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The menopause and emotions

Going through the menopause can affect a woman's emotions. These emotional menopause symptoms may include:

  • Irritability.
  • Feelings of sadness.
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Anxiety.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Fatigue.
  • Mood changes.
  • Tension.

How can I cope with these emotional changes?

Irritability and feelings of sadness are the most common emotional symptoms at the time of the menopause. Often, they can be managed through lifestyle changes, such as learning ways to relax and to reduce stress.

Here are some tips that may make it easier for you to handle fluctuating emotions.

  • Exercise and eat healthily.
  • Find a self-calming skill to practise, such as yoga, meditation or rhythmic breathing.
  • Avoid tranquillisers and alcohol.
  • Engage in a creative outlet that fosters a sense of achievement.
  • Stay connected with your family and community.
  • Nurture your friendships.

Some women do exhibit the symptoms of depression during this time. If you are feeling increasingly unable to cope, seek medical advice. You doctor may be able to recommend medicine, such as antidepressants, or therapy that can get you through this rough time.

Can hormone therapy ease my emotional problems?

While there is growing evidence to suggest that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can improve emotional symptoms, HRT alone is not effective in treating more severe depression. Antidepressant drug therapy and/or some form of psychotherapy may be necessary.

I have a hard time concentrating and I'm forgetful. Is this a normal part of the menopause?

Unfortunately, difficulty with concentrating and minor memory problems often occur at the time of the menopause. Current medical knowledge is limited as to whether memory changes are directly related to the menopause. There are currently no specific treatments available to relieve these symptoms. If you are having memory problems, discuss this with your doctor. He or she can help you to manage your memory problems, or may be able to provide reassurance.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on July 22, 2014

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