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Mental Health and Menopause

Mental health is always a sensitive subject, but should not be ignored. As a woman, at some point in your life you will experience hormonal changes that lead to menopause. Symptoms of menopause can include mood swings, depression, anxiety, and other psychological changes. Understanding these changes can help you deal with them and treat them early. It is important to pay attention to the symptoms and treat them as needed. These changes can become issues and interfere with living a quality life. If you understand what is going on and treat them accordingly, these mental issues will most likely pass with time.

The initial cause of a mental illness is not always known, even during menopause, however hormonal changes have been linked to these symptoms. The effects of hormonal changes are different in all women, so it is important to pay attention to the signals. Lifestyle, habits, and other external sources can also cause or intensify symptoms of mental illness.

Some risk factors of having mental illness appear during menopause are:

  • A history of mental illness
  • Stress in family life or home life
  • Long-term smoker
  • Sedentary lifestyle, usually due to a medical problem
  • Isolation that occurs after the death of a spouse

Some women find relief from the menopausal mental issues by taking prescription medications. This depends, however, on the possible external cause of the illness. Most women find relief from a combination of medical advice/treatment, lifestyle changes, and self-care. Self-care consists of taking yourself to a beauty salon, forgiving yourself for things that might make you feel guilty, and overall loving yourself more than ever. Prescription solutions are typically temporary, so the life style changes and self-care are more permanent solutions. Women should test out some ways to heal their mental illness during menopause and do what is right for them.

Sometimes, once an external source of stress is removed, mental illness symptoms will completely disappear. Stress can switch on an anxiety reaction, which can result in making poor decisions about life. The result of making poor decisions can bring on feelings of hopelessness, which may manifest itself in uncontrolled crying. If that initial external stress is removed from the life, the mind can think more clearly and hope is restored. Everything is connected and each thing can influence the other.

If menopause is causing a mental health issue for you or someone you love, it is time to get help. Other than contacting your medical provider, here are some things you can do today:

  • Sleep in a cool dark place, so you are getting enough rest
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and large meals
  • Exercise every day at least 30 minutes
  • Call a friend, join a group, speak to a counselor, and avoid isolation
  • Treat yourself like a queen. You deserve it!