Mood Changes in Menopausal Women: A Focus on Anxiety
Menopausal status should be considered when assessing women with anxiety.
Psychotherapy has been found to be helpful in treating geriatric anxiety.14 Cognitive behavioral therapy has demonstrated success and should be considered as a first-line therapeutic approach.2 Interpersonal and psychodynamic therapies have also demonstrated effectiveness, especially in patients experiencing “distress related to role transitions and conflicts associated with aging.”2 Mindfulness meditation may be a helpful adjunctive treatment.2,15
“When evaluating midlife women, gynecologists, internal medicine physicians, and psychiatrists should keep depression and anxiety in mind—the symptoms as well as the disorders,” Dr Bromberger emphasized. Psychiatrists should inquire about menopausal status. She acknowledged that it can “be difficult to disentangle all the various symptoms that can occur during the menopausal transition.”
Dr Mathews agreed, adding that multidisciplinary collaboration is essential. “I always collaborate with a gynecologist when I am treating a woman whose symptoms may be related to perimenopause, especially when hormone therapy may be an option.”
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