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Menopause and Mental Health
The peculiarity of the nervous system of women is in its extraordinary mobility. Women can quickly adapt to changing circumstances, lifestyle, or requirements. Together with the benefits, they receive a more acute reaction to external stimuli and instability of emotional reactions in stressful situations. Mental health conditions are very common in all age groups starting from early childhood up to elderly people who may be hospitalized to not cause harm to others. Rarely such incidents are linked to menopause but this natural aging process may bear many mental issues as well. And, only a doctor may confirm a diagnosis, as mentally-ill people occasionally cannot understand that something is wrong.
The menopause mental breakdown is common among women of the middle age because it is very difficult to realize the loss of the ability to conceive and attractiveness. They understand that they cannot bear children anymore, and the beauty fades. Even a single grey lock may bring much anxiety and provoke long-lasting stress which will require treatment. Unfortunately, such events become more and more popular due to lack of knowledge about menopause, missing comprehension that is a quite normal period, and stereotypes that women are no longer attractive.
In addition, some age-related changes take women by surprise, causing stress, panic, or depression. To adequately meet menopause and mental illness, you need to prepare for them in advance and help your body by creating a certain margin of safety. Otherwise, your doctor whom you should regularly visit will periodically examine your mental health condition and incorporate preventive measures to help you avoid any mental breakdown during the menopause.
Menopause Mental Symptoms
Reducing estrogen primarily affects the thermoregulation system and the emotional sphere, so the first signs of approaching menopause are considered hot flashes and exacerbation of emotional reactions. They come in different intensities, from mild fast-passing tantrums to severe depressive states. From the first symptom, you need to care about your menopause mental health.
Most often menopause mental illness is:
- depression, supplemented by a stable anxiety state, accompanied by a weakening of mental activity, refusal of treatment, increased fatigue;
- the neurasthenic state is characterized by loss of strength, sleep disturbance, a sharp reaction to loud sounds and bright lights, difficulty in making decisions;
- hysteria is chronic and formed by a certain symptom complex, in severe cases accompanied by auditory hallucinations;
- the manic form begins with a depressed state, the appearance of obsessions about the destruction of the body, causing harm to others, can be thoughts about suicide, aggression, and rejection of the situation can be directed at yourself or other people;
- the late form of epilepsy.
In case of such conditions, joint treatment with a gynecologist and a psychiatrist is required. In the early stages, all types of menopause psychological symptoms are well amenable to correction by methods of restoring hormonal balance through the reception of phytoestrogens or the appointment of HRT, psychotherapeutic sessions.
In case you believe you have other conditions including increased suicidal thinking, attempts, harmful thoughts, or you believe you may be dangerous to people near you, seek emergency help immediately. There are many rehabs that can perfectly help you to cope with these states. By no means, start self-treatment with antidepressants because they all have a black box warning from the FDA which informs about the potential for deterioration of suicidal thinking.
However, such dangerous outcomes are rarely related to menopause, as they are more linked to inherited disorders, child traumas, or negative life circumstances which are not typically considered to appear with the onset of menopause. If you have been clinically diagnosed with any mental health condition before hitting the menopause, you will be supervised and monitored by the doctor on a regular basis for your own safety. Regular check-ups, examinations of your conditions are required for you to live normally.
Depression During Menopause — Risks
It is worth stopping on this mental health condition, as it is very dangerous including its myriad of forms and types. Women diagnosed with depression during the menopause stage may abuse alcohol, smoke to the extreme, or else live in complete apathy not reacting to the ordinary life or people who live near them. The onset of depression is hard to diagnose because one may think it is a temporary symptom such as stress or negative thinking. But, when the time is lost, it is harder to affect it. Depression may be deteriorated by the thoughts that menopause does not let a woman have kids or one wasted her young ages on unnecessary things.
Do not let this happen, and with the first symptoms of depression, address them with your doctor only. Menopause should be considered in a positive way only regardless of any symptoms which are natural in all women.
Can menopause cause mental illness?
Mental effects of menopause can develop into full-fledged neuroses, especially in hypochondriac, addicted to internal experiences of women, focusing only on their problems and fenced off from the outside world by a veil of alienation. The situation is unfavorable for emotional balance, requires timely correction with complex of drugs with a sedative effect.
What to Do if Menopause and Mental Illness No Longer Let You Live?
Mental breakdown during the menopause is very dangerous, as some women may likely to go extreme with everything they used to do. For example, before menopause they lived life to the fullest, were super active but now due to low energy and negative thinking everything seems so miserable. It is an alert to promptly speak to the doctor and never to retire into your shell. A doctor will send you to a psychiatrist to help you get out of menopausal depression and start thinking about this female stage in a positive way. Note, there are millions of women who gained their success in late 50-60-70, and who have never looked back saying that menopause is bad.
What Should You Treat First — Menopause or Mental Illness?
First of all, you should clearly understand that menopause cannot be treated as it is an aging stage in all women. What can be treated is symptoms and disorders it may cause. For example, irritability or hot flashes, they are perfectly managed by therapies, medications, and health supplements. Another thing is mental illness. Even though many promising data exists about depression and anxiety treatment, it may take time. And, those who do not address these mental health conditions to the doctor may struggle and only deteriorate their well-being.
Your psychiatrist will definitely assign you to medications which are the first-line approaches. The treatment protocol may include traditional antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, MAOIs, SSRIs, SSRNs among others. Alongside this, there will be an option to undergo cognitive-behavioral therapy or group support to go through mental health conditions or even menopausal changes.
Sometimes, it may be hard to stick to one treatment as mental health conditions require a certain regimen and may interact with medications or supplements you take for menopausal symptoms. But, it can be adjusted by the doctor as well. The main idea is to never diagnose yourself at the sole discretion and never assign pharmacological treatment on your own. It is dangerous and may worsen the medical issue
How does it affect the development of the psychological effects of menopause?
Menopause is a natural change, during which the most important thing is a decrease in the intensity of the ovaries, and then a complete stop of the process. This is accompanied by hormonal changes that disrupt the coordinated work of internal systems and leads to physiological manifestations, several ailments. Women feel it not only by their bodies but also by the brain. That is why there are many mental effects of menopause, which follows physiological ones.
When is it recommended to see a doctor for help?
Immediately, as soon as you feel a symptom of anxiety, depression and that prevents you from leading a normal lifestyle.
How can I alleviate the mental symptoms?
To alleviate the psychological symptoms of menopause, it is necessary to stabilize the processes, artificially filling the lack of hormones. You also can enter some group or ask for help personal coach.
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