Anxiety In Menopause

Anxiety is a common sideeffect of menopause; it is characterised by a persistent feeling of worry and anxiousness. People who have anxiety tend to get very worked up and concerned about events or situations, which other people find completely normal and stress-free. Even if you realise that the things you are anxious about are not worth worrying about, it can still be very difficult to get rid of the feelings of anxiousness.

The effects of anxiety

Anxiety can affect your mood, your relationship with others, your sleep quality and your general wellbeing. If you suffer from prolonged episodes of anxiety or it affects your day to day life, you should consider seeking advice from your GP.

One of the main effects of anxiety is disturbed sleep patterns and many women already find it difficult to sleep properly during menopause as a result of other symptoms including night sweats and hot flushes. After a couple of days of disturbed sleep you may feel irritable and tired, but if poor sleep quality continues, the effects can be much more severe. Sleep deprivation can heighten anxiety and also contribute to poor health, increased susceptibility to illness, mood swings and low energy levels.

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.

Coping with anxiety

Home remedies for anxiety include:

  • exercise
  • relaxation techniques and breathing exercises
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • reducing your caffeine intake
  • eating a healthy diet

If self-help techniques are not effective, you shouldn't hesitate to ask your G P for advice; possible treatment options for anxiety include medication, counselling and talking therapies, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and sedatives to help you sleep.

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