As you know, menopause is a time of great hormonal fluctuations. During perimenopause, the years just before the periods finally stop; your hormone levels can fluctuate a lot. This can lead to emotional upheaval that can last for several years. This can be very distressing for you but also those around you.
What is going on!
During menopause and in the perimenopausal years, the estrogen levels gradually decrease and the ovaries put out less progesterone. This results in a rise in FSH and LH, which can be measured as part of the diagnosis of menopause although “menopause” is a clinical diagnosis, meaning that it is declared “menopause” when a woman has not had a period for more than a year. The cause of menopause is primary ovarian failure. The ovaries simply run out of eggs and do not produce the same amount of gonadal hormones as were made during the fertile years. All these hormone changes can make you feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster ride.
Emotional Impact Of Time Gone By
For some women, the emotional impact of menopause stems from the simple fact of getting older and seeing the changes happening in their body. Some women have real issues with age, and menopause is a landmark time that typically marks the end of middle age. Seeing the changes taking place in your body can be frustrating and scary.
Emotional Impact Related To Womanhood
For some women, menopause may trigger feelings of depression and sadness because a lot of their personal identity in womanhood is tied up in being able to bear children. There are also those women who may have not had a chance yet to bear children or as many as they wanted to or planned to which lends itself to feelings of sadness, anger, grief and loss.
Emotional Impact From Hormonal Fluctuations
There is lots of reasons you can feel more emotional in menopause. Hormone fluctuations have a direct affect on the neurotransmitters in your brain. Low levels of serotonin and norepinephrine, for example, can be found in menopausal. These low levels contribute to feelings of depression and irritability. Women are more likely to suffer from an episode of major depression during these years. It is not uncommon to see many women put on an anti-depressant, sleeping pills, or anxiety medication. There is a time and place for this, but what if you could find a way to balance your hormone or ease the hormone fluctuations?
There are programs and trained health practitioners that can help. You may also looking into various supplements that can help support your hormones and your emotions in menopause. One of my top recommendations for this is Mighty Maca. I have found it can help mood, libido, and energy. The feedback from the women I treat has been amazing. I often hear, “I love it”! “I will never stop taking it”! It was developed by gynecologist, Dr. Anna Cabeca when she was trying to treat her own hormone imbalances. If you want to learn more about Mighty Maca: Click Here!
What are other reasons you might be feeling more emotional in menopause?
A Time Of Loss
Menopause is also a time of loss. It is during this time when many women are having personal upheavals in their lives, such as the loss of children who have grown and have moved away from home, the changing face of relationships, and the coming of older age. You may be considering a change in careers. These things can cause anxiety, irritability, agitation, and depression in women who otherwise would be able to handle these life changes.
Health Problems That Effect Motions
The menopausal years are also peak times for women to suffer from health problems that can affect their emotions. Hypothyroidism can occur during these years and many women deal with things like breast cancer and other health crises.
Improving The Emotional Outlook
So how do you begin to cope with these emotional changes—both biochemical and environmental? You can start by taking a look at your diet. Food is Medicine after all. Eating healthier foods such as organic whole fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats and protein are essential to supporting your mood and your hormones. Exercise helps to preserve muscle and bone mass. It also increases endorphins, which affect mood.
You are never too old to begin something new such as starting a walking program or doing things like yoga or aerobic swimming classes. Riding a bike for half an hour a day can bring about a better mood and improved outlook on life.
Even adding a hobby can improve your outlook and lift depressive symptoms in menopause. Women who have social hobbies tend to feel better than those who have isolative hobbies but actually, having any kind of hobby will improve mood and increase well-being. Exercise may even improve the sleep disturbances seen in menopause.
Because women are at higher risk for heart disease and bone loss after menopause, this is the time when exercise. Emotional improvement can be seen with exercise as much as physical improvement.
Staying social can help you cope with the changing of emotions. This means finding and having friendships with other women and keeping up a healthy relationship with one’s loved ones. Simply keeping a good social calendar can combat feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, and depression so often seen at this time of a woman’s life.
For those with deep seeded depression, and sadness, professional therapy is always a good option, especially when depression begins to effect quality of life and persists into a long term situation.
The bottom line is, it is normal to feel more emotional in menopause. Yes, it is not pleasant. No, you are not going crazy. If you want to get the love and support of other women in menopause, we would love to have you join us over at the Menopause Sisterhood Facebook Group!