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Beyond Midlife Moodiness

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Beyond Midlife Moodiness

Dr. Christiane Northrup
Dr. Christiane Northrup More by this author
Mar 14, 2011 at 03:45 AM 0 comments

Many women experience anxiety or mood changes during perimenopause. Although it’s common, it can still be very uncomfortable. The first thing to know is that perimenopause is designed by nature to bring up the unfinished business of the first half of your life so you can heal it and move on. Seriously. Many women sail through this phase, particularly those who have faced difficulties earlier in life and have tapped into their spirituality and Source energy.

Depression is usually anger turned inward. And it’s nearly impossible to reach midlife without some old resentments, grief, anger, and disappointments having built up. You’ll know you’re doing better when you feel like yelling or throwing things. It’ll mean you are mobilizing energy.

One way to get this energy going is to set up two chairs facing each other. Imagine that someone you are having trouble with is sitting in the chair opposite you. Now go ahead and tell them everything you’ve always wanted to say. Let ’er rip. Don’t hold back. (The person doesn’t even have to be living, by the way.) You may need to do this several times in order to really let go of the “charge.” But when you do, your vigor will start to return.

Another way to get clear on exactly what’s coming up for you is to talk with a professional. I recommend a reading with psychologist Doris Cohen, Ph.D., author of Repetition: Past Lives, Life, and Rebirth (Hay House 2008). Doris, a highly skilled intuitive who works with angels and spirit guides, is the best I’ve ever worked with. Also read her book, which is very illuminating. To contact her, visit her Web site.

Here are some other, specific tips to ease what you’re going through:

  • Nutritionally, depression is often associated with low levels of vitamin D. So get your level checked. It should be between 50–80 ng/ml. Then get out in the sunlight or start taking high dose vitamin D if it’s low. (You may need a prescription for the higher levels of Vitamin D in order to get your levels up quickly.) You also need enough omega-3 fats (1000–4000 IU per day), because cell membranes are made up of omega-3 fats. These healthy fats are found in fish oil, salmon, and ground flax seeds. Magnesium (400–800 mg day) is also very soothing for nerves.
  • Natural full spectrum light also elevates mood. At the very least, get some full spectrum light bulbs. A light box is ideal, but pricey.
  • Depression is also associated with low levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. The quickest way to increase those levels is to do things that are pleasurable. When you have fun, it raises nitric oxide levels in your blood, instantly boosting feel good hormones. If you can possibly mobilize yourself to see some uplifting movies, do so. Read The Secret Pleasures of Menopause too! It’s full of ways to enhance pleasure and fun in your life, especially at midlife.
  • Exercise also lifts mild to moderate depression over 50 percent of the time. Join a walking group and get out in natural light regularly.
  • Keep a journal. I recommend my Wisdom of Menopause Journal by Hay House, which is designed specifically for this life stage. Pay attention to your dreams, and record them along with your thoughts. I also recommend working with affirmations—saying them and journaling them—like the ones in my Wisdom of Menopause Journal.
  • Hang around positive people, not “negative Nancies.”

If all else fails, it’s fine to try some bioidentical estrogen and progesterone. Both hormones can have positive effects on mood.

Trust me, women move through this all the time. Take heart! As you have the courage to address the unfinished business (I spoke of earlier), you may find that you’re happier than you’ve ever been before.

This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. 
All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

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