Menopause is a natural stage in all women’s health around the ages of 40 to 55. It occurs when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone, which can come with a variety undesirable side effects, such as trouble sleeping, hot flashes and irregular periods. However, a lesser known side effect is that menopause can also impact your mental health.
Due to the changing levels of hormones during menopause, you’re at higher risk for developing depression or anxiety. Estrogen and progesterone affect serotonin levels in the brain and lower levels can cause you to fell anxious or depressed. Not every woman will experience these side effects. However, women with a history of anxiety or depression can have worse symptoms during menopause.
If you feel depressed or anxious, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend hormone therapy or medications that can help. In general, these symptoms alleviate once hormones stabilize after menopause.
In the meantime, a healthy lifestyle can support mental health. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting consistent exercise, developing hobbies, and interacting with friends and family for emotional support. Avoiding or limiting alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes may also bring relief.
Don’t ignore your symptoms and don’t wait to seek treatment until your symptoms are so severe you can’t function.
Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at UCFHealth.com, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.
Subscribe to Weekly Health Tips
Get Health Tips from UCF Health in your email each week! Subscribe here.
- anxiety depression gynecologist gynecology health healthy choices healthy lifestyle healthy living menopause mental health ovaries primary care side effect women's health