A large number of women experience increase in panic attacks when reaching perimenopause and during the menopausal period. The most common symptoms experienced during and after the panic attacks include, racing heart beats, breathing difficulties, unusual intense energy, rushes of energy, electric currents, hot prickly sensations, vibrations, ice cold and tingly sensations, among others. Studies have shown that menopausal women don’t always get long-term relief from the symptoms of panic, even after using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT).
Hormone imbalances that occur during perimenopause and menopause can be the cause of panic attacks. These imbalances can create an environment where you have an increased vulnerability to panic attacks and anxiety disorders. Although hormones may catalyze panic attacks, they are not the direct cause for it. To eliminate such panic attacks during menopause, you need not to take any medications for it. Women who experience panic attacks during menopause often:
- Breathe rapidly and shallowly
- Hardly make use of the diaphragm in breathing
- Breathe with the muscles of the chest, neck and shoulders
Understanding Panic Attacks
It is only in the last decade or so that explanations of panic attacks have come forth. With the onset of menopause, feeling that something ‘bad’ is about to happen, many women suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. The hormonal changes not only affect the menstrual cycle and the changing body, they also affect the mind, spirit and emotions of the menstrual women.
The feelings of anxiety tend to focus on the environment of fear and dread. All sufferers of panic attacks have one thing in common, they do not breathe properly. In fact, they breathe about twice a fast as normal breathers. You are calmly reading a book or sitting in front of the TV, when suddenly, out of the blue, your heart rate accelerates, and you experience panic and terror for no reason. This is what you suffer during panic attacks. Sometimes you might have persistent periods of panic attacks. In fact, the sudden onslaught of a panic attack may raise concerns about another attack coming through, and this may exhibit significant behavioral changes in you.
A panic attack strikes suddenly, and like the waves at the beach, peaks and ebbs. The intense physical sensations that accompany a panic attack may make you think that you may be suffering a heart attack! Generally, if your response to such attacks is always negative, the experience can be further exasperated.
Reports show that younger post-menopausal women are more prone to panic attacks. There are ways to avoid this unfortunate and unnecessary experience. As a women going through menopause, just be aware that panic attacks are possible. Being conscious of the possibility allows you to train yourself to not fear the thought of a panic attack. Visit a local yoga center and learn to do deep breathing. Or ask a vocal coach how to breathe like a baby; from your lower abdomen. Try it, you might surprise yourself.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.