“You may notice that menopause
causes your mood to change.
This is due to changing hormone levels”.1

Umbrella

What may the Menopause Mental Health Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Emotional Health/Welfare/Well-Being
  • Mental Health/Welfare/Well-Being
  • Psychological Health/Welfare/Well-Being
  • Social Health/Welfare/Well-Being
  • Well-Being

Definition

What is mental health?

DotS the definition of mental health may vary. The (United States) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) definition is:

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices”.2

Risk

Menopause Mental HealthIs the risk of mood changes and symptoms of depression and anxiety higher during perimenopause?

In Menopause and Mental Health, updated February 2023, the Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) note:

“While not a problem for everyone transitioning through menopause, the risk of mood changes and symptoms of depression and anxiety are higher during perimenopause, even in women without a history of major depression.

While the risk is higher for women in the age-related and natural menopausal transition, women might also have a higher risk of mood changes after menopause caused by surgery such as hysterectomy or if the ovaries have been removed. Depression also occurs at a higher rate in women with a lack of oestrogen caused by primary ovarian insufficiency”.3

Perimenopause and Depression

Is there an association between perimenopause and depression?

In Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) explain:

Menopause Mental Health“You may notice that menopause causes your mood to change. This is due to changing hormone levels. You might experience:

  • Irritability
  • Increased anger
  • Low mood
  • Depression and anxiety”.4

In Depression and the Menopause the European Menopause and Andropause Society elaborate on:

“The perimenopause is considered to be a time of increased risk for the development of depressive symptoms and major depressive episodes.

Symptoms

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest and enjoyment
  • Reduced energy
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Reduced self esteem
  • Suicidal thoughts or acts”.5

Previous Clinical History

Is there an association between a previous clinical history and menopause mental health?

In Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health the JH also note:

“Women who have a history of depression or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be more likely to develop depression during this time”.6

Menopause Symptoms

Is there an association between menopause symptoms and anxiety and depression?

In Menopause and Mental Health: Mental Health Symptoms Related To Menopause the AMS explain:

“Some of the common physical, memory and thinking symptoms related to menopause (hot flushes, night sweats, sleep and sexual disturbances, weight changes and “brain fog”) can complicate and overlap with mental health symptoms”.7

Other Factors

Is there an association between other factors and menopause mood changes?

In Managing Your Symptoms: Managing Mood and Emotional Health – Anxiety and Depression the JH note:


“Hormonal changes around the time of menopause can lead to anxiety and depression, but other factors may also cause these feelings.

If you experienced anxiety before reaching menopause, some symptoms could make your anxiety worse. For example, hot flushes could lead to an anxiety attack.

Also, symptoms such as night sweats can affect your mood and make you feel exhausted, grumpy or depressed.

At this stage of life, you may experience depression for different reasons. For example, if you are having relationship problems or feeling more stress than normal.

You might also reflect on negative past experiences during this time, leading to feelings of depression.

If you are experiencing strong emotions, anxiety or depression, see your doctor”.8

Stress

Is there an association between stress and menopause mental health?

In Menopause and Mental Health: Mental Health Symptoms Related To Menopause the AMS explain:

“Another complicating factor is stress related to life circumstances. Feeling stress is common during middle age as personal and environmental changes take place. This can have a strong effect on mood in some women. Life circumstances that can impact mental health include:

  • Caring for children
  • Caring for elderly parents
  • Career changes
  • Relationship changes
  • Ageing
  • Body changes
  • Illness”.9

Best Mental Health Tips

What are some best mental health tips?

In Our Best Mental Health Tips – Backed By Research the (United Kingdom) Mental Health Foundation elaborate on:

  • “Get closer to nature…
  • Learn to understand and manage your feelings…
  • Talk to someone you trust for support…
  • Be aware of using drugs and/or alcohol to cope with difficult feelings…
  • Try to make the most of your money and get help with debt problems…
  • Get more from your sleep…
  • Be kind and help create a better world…
  • Keep moving…
  • Eat healthy food…
  • Be curious and open-minded to new experiences…
  • Plan things to look forward to…”.10

In What Is Mental Health? Mental Health and Wellness, dated 24 March 2023, SAMHSA explain:

“Today, there are new tools, evidence-based treatments, and social support systems that help people feel better and pursue their goals. Some of these tips, tools and strategies include:

  • Stick to a treatment plan…
  • Keep your primary care physician updated…
  • Learn about the condition…
  • Practice good self-care…
  • Reach out to family and friends…
  • Develop coping skills…
  • Get enough sleep…”.11

Hormone Therapy

May hormone therapy improve mood?

On page one in Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits, published June 2022, the NAMS note:

“Hormone therapy is one of the most effective treatments available for bothersome hot flashes and night sweats. If hot flashes and night sweats are disrupting your daily activities and sleep, HT may improve sleep and fatigue, mood, ability to concentrate, and overall quality of life”.12

In Menopause and Mental Health: Treatment Options for Mental Health Symptoms the AMS explain:

“While some international guidelines do not recommend MHT as first line therapy, many doctors have seen a positive effect on mood with the use of MHT in the first instance. There is evidence that oestrogen has antidepressant effects, particularly in perimenopausal women. We emphasise an individualised approach with treatment tailored to the individual patient”.13

Health Care Provider

What if my mood is making me moodier?

If your mood is making you moodier, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Menopause and Mental Health: Untangling Physical and Mental Health Symptoms Related To Menopause the AMS elaborate on:

“Speaking with your doctor about your menopausal symptoms, life circumstances and clinical history can help them to recommend the best treatment options and lifestyle and behavioural changes for your situation”.14

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics A-Z related to Menopause Mental Health?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Menopause Mental Health?

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health. Last Updated: 19 January 2024 | Last Revised: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 12 March 2024
  2. What Is Mental Health? Last Updated: 24 April 2023. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  3. Menopause and Mental Health. Content Updated: February 2023. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-and-mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  4. Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health. Last Updated: 19 January 2024 | Last Revised: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 12 March 2024
  5. Depression and the Menopause. 2022. European Menopause and Andropause Society https://emas-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Depression-and-the-menopause.pdf Accessed: 12 March 2024
  6. Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health. Last Updated: 19 January 2024 | Last Revised: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms Accessed: 12 March 2024
  7. Menopause and Mental Health: Mental Health Symptoms Related To Menopause. Content Updated: February 2023. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-and-mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  8. Managing Your Symptoms: Managing Mood and Emotional Health – Anxiety and Depression. Last Updated: 19 December 2023 | Last Revised: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/managing-your-symptoms#managing-mood-and-emotional-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  9. Menopause and Mental Health: Mental Health Symptoms Related To Menopause. Content Updated: February 2023. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-and-mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  10. Our Best Mental Health Tips – Backed By Research. Mental Health Foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  11. What Is Mental Health? Mental Health and Wellness. Last Updated: 24 April 2023. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration https://www.samhsa.gov/mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  12. Deciding About Hormone Therapy Use: Potential Benefits. 2022:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/menonote-deciding-about-ht-2022.pdf Accessed: 12 March 2024
  13. Menopause and Mental Health: Treatment Options for Mental Health Symptoms. Content Updated: February 2023. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-and-mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
  14. Menopause and Mental Health: Untangling Physical and Mental Health Symptoms Related To Menopause. Content Updated: February 2023. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-and-mental-health Accessed: 12 March 2024
Topic Last Updated: 11 June 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 12 March 2024

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