for other symptoms of perimenopause. This includes:

  • irregular periods
  • vaginal dryness
  • loss of libido

If youre experiencing symptoms like these, see your healthcare provider. They can confirm your diagnosis and develop a treatment plan to help ease your symptoms.


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