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While anxiety can affect anyone, this psychological symptom is twice as common in women than in men. Though this condition can strike at any time during a woman's life, hormonal changes can produce feelings of anxiety in women of menopausal age. While most menopausal women do not necessarily develop a serious clinical anxiety disorder, these conditions are not uncommon. In fact, anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million Americans.
For women who are concerned about anxiety during menopause, it is extremely valuable to gain insight into anxiety, its various manifestations, its symptoms, and its causes. Understanding these aspects of anxiety can help women determine the best way to manage and treat anxiety during menopause. Continue reading to learn more about anxiety.
Anxiety is a psychological state characterized by excessive and persistent worry, tension, and nervousness. There are several types of anxiety disorders, classified on the basis of symptoms, causes, and other central features.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by a persistent state of exaggerated worry and fear (at least six months), often when there is little or nothing to provoke it.
Panic disorder (PD) is characterized by recurring acute episodes of sudden terror and overwhelming dread, which produce a variety of emotional and physical symptoms.
Social phobia involves excessive worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations.
Post traumatic stress disorder, unrelated to hormonal changes in menopause, is an anxiety disorder triggered by a traumatic life event.
Obsessive compulsive disorder, also infrequently associated with menopause, involves irrational preoccupations. Specific phobias, including agoraphobia, are unwarranted and extreme fears of particular stimuli.
Click on the following link to read more information about anxiety, or continue reading below to learn more about the anxiety symptoms and their particular characteristics.
Anxiety attacks are a common symptom in menopausal women because of the hormone fluctuations experienced during that time. It is important to remember that anxiety symptoms should begin to subside during postmenopause. Exercising regularly and eating healthy are helpful ways to stay fit and prevent many of these symptoms.
Anxiety disorders affect 25 million Americans on average, and is twice as common in women as in men. Post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder are among the different types of anxiety featured in this article. Staying active and eating healthy foods can help prevent anxiety.
Symptoms of Anxiety
People who experience anxiety often can't seem to shake their concerns and worries about everyday events, even though they may know that their anxiety is out of proportion to the triggering situation. Psychological symptoms of anxiety can also include nervousness, difficulty concentrating, trouble relaxing, tenseness, hypervigilance, restlessness, and irritability.
Anxiety can put someone on edge, making it feel as if disaster is always just around the corner. Just getting through the day can feel overwhelming and even unbearable. At night it can wake someone from sleep or make falling asleep extremely difficult. Moderate to severe levels of anxiety can put a significant strain on our personal and professional relationships, not to mention how it makes us feel about ourselves.
Anxiety produces more than just psychological symptoms. People who suffer from anxiety typically experience a host of physical symptoms, including heart palpitations, fatigue, muscle aches, digestive problems, excessive sweating, frequent urination, shortness of breath, and more. These symptoms may be especially intense for people who experience panic attacks, or sudden and acute episodes of overwhelming fear and panic.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is likely that anxiety has reached the point of being a problem. Click on the following link for more information about the symptoms of anxiety, or continue reading to learn more about specific causes for anxiety during menopause.
There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder, but their symptoms are similar. Emotional symptoms of anxiety can include restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and constant feelings of dread. Staying active and keeping a strong support system are key to maintaining mental health.
Anxiety and depression are linked and often arise from the same causes. This means that many of the signs of anxiety are also typical of depression, so it is important for an anxiety sufferer to recognize when they might be exhibiting signs of depression too, so that it does not go untreated.
Causes of Anxiety
For women in their 40s and 50s who are going through menopause, one of the most common causes of anxiety is decreased estrogen levels. Estrogen declines during perimenopause, or the time before menopause, as the body prepares to cease egg development and menstruation. Scientists have discovered that estrogen has a significant effect on the brain's regulation of moods and emotion.
While this relationship appears complex, experts do know that changes in estrogen levels have a direct effect on the neurochemicals serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and melatonin. Since all of these chemicals play an integral role in emotion and mood regulation, disruptions caused by estrogen fluctuations can lead to anxiety during menopause.
While the primary cause of anxiety in menopause is hormonal, other medical and psychological conditions can cause anxiety. Women who are concerned about extreme or persistent anxiety should not hesitate to talk to a qualified medical professional.
Click on the following link to find more information about the causes of anxiety or read on to learn more about ways to overcome anxiety and get life running smoothly again.
Anxiety and eating disorders are closely related psychological illnesses. Two out of three people with an eating disorder suffer from anxiety. Anxiety typically precedes eating disorders, and then it becomes a vicious cycle. It is important to be able to recognize the symptoms of these disorders and seek professional treatment.
Generally speaking, there are three different ways to approach anxiety treatment: self-care and lifestyle changes, natural therapies, and medical options. Most experts advise that women begin with the least aggressive and risky of these three approaches: lifestyle changes and self-care, which can include increased exercises, dietary changes, relaxation techniques, and more.
Because these methods can be difficult to implement into a busy woman's schedule and because these measures do not address the root problem of hormone imbalance, doctors recommend that women combine lifestyle changes with natural remedies.
If this combination is not effective, medical options can be considered. It is also a good idea to talk to a counselor or other trained psychological professional who can offer anything from an open ear to effective psychotherapy for anxiety management.
Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for anxiety, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicines, and finally, if those options don't seem to help, medications. The most effective treatments for anxiety typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicines.
Social anxiety is a debilitating disorder that can have a huge impact on relationships with other people and cause a range of mental health issues due to the stress. This article explains the disorder in more detail and gives helpful tips on how to deal with it.
Anxiety disorders affect around 40 million Americans on average, and are twice as common in women as in men. Hormone fluctuations are the primary cause of anxiety in menopausal women; however, certain medications and stress can also trigger anxiety. Trying relaxation techniques like meditation and getting a massage can be helpful in reducing anxiety.
- “Anxiety Disorder”. National Institute of Mental Health. www.nimh.nih.gov
- “Generalized Anxiety Disorder”. MedicineNet.com
- Dr. Pick, Marcelle. “Anxiety in Women-Causes, symptoms, and natural relief”. www.womentowomen.com
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