Menopause Is Natural But Often Difficult
Menopause can be a difficult time in a woman’s life. The definition of menopause is officially when one has not had a period for over a year. While the average age of menopause is 51 years old, the reality is that the effects of menopause or perimenopause can start much earlier. Most experience perimenopause well into their 40s and some even their late 30s. During this transition, your estrogen and progesterone levels begin to reduce and the fluctuation in hormones can have a variety of downstream effects.
Some women may experience mild physical symptoms and others more severe hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep disturbance, mood fluctuations, night sweats, heart palpitations, depression, anxiety, irritability, and cognitive issues that interfere with everyday life. Menopause is often one of many significant events taking place in a woman’s life. While menopause and transition is a natural phenomenon, the psychological impact is often underreported and undertreated.
Can Menopause Really Affect My Mood?
One study showed that women are two times more likely to have a major depressive episode during menopause than at other times. Having a history or anxiety and depression prior to menopause further increases one’s risk of having these symptoms. While the experience of menopause varies greatly from woman to woman, please know that treatment is available and efficacious.
Why Is Menopause Taking Such a Great Toll On My Mental Health?
When a woman goes through menopause, she begins to produce less and less estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone which plays a critical role in womens’ bodies. Estrogen regulates other hormones such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, all of which are associated with happier moods. Therefore, if a woman is producing less estrogen during menopause, then there is less estrogen available to regulate her other “mood boosting” hormones (Healthline). In addition to this, estrogen also plays a role in ones’ cognition, so often, women who are going menopause may experience changes in cognition.
All Women (Yes, Even Celebrities!) Go Through Menopause
Kim Cattrall, actor from Sex and the City, opened up about her menopause journey in an interview with Cosmpolitan. She said, . “I feel empowered talking about menopause because I’m going through it and have been going through it for six years… Millions of women are going through it; it’s part of nature. But it can be very confusing and isolating.” In this interview, Cattrall wanted to emphasize that menopause is “… natural as having a child—it really is; it’s part of life… Like anything in nature: The seed is planted, it grows, it comes to fruition, after a period of time it starts to change and age, and it’s scary. You wonder, Will I be attractive, desirable, feminine?… I think it’s one of the reasons why it’s so taboo is because we don’t talk about it—it’s too frightening even to talk to a doctor about it. I want to reach out to women to encourage them to educate themselves about this time in their lives.”
Why Can’t I Just Talk to My Friends and Family About Menopause?
If you feel comfortable opening up to your friends and family about your menopause journey, that is amazing! Friends and family are great tools in that they already know you and your life on a close level, and can offer you some sort of comfort.
This being said, there are a lot of shortcomings if you plan on relying on your friends and family for your mental health. While your friends and family are great to have for support, it is often useful to talk with a trained mental health professional who is skilled in teaching productive coping skills and understand techniques to help you through this journey.
If I Am Experiencing Changes in Mood Due to Menopause, Why Should I Choose Thriving Lane?
At Thriving Lane, our online counselors, therapist and teleproviders specialize in women’s mental health and have vast experience in coaching women through transitions such as menopause. Thriving Lane aims to blend conventional interventions with holistic approaches through video sessions which take place over a HIPAA secure telemedicine platform.
If you are interested in finding more about online therapy, holistic treatment and medication management in Florida, Georgia, Alaska, Nebraska and Minnesota, please follow these three simple steps.
- Call (347) 830 7720, click client portal on the top left side or hit the book now button to get in touch with Thriving Lane. Our staff will do a free 10-minute consultation to see how we can help.
- Connect with us through our newsletter and online content to help improve your mental health even if you aren’t ready for teletherapy, telemedicine, or telecounseling.
- Begin the journey to finding your inner peace and achieving your highest potential!