Though perfectly normal, dealing with the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause can be a challenge for many women. From hot flashes and insomnia to night sweats and mood swings, menopause can be a difficult time for women often dealing with other big changes in their life such as experiencing empty nest syndrome for the first time. If you are a woman in menopause or perimenopause, here are some ways to manage symptoms that you may not have thought of before.
Mental Health in Menopause
With major physical symptoms like vaginal dryness, missed menstrual cycles, insomnia, decreased libido, and more, it can be easy to get caught up in the physical symptoms of menopause and forget about the very real mental health issues that can sometimes crop up during this natural transition in life. For some women, menopause symptoms lead to a decrease in their overall quality of life and cause them to develop symptoms of depression, panic disorders, or anxiety that they haven’t experienced before.
If your menopause mood swings seem severe or you’re struggling with mental health, it’s a good idea to contact a psychologist for a therapy session where they can offer you relaxation techniques and more. During your first session, you’ll be able to talk to a licensed therapist about the types of therapy that might work for you. From cognitive behavior therapy (CBT therapy), which will help you to understand triggers and modify behaviors to help during your menopause transition to treatment for other things like OCD or cognitive distortions, a therapist will be able to help before and after menopause.
Support and Resources
After finding a therapist through your doctor’s office or an online search, another great resource for help with menopause can be online support groups, apps, and blogs. You might be surprised to learn how many women are going through exactly what you are and these sites and apps are great for helping women to feel less alone and answering common questions about menopause symptoms.
If you’re struggling with negative thoughts or the general idea of menopause, consider looking for apps to track perimenopause, log triggers and symptoms, and where you can find the latest in research and products for women in menopause. Many of these apps also offer support groups and chats for women in similar situations. Even if you aren’t in menopause yet, you can connect with others who may be nearing this inevitable time in a woman’s life. For those in perimenopause, there are apps with period trackers that will help you report on your reproductive health to your doctor. This information will be an important tool for helping your gynecologist to understand where you are in the process of transition.
The more support you have around you as you go through the beginnings of this life transition, the easier it may feel. You might be surprised to learn how much information is online when it comes to the aging process. On YouTube, for example, you can find vlogs that are serious, informative, and even humorous. Making the effort to look on social media and at website blogs could be a great way to not only get information but find connections to other women in the same period of life.
A doctor’s office is a great place to start if you’re feeling like you need additional help with symptoms of this life-changing time. The great news is that you may even be able to get a head start by searching online for doctors who specialize in hormone therapy, women’s health, and more. Consider checking out a place like Healthcare Associates (healthcareassociates.com) if you live in Texas. Staffed with doctors who believe in a whole-body approach to medicine, a team like those at Healthcare Associates of Texas would be a great place to start when it comes to learning more about the changes you’re going through and what’s to come. The reality is that there’s no reason to suffer from uncomfortable symptoms when doctors have effective tools to lessen the side effects of this natural process of aging. Calling to make an appointment with your regular primary care provider or finding a new one is a great way to give yourself peace of mind about what you’re going through and improve your overall health.
In the big picture of things, menopause is only a short term condition that will eventually go away. While most women dread this period of transition and have negative thoughts about the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, they can be easier to handle if you come up with a plan to take care of yourself. From finding supportive family members and a CBT therapist you can talk to about things like the side effects of changing hormones to hiring the best health care provider for you, you’ll be in a better position to minimize the symptoms of menopause and come out on the other side of it hopeful and ready to start your next chapter.