Menopause and Mental Health

Menopause and Mental Health

Nichelle Haynes, DO

As women transition through perimenopause, a phase marked by hormonal fluctuations preceding menopause, it's essential to address the significant impact these changes can have on mental health. From mood swings to increased anxiety and depression, the emotional landscape during perimenopause can be challenging to navigate, to say the least.

The average age of menopause in the United States is 51 with perimenopausal symptoms starting anywhere from 5-10 years before this. During perimenopause, fluctuating hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can influence neurotransmitter activity in the brain, contributing to shifts in mood and emotional well-being. It's common for cis-women to experience heightened emotional sensitivity, irritability, and feelings of sadness or anxiety during this time. There are of course physical changes that occur during this time and the brain is not spared from the effects of the changes in reproductive hormones. For some perimenopause is the first time in their lives they experience difficulties with their mental health and for some perimenopause may consist of an exacerbation of symptoms they've experienced before.

Moreover, the onset of perimenopause often coincides with various life stressors, such as career changes, relationship dynamics, or caring for aging parents, further exacerbating mental health challenges and leading many to feel isolated in their experience.

Recognizing the importance of seeking care for mental health issues during perimenopause is paramount. Consulting with a healthcare provider or mental health professional can provide valuable support and guidance tailored to individual needs. Whether through therapy, medication management, lifestyle modifications, or holistic approaches, addressing mental health concerns can significantly improve quality of life during this transitional phase. We are happy to be a part of the mental health journey for many people during this time in their lives.

By prioritizing self-care, seeking support, and being proactive about mental health, people going through perimenopause can navigate the journey with resilience and empowerment. Remember, you're not alone, and help is available to support you through this transformative time.

Take the first step towards prioritizing your mental health and well-being during perimenopause – because every woman deserves to feel supported and empowered on her journey through perimenopause!