A menopause transition is often characterized by a multitude of uncomfortable symptoms such as severe anxiety issues and mood disorders. These symptoms are usually triggered by fluctuating and dropping levels of estrogen and is a major reason behind menopausal anxiety in women.
Menopausal Depression is characterized by an irritable frame of mind that can be observed in a lack of motivation, poor concentration, aggressive behavior or mood swings. Women with a history of depression, PMS or postpartum depression are more prone to menopausal depression. Women brought up in dysfunctional families tend to replicate the experience of emotional pain and anxiety in their adult lives as well. The inevitable results of which are the mood disorders and anxiety issues that never get diagnosed as they are regarded as a “normal” by the women themselves.
Hot flashes, night sweats, menopausal dry eyes and vaginal blockage are some common symptoms of a troublesome menopause. Hormone fluctuations, troubled sleeping patterns and life stresses take a toll on the body as it tries ti cope with the changes. Women are prone to have worrying thoughts regarding factors like their body image, infertility and aging that follow menopause.
A positive menopause experience can be created by managing the symptoms of stress related anxiety issues and depression. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise are key elements that need to focused upon for a woman to gain nourishment and mental strength. Meditation and yoga are highly effective in reducing stress levels as they promote inner peace and a healthy blood flow. Heavy alcohol intake and substance abuse should be avoided as they will only make the situation worse. Natural supplements that help in improving the overall health should be taken under the supervision of a trained physician and self medication should be strictly avoided. Creative avenues to find an outlet for pent up emotions and social support groups or networks to discuss various options and anxiety issues will be helpful for everyone around.
Anti-depressants and Anxiety Issues in Women
Potential stressors like toxins, pollutants and endocrine disruptors have an adverse effect on the overall neurochemistry to create mood swings in a person. A poor diet and chemical imbalance can aggravate the situation by adding to the stress levels. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) is a popular anti-depressant prescribed for women with moderate to severe levels of depression or anxiety. Although this medication tends to alleviate the anxiety issues its side effects include sexual dysfunction. A diminished sexual desire in women may become a cause for depression post menopause, creating a vicious cycle of anti-depressant usage. Other anti-anxiety medications prescribed for women under depression include benzodiazepines like Fluoxetine(Prozac), Paroxetine(Paxil) and Celexa(citalopram), reportedly cause sexual dysfunction after a prolonged usage.
Brupropion (Wellbutrin) and Duloxetine(Cymbalta) are two non SSRI anti-depressants that don’t cause sexual problems but may have other risky side effects in case of prolonged usage.
The stressors in a woman’s life need to be identified and addressed in time to make personal changes that add value to her life. A holistic approach that focuses on a healthy diet, nutritional supplements and psychotherapy is instrumental in treating disorders in women without resorting to drug treatment using anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication.