Menopause Mental Health FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) explains why we may experience symptoms of moodiness, anxiety, depression, irritability or stress.

Mental Health

What is mental health?

In Mental Health: A State of Well-Being the World Health Organization’s definition is:

“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community”.

Mental Health ChangesMenopause Mental Health FAQs

Can our mental health change?

In What Is Mental Health? the (United Kingdom) Mental Health Foundation note:

“Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life”.

Menopause Mental Health

Menopause Mental Health FAQsDo all women make the transition into menopause and experience mood changes?

No. In Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. My family tells me that I’ve become moody, and I admit that I sometimes feel blue or short-tempered. Menopause? the North American Menopause Society explain:

A. Most women make the transition into menopause without experiencing depression, but many women report symptoms of moodiness, depressed mood, anxiety, stress, and a decreased sense of well-being during perimenopause”.

Cause

What may cause menopause mood changes?

Menopause Mental Health FAQsIn Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. My family tells me that I’ve become moody, and I admit that I sometimes feel blue or short-tempered. Menopause? the NAMS also explain:

“A. …Women with a history of clinical depression or a history of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or postpartum depression seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurrent depression during perimenopause, as are women who report significant stress, sexual dysfunction, physical inactivity, or hot flashes. The idea of growing older may be difficult or depressing for some women. Sometimes menopause just comes at a bad time in a woman’s life. She may have other challenges to deal with at midlife, and menopause gives her one more problem on her list”.

Menopause Mental Health FAQsIn Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health elaborate on:

Menopause Mental Health FAQs

“Emotional health around the menopause is also more likely to be influenced by previous experiences of prior traumatic events; for example, past abuse. Women often seek counselling at menopause and might want to work through traumas they have previously experienced. This time of life seems to allow things to come to the surface”.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

May menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) be beneficial in improving mood?

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHTMenopause Mental Health Memoendorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016 is:

  • “MHT may be beneficial in improving mood in early postmenopausal women with depressive and/or anxiety symptoms. MHT may also be beneficial for perimenopausal women with major depression but antidepressant therapy remains first-line treatment in this setting”.

Health Care Provider

Menopause Mental Health FAQsWhat may it be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about, when you are transiting into menopause?

On page one in Menopause and Depression: Recognizing Depressive Symptoms and Depression the NAMS explain:

“When you are transitioning into menopause, you should notify your healthcare practitioner whether you have suffered from depression in the past or whether you were particularly sensitive to hormone changes and have experienced premenstrual syndrome or postpartum depression. Be alert and notice whether these mood changes are mild and do not greatly affect your quality of life or whether they are severe and debilitating and interfere with your daily activities”.

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Last Updated: 31 October 2019 – Last Revised: 14 October 2019
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