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Menopause Panic Attacks

Menopause Panic Attacks

“I'm Frightened - I've Never Panicked Before - Have I Lost My Mind”

That's what I was thinking the first time I panicked. I remember it clearly; I was standing in a bookstore in the mall looking for something to read.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, I became very aware of the people around me - how many people were there, that they were bustling and rushing - and I felt completely alone and isolated.

I began to feel like I wanted to run and just keep on running. I had a tingly sensation, electric current coursing through my body.

It felt like a rush and it was decidedly unpleasant. I thought I was losing my mind.

I felt completely alone. In actuality, I came to find out later that if you are in menopause or perimenopausal there is a major difference between panic attacks and menopausal anxiety disorder.

Your hormones are undergoing a major change which, in turn affect the Serotonin levels in your brain.

Hormones in menopausal women play a major role in anxiety and disorder and what I was experiencing was, while unpleasant, part of the process.

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Nervousness
  • Panicky feelings
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea & stomach problems

It happened more frequently at night, and I found that my sleep was interrupted. I would wake up feeling dizzy, hot and disconnected. It took me a while to bring it up to my doctor.

You may experience irrational fears about:

  • Losing control
  • Dying
  • Losing your mind
  • Embarrassing yourself
  • Having a heart attack

While all this is a result of hormonal shifts in your estrogen levels, and it is perfectly natural, talking to anyone becomes part of the problem.

These menopause panic attacks can also come with bouts of depression marked by sadness, bleak outlook on life, and change in sleep patterns.

Weight loss or gain, low self esteem and an overall melancholy. A lot of women who suffer from panic attacks many times will slowly slip into depression. That's the bad news.

The good news is that if you are reading this article, you now have a good idea about what's happening to you. You are not losing your marbles; your body is just changing.

Emotional Menopause Symptoms

Dealing With The Changes

Here are some tips to help you deal with your changing body and lower you anxiety levels.

* Benefit from natural supplements
Admit that you are having symptoms. Let them come to your conscious mind. Let your symptoms guide you.

* Nail down what's making you feel anxious.
What are the triggers? Knowing what starts panic attacks is the first step

What were you thinking about when you started worrying? If you can't pinpoint what started it, don't add to your anxiety by worrying about not answering the question. Learn to move on quickly.

* Give yourself a break.
If you're anxious, let it be. You know that while you might be worrying and the thoughts are there, it is also hormonally based. So, lighten up. You are not nuts.

If you can figure out what is triggering a panic attack, figure out how to eliminate it. Minimize your stress levels at every turn.

* Listen to yourself
When you get upset or anxious, there is usually a dialogue going on in your head. What are you saying? If it is all negative, try and change the conversation making it more upbeat.

* Should-a, could-a, would-a -
These are words that people use when they are anxious. I should-a did this; I could-a done that; I would-a done that. These words are useless at best. It is what it is. What you might have done in the past is over.

* Don't blame other people for your anxiety
That gives your power to an outside force. If you are unhappy, anxious or upset, it is within you to change it.

* Take Response-ability
Then change your response to the circumstance.

* Find ways to relax
Take up meditation, yoga or guided imagery. Even listening to a relaxation cd on the way to work or at home can be extremely calming.

* Make up affirmations for yourself
There are all sorts of daily relaxation techniques that can help you deal with anxiety.

* Take a break if you can
A vacation of even a couple days from the hectic hustle and bustles of daily work life can be a real stress-reliever.

Gaining control of anxiety attacks is a multi-phased process that should involve stress reduction, doctor's intervention, and life change.

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Menopause Panic Attacks
Author Tanna Mayer
Updated January 6, 2013

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