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Menopause & Mental Health Musings

The emotional and mental changes that menopause causes can be distressing, unnerving and unwelcome. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (APRN), my priority is focusing on the emotional and mental changes that menopause causes and to recommend treatment and lifestyle changes that can enhance the quality of your life.  

The Journey of Menopause  weaves through numerous landscapes of body, mind and soul and can leave us feeling lost and overwhelmed. Helping women to be more aware about treatment approaches and lifestyle changes towards attaining a higher level of functioning is the aim of this blog.I will not be talking about hormones or biological facts.  I will however be discussing Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) approaches to symptom management in all its many forms.  But since this is the beginning, we do need to cover some of the basics.  

Some simple questions we all have:  

How do I know I’m in menopause, should I go to my doctor for hormone testing?  Hormone level tests are not consistent and one day’s results can look different from yesterdays.  There are other hormone tests that are done for medical reasons, but testing for menopause is not one of them.

Is it perimenopause or true menopause?  Perimenopause has many different symptoms but the most common ones are hot flashes and changes in the patterns and frequency of periods.  Other common symptoms include vaginal dryness, insomnia, and mood swings (more about this in another post).  The tried and true method of knowing you are officially in menopause is the loss of your menstrual period for over one year.  It can take years before you actually do not have your period for a total of 12 consecutive months.  

Can my attitude help me cope with menopause, or is it possible to even feel it as a positive experience in my life?  Absolutely YES, and I will be discussing numerous ways to redefine this experience for you so  you can feel this change with a renewed outlook and wisdom in your life.

Stay tuned for helpful tips in the next posting.

Lisa Youngblood, MSN, APRN, PMHNP-BC is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner & Family Nurse Practitioner practicing in private practice in Florida. She sees adults of all ages online on a confidential video platform.

www.LewisFamilyPsych.com

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