Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Does Your Menopause Affect Your Mind and Your Brain?

 Doctors so often blame estrogen for menopausal brain issues, because estrogen levels drop in the years leading up to menopause . And as many women realize lower levels of estrogen can lead to hot flashes, poor sleep, night sweats and more frequent urination. Many women worry that reaching menopause will unbalance their emotional well being.

All of these things can disrupt a women's sleep. And tired women are at  risk of being depressed and agitated. Oftentimes midlife in general  is a time people can become   depressed,  have mood swings and irritability. If  menopause seems to be affecting your mental well being, be sure to consult with   your doctor.

Here are seven things to consider before contacting your physician

• Were you depressed before menopause? Could this be part of a preexisting issue that might have gotten worse?
• Is your aging body and lack of energy making you feel old and negative about yourself ?
• Do you have increased stress in your life?
• Are your menopausal symptoms so severe that you fell fatigued and sad from lack of sleep?
• Do you have a support network with friends and family?
• Are you having financial problems that might be effecting your mental health?
• Are you sad because your life is not what you expected it to be regarding family or career?

Below are a few ideas on how to help yourself:
•  Talk openly about menopause with your doctor. Consider HRT and find out if it is a good choice for you or if not, discuss alternatives to hormones
• Consider talk therapy with a psychologist  or someone trained to deal with issues like depression and menopause. ISo  many women going through menopause need guidance. There are many support groups out there and women must remember that they are not alone. Talking with friends in person and in online communities can be lifesavers.
• Discuss meds for depression with your doctor.  He/she will be able to find the prescription most suitable to your needs.
• Be sure to get enough sleep....7-8 hours seems to be the optimum sleeping time for most menopausal women. If you are not sleeping due to night sweats, try some of the natural solutions like wicking pajamas, temperature regulating sheets, cooling pillows, cooling mattress pads and blankets.
•  Exercise everyday either for at least 30 minutes at least four days a week. Consider hiking, pilates, yoga, gardening or biking. Not only good for your body, but a great stress release.
•  Make time to de-stress  by  listening  to relaxing music, reading, yoga or meditation.  Click here for a free relaxing meditation.
• Use positive affirmations daily.. "I surround myself only with  healthy relationships," "I  deserve success," . " I can do whatever I set my mind to, I am capable." and  "I believe in myself and others believe in me too."  These types of positive affirmations really do help you feel better about yourself if used daily.

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