The Influence of Hormones on Women’s Health

The influence of hormones on women’s mental health has been a prominent theme throughout my life, like many other women. This impact has manifested in distinct ways for me, from the profound anxiety following childbirth to the current challenges of perimenopause. Through these experiences, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for the intricate connection between these biological processes and emotional well-being.

The first significant illustration of this connection for me, occurred during the postpartum period. While the arrival of my daughter brought immense joy, it was accompanied by an overwhelming sense of anxiety. This anxiety manifested in uncontrollable tremors starting immediately after I gave birth. The shaking was so bad the nurses gave me a wet washcloth to bite down on so I wouldn’t chip a tooth. A deep haze of anxiety and despair settled in just days after I returned home from the hospital. Recognizing the severity of these symptoms, I sought professional help. Therapy and medication proved to be instrumental in my recovery, gradually guiding me back to a state of emotional equilibrium after many months of hard work. It’s worth noting that it was very difficult finding a therapist who understood PPA/PPD.

Years later, I’m encountered a new hormonal challenge – perimenopause. The physical manifestations are undeniable – hot flashes, disrupted sleep patterns, and unpredictable mood swings. Additionally, a persistent mental fog has made concentration difficult many days and don’t get me started on the short-term memory loss. Wait, what was I saying? Then there’s the fabulous weight gain which doesn’t help mental health. These alterations in my mental and physical landscape can be beyond frustrating.

However, navigating this hormonal shift has underscored the critical importance of self-advocacy and self-care. My OB-GYN has been great as has my naturopath. But I still don’t feel 100% like myself and some days less so than others. We seem to be very limited when it comes to women’s health, let alone women’s mental health in our country. That being said, do not stop searching for answers and trying new doctors until you get answers that help you.

Hormonal fluctuations vary significantly from woman to woman thereby affecting each of us differently. While these changes can be disruptive and even debilitating, it is essential to remember that you are not alone. By advocating for yourself, seeking informed medical guidance, and developing a personalized approach, you can navigate these hormonal shifts and prioritize your mental well-being. Remember, your voice matters – don’t hesitate to champion your emotional and mental health.



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