Panic Attacks During Menopause: Symptoms & Causes
Menstruation Anxiety Disorder (MAD) – Menstrual Anxiety Disorder (MAD) is a common type of anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), it affects between 1% and 2% of women in their lifetime.
Depression, eating disorders, substance abuse are some other causes. MAD usually begins during puberty or later. The main symptom of menstrual anxiety disorder is fear of having periods. Other symptoms include frequent headaches, mood swings, irritability, sleep problems and weight gain. In some severe cases, it can even lead to suicidal thoughts.
Hormone Imbalance Panic Attacks: Hormones play a major role in causing panic attacks. A sudden increase or decrease in the level of hormones can cause anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
This happens more in women, particularly after menopause or during puberty. Hormone imbalances and panic attacks often go hand in hand. Hot flashes: Hot flashes are a common menopause symptom. It is a sudden feeling of intense heat that rushes to the face. This is often followed by a sudden sweat. It can last for a few minutes or even longer. It is not a serious health condition, but it can interfere with the quality of life of the patient. Besides hot flashes, other menopause symptoms are sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety and irritability.
Do you have anxiety while menopause?
When a woman notices her menstrual cycle changing and experiencing unpleasant side effects, she tends to get worried about it.
Some women feel anxious about getting pregnant even when they use birth control. It could be the intensity of emotions that is causing the anxiety.
Another factor could be the fact that they are not getting enough sleep.
Anxiety can also be caused by a medical condition such as an under active thyroid or high blood pressure. It can also be caused by an allergic reaction or the influence of certain drugs.
It is important to treat the anxiety since it can make the symptoms much worse. Antidepressants can be used to manage the mood swings and help one feel more relaxed.
The management of menopause usually involves the use of hormone therapy. Estrogen is given to replace the decline in estrogen production.
It is a very effective treatment since it can greatly improve all the menopause symptoms. Estrogen therapy can also prevent osteoporosis and even heart disease.
If a woman has had her uterus removed, she doesn’t need to take progesterone since it is the progesterone that is needed to maintain the uterine wall. Sometimes a woman’s ovaries are also removed.
In this case, the woman has reached what is known as surgical menopause.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Anxiety during the menopausal transition: a systematic review (C Bryant, FK Judd, M Hickey – Journal of affective disorders, 2012 – Elsevier)
- Hot flashes and panic attacks: a comparison of symptomatology, neurobiology, treatment, and a role for cognition. (LJ Hanisch, L Hantsoo, EW Freeman… – Psychological …, 2008 – psycnet.apa.org)
- Sex determinants of experimental panic attacks (TA Lovick – Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 2014 – Elsevier)
- Panic disorder in menopause: a case control study (P Claudia, C Andrea, C Chiara, L Stefano, M Giuseppe… – Maturitas, 2004 – Elsevier)
- Relationship between menopausal symptoms and menopausal status in Australian and Japanese women: preliminary analysis (D Anderson, T Yoshizawa… – Nursing & health …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library)