It’s well known that experiencing menopause symptoms can be physically uncomfortable and even painful, but the important mental changes that come with it are less discussed.
For instance, it’s common for people to assume that menopause refers to a sudden stopping point, specifically when a woman has not had a menstrual period for twelve months or even longer. But there are phyical and mental symptoms as menopause approaches that can last for many years.
Not only that, but a lot of women continue to experience those same or different symptoms post-menopausally, making it essential to recognize that menopause isn’t just s single physical or mental event in a woman’s life. Essentially, women don’t just go through a steady, incremental hormonal decline. Rather, there’s usually a period of fluctuating hormone levels that can make it hard to tell how you’re going to feel day-to-day.
Officially called perimenopause, this is the lead-up to menopause and usually begins for women around their early to mid-forties. In this age range, levels of the hormones that are strongly tied to reproductive capability, like estrogen and progesterone, start to reduce. This decrease in can lead to physical and emotional symptoms, including:
- Hot flashes
- Sweating in your sleep
- Mood swings
- Body and joint aches
- Mental fogginess
CBT To Help Menopause Symptoms
The great news is that there’s ongoing research on the benefits of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) when applied to patients with menopause symptoms. CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. This type of therapy helps patients become aware of and resistant to their negative thinking, helping them to respond to challenging situations in better ways.
Specifically, researchers have been looking for reliable therapies to mitigate the severity of experiencing menopause. For example, scientists used CBT to treat menopause symptoms, and it proved effective in reducing hot flashes and night sweats. More generally, CBT showed positive outcomes in the treatment of a variety of mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression. Additionally, a new study published in the journal Menopause concluded that 71 women participants found that cognitive therapy may be effective in managing other symptoms of menopause, including sleep disorders and sexual difficulties.
If you or a loved one are experiencing menopause symptoms, CBT may be a great choice for treating them and the negative thoughts surrounding them. In addition to looking for and exploring therapeutic support, you can help yourself with menopause symptoms by practicing the tips below:
Challenge Your Negative Thinking
Trying to better understand how your thinking patterns impact your experience with menopause doesn’t mean your negative symptoms aren’t valid, but it thankfully does give you more control. Consider what are you thinking during a hot flash, a moment of exhaustion, or a sexual experience—and how might negative thinking be worsening things? For instance, are you angry with yourself at having a flash in the first place or worried that people will notice? This could be creating more anxiety than you should have to deal with.
If you’ve found a thought process that you think is negatively impacting your menopause symptoms, you have the power to change it! For example, are you actually noticing that people are judging you negatively for having a hot flash—or is it more likely that people aren’t aware in the first place?
Find Support In Others
Beyond effective therapy, if needed, it could be helpful to connect with other women experiencing similar difficulties. Although symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats are well documented and researched, many people are not as aware of the chronic fatigue, overall feeling of unwellness, and other changes in your mood that can result from menopausal challenges. Connecting with women who are experiencing similar symptoms can help you cope in a more positive way that leaves you feeling more available to be productive and like yourself.
Embrace The Potential For Change
It can seem almost impossible to view menopause as a time for positive development. But even among all of the menopausal challenges a lot of women face, it’s possible to think of menopause as a positive phase in life. Consider that many women see the experience as an opportunity to embark on new professions or practice new creative endeavors. Embracing that life is a temporary thing can be a useful tool toward making the most of it. As our bodies, emotions, and minds change, considering yourself and your well-being as the main focus could open up possibilities for all kinds of positive change.
Are you or a loved one struggling with menopausal symptoms? Hormone replacement therapy at Renewed Vitality could be a great option! At Renewed Vitality, our bioidentical hormones are more efficient and carry fewer adverse health risks than synthetic hormone options. For example, giving yourself a boost of testosterone or estrogen as needed can help you feel healthier and more like yourself. If you’re interested in this treatment, please contact us here to learn more!