Perimenopause and Anxiety: A Terrible Combo

Perimenopause can be also referred to the period of time around menopause, in which your body is preparing for this hormonal shift. It is very common to experience anxiety around this time, whether that be directly linked to menopause or not.

If you’re experiencing anxiety around menopause, the most important thing to know is that you are not alone. Countless women feel the exact same way as you, and these feelings are normal.

Today we’re going to be looking into why you might experience anxiety during perimenopause.

What Is Perimenopause?

Menopause is defined by a decline in estrogen levels. This occurs naturally after about 40 years old, but it’s possible to have it happen earlier than that for some people in their 30s.

The average woman goes through menopause at age 51, but there is no set timeline for when it will occur. Some women go through menopause before they hit 50, while others wait until they’re 60.

However, you might start to experience perimenopause before this – sometimes as early as 30 years old. It is thought that perimenopause is the way of getting your body ready for the real deal, coming with its own set of unpleasant side effects.

These include hormonal fluctuations, hot flashes, mood changes, irregular periods, changing cholesterol levels, depression and anxiety, and much more.

Can You Get Anxiety During Perimenopause?

Can You Get Anxiety During Perimenopause?

Yes, you absolutely can experience anxious feelings around perimenopause. A study showed that 23 percent of women experience feelings of anxiety during perimenopause.

These symptoms are not always linked to depression, another mental health disorder that has been linked to menopause.

So, while you might be experiencing perimenopause anxiety, this doesn’t mean that you will also experience depression symptoms around this time.

Why Does Perimenopause Bring Feelings Of Anxiety?

There are many reasons why you might feel perimenopause anxiety. You might start to feel anxious due to the body changes that you associate with menopause, such as hot flashes.

Hot flashes can leave you feeling uncomfortable and self-conscious, which can lead you to feeling anxious around other people.

Another reason why you might start to feel anxious is due to the impending feeling of growing older. Menopause is a significant life event that marks the end of your reproductive years, leading you into a new stage of life.

If you’re also sad about the loss of your fertility, these anxious feelings might be increased significantly.

Perimenopause starts several years before menopause actually does. Some women experience it as early as their 30s, while others feel it in their 40s.

No matter when you feel the perimenopause symptoms start, it is a clear sign that menopause is on the way.

We have found that one of the most anxiety-inducing constructs is time. When we know that we’re counting down to something, our anxiety gets heightened as time goes on. This might be the same as you.

So, the process of perimenopause allows us to be hyperaware of the fact that, one day, we will experience menopause. It doesn’t matter if our menopause doesn’t start for another five years – the fact that we’re waiting for it makes us more anxious.

Due to the fact that perimenopause can last for years before menopause actually starts, it’s not uncommon for people to go through major life changes while dealing with its symptoms.

For example, grown children might be getting ready to leave home, parents are getting older, and more.

Now on top of dealing with your perimenopause symptoms, you’re also having to deal with these life changes. This can also ramp up your anxiety and leave you feeling stressed.

Your anxiety might also be due to hormonal changes that you are experiencing due to perimenopause.

Hormonal Changes In Perimenopause

Menopause is the result of less estrogen in the body. Perimenopause, however, is not as simple. During this time, your estrogen and progesterone hormones will rise and fall, leaving you feeling the symptoms more on some days, and less on others.

A study has indicated that a reduced amount of estrogen in the female body can be linked to feelings of anxiety. So, if you are feeling anxious during this time but can see no other clear cause of it, you might be experiencing a drop in estrogen levels.

Is Perimenopausal Anxiety Normal?

Some feelings of anxiety around this time are normal and many people feel the same way as you do. However, if you are feeling severe symptoms commonly with frequent panic attacks, these are not a symptom of menopause and you should get them checked out.

When Does Perimenopause Anxiety Strike?

When Does Perimenopause Anxiety Strike?

It is unclear when your perimenopause anxiety might strike, as this often varies from person to person. There is also no definitive research to conclude when estrogen levels are most likely to drop during the day.

Instead, they can drop at any time throughout the day, so you might find that you’re feeling more anxious in the morning on one day, yet stronger perimenopause anxiety at night on another.

With that being said, there has been a link between anxious feelings and the morning. More people tend to feel more anxious during the morning due to the day ahead seeming overwhelming.

For example, if you wake up and dread the symptoms of perimenopause ahead of you, you might start to feel anxious before you even get out of bed. Plus, your changing hormones can start to make you feel worse.

Summary

We hope that this article has been helpful in explaining more about perimenopause and anxiety.

There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing anxious feelings during perimenopause, such as life changes, hormonal fluctuations, and hyper awareness of changes in your body.

Perimenopause anxiety in the morning is more common than during other parts of the day, although it can strike at any moment. The most important thing to remember is that it is normal and it will pass.

Speak to a professional if you are struggling with perimenopause anxiety.