Anxiety and Menopause

Hello, Everyone~

For the past few years, I've been experiencing anxiety that seems to be associated with menopause. Every couple of hours, I'll get an "anxiety attack" that lasts perhaps a couple of minutes, and then it is followed directly by a hot flash. These come totally out of the blue, in various situations and circumstances.

My psychiatrist seems to think the hot flashes are the result of the anxiety: I think the anxiety is the result of some sort of hormonal changes still going on (I'm 64). Has anyone else experienced this?

Currently, I am taking Gabapentin, which seems to be helping a little. If I stop the drug, the anxiety level intensifies and the number of attacks increase.

Thank you for any response to my inquiry.

4 Replies

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  • I don't have an answer for you, but I started having a big problem with anxiety this summer I turned 60, about 10 years past menopause. Same thing for me, the anxiety came on pretty much out of nowhere. I kind of woke up one day and there it was! I dealt with it pretty much all summer. Then one day, I woke up and it was gone. I do go to a psychologist and I think that helped me deal with this, but I also wondered if it is something to do with hormones. I did experience hot flashes again when I had anxiety attacks, and I think that it was the anxiety that brought them on, not the other way around because now that the anxiety has eased up, I'm not getting them any more. I never went on meds, I was kind of leery about them, but there were times that the anxiety was so bad, I would have done anything to stop it. I wish there was some way you could pinpoint what causes the anxiety. It really freaked me out as I had never experienced anything like this before. I know how hard it is to deal with feeling anxious and I hope that things keep getting easier for you.

  • Thank you for your response, claire0410 -- these small anxiety attacks seem to come out of nowhere, and I seem to remember them starting when I began entering the menopause stage. Since I've also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, I figure something is not quite right with my brain chemistry.

    Anyway, I've been trying to practice mindfulness and Zen to help alleviate the symptoms, along with taking Gabapentin 4 times a day. Hopefully, someday I'll wake up and all these symptoms will be gone, just like what you've experienced!

    Once again, Thank you for taking the time to respond. It was good to hear from someone with a similar experience.

  • Hi DruidJude,

    The irony is that antidepressants are often used off label to treat the symptoms of menopause because of the hot flashes.

    A simple blood test will tell you what your hormone levels are. Sometimes it is better to check in with a primary care doctor who would see more patients in this stage of life. A second opinion never hurts :)

  • Thank you for your response, blackcat64013. Yes, I probably should go in for a blood test for my hormones, but the last time I did, everything came back within normal ranges.

    The Gabapentin seems to be helping, and since this is a drug with no risk of addiction, it is much better than relying upon Klonopin or any other diazepam prescription drug.

    Thanks again -- I appreciate your taking the time to respond!

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