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Menopause And Mental Health: What Women In Recovery Need To Know

Women are challenged with hormonal changes every month, from the time time they are a pubescent teen and first get their period, until their womanhood around their 50s when they enter menopause. In between, a woman can experience all kinds of hormonal issues, thyroid issues which affect her hormones, and pregnancy.

Hormones have an affect on mental health, as any woman in recovery knows. There is little literature which exclusively focuses on how hormonal shifts affect women and their mental health, outside of scientific research. Alcoholics Anonymous, for example, also known as “The Big Book”, was written by men for men, with very little mention of women; let alone, women’s experiences with being ‘hormonal’. All of the relapse prevention guidance in the world talks about the ups and downs of life, the needs of emotional regulation in order to have resilience, yet doesn’t talk about what a struggle it can be to stay sober during hormonal transitions. Women know, better than anyone, how hormones can make them feel like they are losing their minds. Weight gain, cravings, emotional mood swings, stress, severe depression, and other extremisms take place during hormonal shifts.

Women who get sober before menopause need to be informed of the changes which will take place. Many of the changes women go through during menopause affect mental health, which can put a strain on sobriety.

What is menopause?

Menopause is the beginning of the end for women’s normal menstruation cycles. Menstruation is caused by the cyclical production of hormones like oestrogen and progesterone. Mid-life, the female body stops producing these hormones, which sends the body into menopause. Without the regulation of hormone production, both the body and the mind enter some unsettling experiences. Menopause is renowned for hot flashes, insomnia, wicked mood changes, and more.

How is mental health affected by menopause?

Reliawire cites, “Women are two to four times more likely to have an episode of major depression during menopause than at other times in their lives.” Depression might strike a woman for the first time during menopause, the article explains. Alcoholism and addiction are often co-occurring with mental illnesses like depression. Though women may, and most likely will, experience symptoms of depression throughout the course of her recovery, she may not experience the depth of depression which menopause can inspire. Such intensified emotions feel out of control. Coupled with physical symptoms which cannot be controlled, women can quickly feel triggered by how out of control they are of their body and mind- something that women in recovery have fought impressively hard to regain.

What else do women need to know?

After treatment, spending time in a transitional living home like Villa Tranquil helps women learn how to take care of their mind, body, and spirit, through all of life’s change. Women-centered nutrition, diet, fitness, recovery, and living creates a unique lifestyle for the compassionate and authentic woman of recovery to grow.

Call us today for information on our transitional living program in Jupiter Farms, Florida: