Menopause is a natural part of the aging process for women: but it is often misunderstood and not openly discussed. A lack of understanding and communication can lead to a range of challenges for women, affecting both their physical health and their mental well-being.
One of the main issues is a lack of education about menopause. Women may not recognize the symptoms or understand the changes that are occurring in their bodies. This can lead to confusion, anxiety, and fear about what is happening to them. Additionally, women may put off seeking medical treatment for menopause-related symptoms because they aren’t aware of the options that are available.
The absence of open conversation about menopause can also foster feelings of isolation and stigma for women. Many women feel ashamed or embarrassed about menopause and may not feel comfortable discussing it with their loved ones, healthcare providers, or friends. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and a lack of social support, which can have a negative impact on mental health.
At Focus, we feel that it’s essential to raise awareness and knowledge about menopause and create welcoming and safe spaces for women to share their experiences. This can help women better understand the physical and emotional changes they’re experiencing, seek appropriate mental health treatment, and find social support. It can also help dispel negative stereotypes and ensure that women’s experiences during menopause are seen, valued, and respected.
When Do Women Go Through Menopause?
Menopause is a biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. It occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop producing eggs and her body produces lower levels of estrogen and progesterone, the two hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. Menopause is usually diagnosed when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period.
The age at which menopause occurs varies, but it typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 60. Some women may experience menopause earlier or later than this range. Menopause can be a gradual process, with symptoms starting several years before the final menstrual period, or it can occur suddenly due to surgery or other medical treatments.
Though menopause is a normal part of the aging process for women, it can have an unpredictable and significant impact on their physical and emotional well-being. While hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia are some of the most common symptoms of menopause, they can also have a significant impact on mental health. Seeking support and treatment can help women manage symptoms and improve their quality of life during this transition.
Common Mental Health Issues for Menopausal Women
Menopause can cause a range of mental health issues in women. Not all women will experience them and the severity of symptoms can vary, but it’s completely normal to have symptoms since there are so many physical and hormonal changes happening during menopause. Some of the most common mental health issues experienced by women during menopause include:
- Anxiety: Women may experience heightened anxiety during menopause, which can be caused by hormonal changes or other physical symptoms.
- Depression: Depression is also a common mental health issue during menopause. Changes in hormone levels can affect mood, and women may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or worthlessness.
- Mood swings: Fluctuations in hormone levels can cause mood swings, which can range from irritability to sadness.
- Sleep disturbances: Many women experience insomnia or other sleep disturbances during menopause, which can lead to fatigue and exacerbate mental health issues.
- Irritability: Women may feel irritable or easily frustrated during menopause, which can impact their relationships and overall quality of life.
- Loss of interest: Some women may experience a loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed, which can be a sign of depression or other mental health issues.
- Cognitive changes: Menopause can also affect cognitive function, leading to memory problems, difficulty concentrating, or other cognitive changes.
How Online Therapy Can Help Menopausal Women
Online therapy, especially video therapy, has been shown to be just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy, but offers the extra benefits of being more convenient, flexible, and usually less expensive. For women who are suffering from mental health challenges during menopause, it can be a great support to help you start feeling like yourself again. Therapy can support in some of the following ways:
Providing a safe space to express emotions and feelings
Menopause can be a challenging time for women, and many may feel alone and isolated. Online therapy provides a safe space where women can talk about their feelings and emotions without fear of judgment.
Developing coping strategies
Therapists can work with women to develop coping strategies that can help them manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. These strategies may include relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises, and lifestyle changes.
Addressing underlying mental health issues
Many women may have underlying mental health issues that become more intense with menopause. Online therapy can help identify and address these issues, leading to improved mental health outcomes. Here are some examples of effective uses of talk-therapy to deal with menopause symptoms:
- Treating insomnia: Therapy for insomnia typically involves cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to insomnia, and creating healthier routines. This can involve learning relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, and may also include sleep hygiene education, where a therapist provides information and strategies for improving one’s sleep environment and habits.
- Reducing anxiety: Therapy can help reduce anxiety by providing a safe and supportive environment to explore and address the root causes of anxiety. By developing new coping strategies and learning to challenge and reframe negative thoughts, a person can gain a sense of control over their anxiety and reduce the impact it has on their daily life. Therapy can also provide a space for a person to express their fears and concerns, which can help alleviate feelings of isolation and provide a sense of validation and support.
- Managing mood swings: A therapist can help identify triggers that may be contributing to mood swings and develop coping strategies to manage them. Therapy can also help women going through menopause develop a better understanding of their emotions and the impact they have on their behavior, relationships, and overall well-being. By learning to notice when hormones are causing elevated emotions, and how to respond to stressors in a healthy way, women can gain a sense of control over mood swings and reduce the impact they have on their daily life. Therapy can also help validate emotions and provide a safe space for processing the mental changes that can come with menopause.
Choosing an Online Therapist for Menopause
Choosing an online therapist for menopause requires careful consideration. Women should look for therapists who have experience working with women in this age group and who can support the symptoms they’re experiencing. At Focus, we have a diverse network of licensed therapists who are experts in a wide range of mental health issues and can support your needs. You can easily book a session through phone, video, or text therapy today.
Menopause can have a significant impact on mental health, and online therapy can be an effective way to address these issues. Online therapy provides convenience, accessibility, affordability, and privacy, making it an ideal option for women who may be reluctant to seek traditional therapy. By choosing an online therapist who meets your needs and preferences, women can get the support and guidance they need to cope with the changes they’re experiencing.