Menopause & Mental Health: How to Live a Healthy Life after the 50s?


Menopause & Mental Health: How to Live a Healthy Life after the 50s?

Are you in your late 40s and already struggling with various psychological problems like anxiety, forgetfulness, and poor concentration? On top of it– do you always seem low on confidence and good mood while experiencing bouts of depression and irritability?  Well, this is just a sign of menopause at 40.

As you enter the phase of early midlife, i.e., menopause, your body gradually begins to undergo chronological ageing. This results in certain physiological complications, such as night sweats and dryness in the intimate regions. The most common causes of menopause are the Naturally declining reproductive hormones due to age, removal of ovaries and chemotherapy and radiation therapy. 

Stepping into your 50s is a major shift in your physical and mental state. To ensure that ageing doesn't take a toll on your well-being, consider protecting yourself against medical emergencies with the right Care Health Insurance Plan.

This article sheds light on menopause, its effects on mental health, and how to ensure a woman’s physical and emotional well-being during menopause. 

What is Menopause?

Menopause refers to the natural decline of the female reproductive hormones when a woman reaches her late 40s or early 50s. The phase of menopause is detected by the 12 months of the last menstruation period. This stage is marked by common menopause symptoms such as

  • Hot flashes ora sudden warmth that travels through your body.
  • Cold flashes ornight sweats with sudden chills or shivering at night.
  • Frequent need to urinate
  • Dryness in the skin, eyes, and mouth. 
  • Breast tenderness
  • Irregular periods often lighter or heavier than regular days.  
  • Vaginal dryness and irritation. 

A few symptoms come hand in hand, such as nausea and menopause, menopause and mental health, menopause and itchy skin, menopause and anger attacks and menopause and anxiety. However, it is observed that apart from the above visible menopause symptoms, there are specific mental and psychological impacts of menopause on women. We will discuss them in detail.

What are the Psychological Impacts of Menopause?

The average menopause age in India is between 41.9 and 49.4 years. This is when Indian women begin to undergo reproductive ageing in addition to chronological ageing. Due to specific hormonal changes, women experience the following psychological symptoms and mental effects of menopause: 

1. Loss of memory:

Studies show menopause also affects a woman’s normal memory functioning. During their early midlife, i.e., after menopause, women undergo “reproductive ageing,” during which their ovaries stop secreting the vital hormone estradiol. 

Estradiol is a primary form of estrogen that functions in the brain and relates to memory performance and the brain’s reorganisation while helping proper memory functioning. This facilitates memory function. During menopause, the depletion of the estradiol hormone suddenly destabilizes brain functioning, and this causes memory loss in women.

2. Depression:

Although you might experience mood swings due to menopause, this should not be considered depression. However, if you persistently have a very low mood for extended periods, you are can be experiencing depression, which is a more severe condition.

It has been observed that most Indian women suffer from depression after menopause. This condition is triggered due to low sex drive after hormonal changes. Besides, painful physical issues of menopause – such as irregular periods or hot and cold flashes – also increase the risk of depression. So, if you are constantly feeling low and experiencing bouts of depressed thoughts. In that case, you should immediately speak to your Genaral Physician.

3. Anxiety: 

One of the most common menopause symptoms is anxiety and panic attacks. There are instances wherein women experience sudden panic attacks during or after their menopausal transition. 

Many people tend to confuse hot flashes with panic attacks. The fact is that during a panic attack, you experience extreme anxiety that leaves you sweating and quivering and ultimately leads to breathlessness. Also, panic attacks cause heart racing with rhythmic frequencies called palpitations, which may resemble hot flashes.

On the other hand, hot flashes are often preceded by a panicky or pessimistic feeling, not a panic attack. Besides, hot flashes don't make you feel short of breath, while panic attacks eventually result in shortness of breath. You must immediately consult your GP if you feel any of these symptoms.

4. Anger and irritability:

Sometimes, you might feel angry or frustrated for no reason. While compulsive anger is a normal feeling, as a woman, if you experience anger issues repeatedly in your late 40s, it might result from menopause. As you begin to face the bitter realities of getting older and moving into the later phase of your life — accompanied by lack of sleep and hot flashes, you start developing a sense of deprivation that makes your mood unstable. 

However, this natural phenomenon happens with everyone in their early midlife, both men and women. The compulsive anger and irritability can be easily controlled with lifestyle changes such as meditation, yoga, and pranayama. 

How to Deal with the Mental Effects of Menopause?

No matter how trivial the psychological impacts of menopause may appear, you should seriously take note of them and consult your physician for medical help. These mental issues can further deteriorate your physical and mental health if not treated timely.

Various menopause treatments can help relieve the psychological symptoms of menopause. These may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and counselling.

Additionally, you should take care of your health by adopting healthy habits such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. This can mitigate menopause symptoms effectively. Besides, you must divert your mind to constructive activities that make you feel good, including yoga, meditation, and walking.

>> Also Read: Effective Ways to Get Relief from the 34 Symptoms of Menopause

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned information is for reference purposes only. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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