Are You Suffering From Anxiety?
Menopause often gives rise to anxiety because of the many changes that our bodies are going through, but it helps to know how serious a condition it can be and what it may lead to.
Do you ever worry about how much you worry? There is a whole range of feelings that can arise from being panicked in social situations or constant anxiety about your health, your job, or your family.
If you can’t seem to shake something like this, then first talk to your doctor, and then think about your hormone balance. Low progesterone can lead to feelings of anxiety and the calming effect of having good progesterone helps can really get you back in balance.
The other key factor when dealing with anxiety is to also reduce stress as much as you can as that impacts not just anxiety but your overall health as well.
There are many different ways that such anxiety can be experienced, and categorised, and these are some of the most common that occur.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
This is when you may have unnecessary fears about simple, everyday things, like money, health, family, or work. You expect the worst, even when there seems to be little to worry about and it can feel overwhelming.
It may be hard to control this kind of worry and it can affect your sleep and concentration, and it may leave you feeling restless, tired, and irritable.
2. Social Anxiety Disorder
Most of us experience a mild form of this, such as shyness or awkwardness in company, but this is not simply shyness. It typically starts in your teen years when you can often be terrified of humiliating or embarrassing yourself in social situations.
If you suffer from this you may feel powerless and ashamed and it can make social, professional, and romantic life almost impossible.
3. Panic Disorder
A panic attack is a sudden rush of intense anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere. It can be very frightening as the physical sensations can include palpitations and trouble breathing.
It can happen anytime, even while you’re asleep. If you have them regularly and are very afraid of having another attack, you could have panic disorder. It typically starts in early adulthood, and women get it twice as often as men.
In the past, this condition had been linked to panic disorder, but it’s now much better understood and thought of as a separate disorder.
You may stay away from public places where it seems hard to “escape,” like cinemas, theatres, the underground or in an enclosed shopping centre.
In severe cases, it can be impossible for you to go outside your “safety zones” without serious anxiety and needs professional help and support to deal with it.
5. Other Phobias
We all have things that scare us whether it’s spiders, heights, elevators, or the dentist, but most people manage these fears. If your personal fear is causing so much anxiety that it affects your daily life, then it has become a phobia.
What can help?
If you can find some way to calm yourself initially with techniques such as meditation or counselling and try to reduce your stress and adrenaline levels then that will go a long way to help.
Bioidentical progesterone has a calming effect so check your hormone levels, then if more help is needed then hypnotherapy or Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can be helpful in dealing with virtually all these conditions.
Most anxiety disorders are treated in similar ways to help you learn about your condition and do things — like keeping a journal, meditation, or reflection — to understand and change certain thoughts and behaviours.
These conditions are not really suitable for the ‘quick fix’ as they are usually rooted in long-term behaviour so it can take 12 to 16 weeks to notice signs that you’re feeling better.
Exposure therapy is also helpful, with the idea to get rid of your fear by being around the thing that scares you in a planned, gradual way so that the more you’re around it, the less anxious you’ll be about it.
If you have social anxiety for instance, it might be going to a cafe just for a few minutes for a coffee with a friend. If you have an insect phobia, it might mean getting close to a picture of the bug and then actually getting near one.
The medical option for dealing with more severe anxiety is to prescribe Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) or Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs).
These drugs affect the way your brain uses the chemicals serotonin and norepinephrine to send messages that control mood and anxiety. They’re used to treat all types of anxiety disorders, as well as many forms of depression.
Low levels of progesterone decrease serotonin and so anxiety can increase, so ensuring adequate levels will help.
Progesterone also facilitates restful, refreshing REM sleep and less waking from deep sleep to again has a relaxing effect.