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Can anxiety attacks be brought on by menopause?
SharingAnxiety posted:
I am 43. Since August of last year, I have been experiencing severe anxiety. Started seeing a psychologist weekly for cognitive therapy which helps tremendously but my anxiety is to an extreme during ovulation, three days before my period and from the last day of my period for three or four days. My doctor has said I am starting menopause but she cannot confirm the anxiety is related. She is not an ob-gyn. If I know this will end with menopause, I can find mental relief. Otherwise, my life is on hold because the fear of having a public anxiety attack is terrifying. I have younger children that need their mom present. Is there a name for this?
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Dear SharingAnxiety,
Women can develop anxiety attacks, as sort of a variant of their hot flashes. Although your symptoms are not classically perimenopausal, it certainly could be that you are experiencing some hormonal changes which could help precipitate these episodes. One option that might help you is to try a low dose birth control pill, if you are a candidate (healthy, non smoker). What a birth control pill would do is smooth out your hormonal fluctuations-they suppress ovulation, and you would be seeing a fixed dose of estrogen and progesterone daily. Pills also do not slow down the menopausal process; it will proceed (Ie, the ovaries function declining)-but you would not experience the hormonal fluctuation-so this might work out very well for you.
Do speak with your doctor about this-
Good luck,
Mary Jane

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