When perimenopause and menopause finally hits, a woman will more likely to suffer anxiety attacks and depression. Find out all about anxiety attacks in menopause and perimenopause and how to deal with it in this article.
Medical studies suggest that women are twice more likely to suffer anxiety attacks than men. This occurs because of a variety of biological, psychological, and cultural factors. The researchers suggest that fluctuations in the levels of female reproductive hormones and cycles may contribute to the heightened risk for anxiety attacks.
Moreover, when women reach their perimenopause and menopause stages, the hormone imbalances during this time can contribute to the senses of depression or make one feel simply unimportance. The hormone imbalances during menopause and perimenopause also can worsen existing anxiety disorders and raise it to the surface.
So, let’s just say that the mental strains of anxiety and pre menopause or menopause almost always go hand in hand.
Feeling anxious is actually very normal. It often occurs every time an individual faces distressing and aggravating situations or events in their lives. It is simply a part of a person’s natural reaction to life hassles and fears. Some of the physical symptoms you may experience under this situation are panic attacks, shortness of breath, perimenopause fatigue, dizziness, chills, heart palpitations, chronic sweating, hot flashes, nausea, muscle tension and aches.
Although worrying about many things for a normal individual has its upper limit of severity, a menopausal women suffering from anxiety tend to worry about their distresses excessively. This is no longer normal since extreme worry and fear will prevent her from living the fulfilled life she would wish to.
When anxiety finally reaches its highest peak, it is usually described as a panic attack. Panic attacks are enervating episodes of fear and distress that include chest pains, fear of death, and trembling. Having a plethora of life responsibilities and obligations during menopause can create stress, and having an excess of this stress can cause adrenal fatigue. In what is called being “psychosocially” depressed, women have negative thoughts and attitudes about getting older, taking on unwanted roles such as caretaker, and responding negatively to intolerant husbands who might insist on sex.
A woman who suffers continuous anxiety and depression during perimenopause probably will experience worse cases of anxiety in her menopause stage. If life-long disproportions have not been put right, menopause may exacerbate the circumstances.
Nevertheless, women who have high self-esteem and self-confidence usually go through menopause easily and barely notice a difference. They often have lesser chances to suffer anxiety and depression.
Research has discovered that consistent regular physical activity and healthy diet throughout pre menopause has been scientifically demonstrated to reduce the possibility of anxiety symptoms before, during and after menopause.
Here are several tips to help women in coping with anxiety attacks:
- Watch your diet.
- Avoid refined sugar, soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, and any else that has caffeine content like tea, coffee, or chocolate. Caffeine can speed up heart rate and disrupt sleep — which later on become prevailing signs of anxiety. Trying to overcome tiredness by drinking more caffeine only makes the long-term problem worse.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol also worsens the symptoms of anxiety and disrupts sleep. Alcohol, like a simple sugar, is rapidly absorbed by the body. Like other sugars, alcohol increases hypoglycemia symptoms. It also causes mood swings. In excessive amounts, alcohol may actually act as a depressant, making the drinker feel sluggish or more anxious.
- Eat complex carbohydrates. Carbs act as a mild tranquilizer by increasing the amount of serotonin, a calming neurotransmitter in the brain. Complex carbs such as potatoes, whole wheat bread, and pasta take longer to digest than sugary simple carbs like white bread. That way, one can stay fuller longer and blood sugar is likely to stay steady, eliminating stress and anxiety.
- Be sure to drink eight or more glasses of water a day. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches and stress. One should be well-hydrated and drinking lots of water a day can decrease symptoms of anxiety.
- An insufficient of vitamin and mineral in diet may lead to emotional and mental problems. You need 200 mg of calcium and 1000 mg of magnesium daily. Take multivitamins and mineral supplements. B vitamins, whose role is to unlock the energy in food, are crucial. Vitamin B-6 helps manufacture serotonin in the brain. Choose a daily supplement that supplies 100 per cent of the daily recommendation of all vitamins and minerals. You should also include iron, potassium, selenium and chromium in your diet.
