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How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

How Menopause Affects Your Mental Health

Menopause is a natural and inevitable phase of a woman’s life, marking the end of her reproductive years. While it's commonly associated with physical symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, you could easily overlook its significant impact on your mental health. 

Here at ARA Integrative and Functional Medicine in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, Dr. Rina Kapoor understands menopause can bring about various emotional and psychological changes affecting your overall well-being.

The link between menopause and mental health issues

Let’s look at some of the reasons you might struggle with your mental health while going through menopause:

Hormonal fluctuations

One of the primary reasons behind the emotional turmoil experienced during menopause is the hormone imbalances, particularly estrogen and progesterone levels. Estrogen plays a vital role in regulating your mood, and as its levels decline during menopause, you might experience increased irritability, mood swings, and feelings of sadness or anxiety.

Mood swings and irritability

Hormonal imbalances can lead to sudden mood swings and increased irritability. You may find yourself more easily agitated or frustrated, which can strain relationships and affect your overall quality of life.

Anxiety and depression

Menopause can be a triggering factor for anxiety and depression in some women. The hormonal changes, coupled with the physical symptoms of menopause, can lead to feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and overwhelming anxiety. It's essential to recognize these symptoms and seek support if needed.

Sleep disturbances

Sleep problems are common during menopause and can take a toll on your mental health. Hormonal changes can lead to insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns, resulting in fatigue, irritability, and mood disturbances. Poor sleep can also exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression.

Cognitive changes

You may notice changes in your cognitive function during menopause, often called “brain fog,” which can manifest as forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, or feeling mentally sluggish. These cognitive changes can be frustrating and impact your self-esteem and overall mental well-being.

Body image and self-esteem

Menopause often brings physical changes, such as weight gain and alterations in body composition. These changes can affect your body image and self-esteem, leading to feelings of inadequacy or decreased self-worth, contributing to mental health challenges.

Loss of identity

Because menopause symbolizes the end of their childbearing years, some women feel a sense of loss or identity crisis. This life transition can be emotionally challenging and may require psychological support.

Social and relationship factors

The emotional and psychological changes associated with menopause can impact your relationships with family members, friends, and partners. Communication breakdowns and misunderstandings can occur due to mood swings and irritability, further affecting your mental health.

Coping strategies

It’s important to develop healthy coping strategies to lessen the mental health effects of menopause. Regular exercise, stress reduction techniques like meditation or yoga, and seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist can be immensely beneficial.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can also help. It can provide relief from menopausal symptoms, including mood disturbances. However, it's essential to consult with Dr. Kapoor to weigh HRT's potential benefits and risks.

Next steps

If you’re going through menopause and find it’s impacting your mental health, we can help. 

We understand that the hormonal changes you’re experiencing can cause physical symptoms and emotional challenges that can lead to mood disturbances, anxiety, depression, and decreased overall well-being. 

We provide support and treatment remedies to help you navigate this transitional phase with resilience. Remember that you aren’t alone in this. We can help you manage and improve your mental health during menopause, so don’t delay contacting our team.

Contact us at ARA Integrative and Functional Medicine by calling 610-358-3300 or requesting an appointment online today.

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