- Although tension and daily stresses are unavoidable, one can relieve tension and manage stress and anxiety better by watching out for what one eats and what one does not eat. Remember that a healthy body and a healthy mind are often one and the same thing. Read also: Best Diet for Menopause.
- Get some exercise.
- Regular exercising will help your body to relax and relieve it from stress and also help toning your body. Therefore exercising definitely helps in alleviating anxiety. Try to include a 30 minutes exercising program daily.
- Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety include shortness of breath, heart palpitations, hyperventilation, dizziness, and stress can be easily remedied or minimized by exercise. Regular cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart and lungs thus help lower blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. A stronger heart also ensures that enough oxygen is supplied to the brain which minimizes dizzy spells. Cardiovascular exercise also increases lung power which prevents hyperventilation and shortness of breath. Exercise also reduces stress by encouraging the release of endorphins or feel-good hormones in the body.
- The benefits of exercise are not limited in improving your physical condition. Your overall emotional and psychological well-being can also benefit from exercise which can help ease anxiety symptoms. Exercise gives you distraction, boosts your confidence, allows you to socialize and provides you an outlet to vent and cope.
- Exercising can contribute a lot to anxiety treatment and therapy. Aside from minimizing symptoms, exercise also allows you to improve your sense of well-being which is crucial to your recovery.
- Learn how to relax
It is important to learn to pursue activities that will help you to relax. Just do things that you enjoy. This will definitely help to alleviate your stress. Listening to music, talking to a friend, working on a crossword puzzle, read a good book, take a walk, a nap, paint a picture, or some other hobby?
- Get enough sleep
Try to get some deep and proper sleep when you’re stressed and experiencing anxiety. Deep sleep is a natural relaxer and will definitely benefit you when you are suffering from anxiety.
- Remove a negative attitude
There are various external forces that may add a negativity in you, which might lead to stress. Try and avoid developing any negative feelings. Such feelings can only spoil your day.
For a significant number of pre and/or menopausal women who do not have the ability to cope with stress and anxiety, the only means to regain their life is to undergo therapy. An experienced counselor and/or therapist can help them recover and evaluate their lives including healing emotional problems.
As is common with anxiety, feelings of unimportant, fear, and even suicidal tendencies can occur. In this case, anxiety medications, also known as anxiolytics may be prescribed. These anxiety medications, if accompanied by therapy conducted by professionals, offer relief and possibly permanent protection from the debilitating effects of stress and severe emotional distress. Anxiety medications often vary in the dosage and desired effects.
Bensodiazepines are prescribed to treat the short-term and disabling effects of anxiety. These drugs are take effect in a person’s central nervous system, which is the reason why a certain degree of sedation occurs in a patient using the medication.
Non-bensodiazepines, however, are used to control the serotonin level in the body. Serotonin is essential to the body for regulating anger, temperature, mood, sleep, vomiting, sexuality, and appetite. Though they are proven to be less effective than bensodiazepines, the serotonin-regulating effect of this type of anti-anxiety drug also helps a person to achieve a relaxed state.
While these medications offer relief, people must still practice a little caution before taking these anti-anxiety drugs. These drugs cannot totally remove all symptoms of anxiety. Of course, these medications cannot resolve an emotional or psychological problem that is actually the origin or source of a person’s anxiety attacks.
Anxiety in menopause sufferers results from hormonal imbalances. In the menstrual cycle, ovulation causes progesterone to be released. Irregular cycles are grounds for anxiety build-up, as a result of the lack of this “happy hormone”. All these conditions can be treated with alternative therapies such as natural progesterone cream.
Coping with all of the physical changes, assuming new roles, possibly facing many of our fears for the first time, and generally waking up to the fact that “life just isn’t what it used to be” are all realizations that contribute to anxiety symptoms in perimenopause and menopause period. In these times, it is important to maintain focus and concentrate on the positive things in life. Although it can be hard, it can be done. and therapy. Aside from minimizing symptoms, exercise also allows you to improve your sense of well-being which is crucial to your recovery.