From hot flushes to aching joints and sleepness nights, the physical symptoms of the Menopause Mood Disorder can be crippling.
But for many women, low mood and anxiety are just as debilitating to everyday life.
New research shows millions of women are suffering mental health problems associated with the Menopause Mood Disorder and perimenopause – the time leading up to a woman’s last period.
In fact, 61 per cent of women are suffering with anxiety due to the symptoms of the perimenopause, the survey by the online vitamin company Healthspan found.
A quarter of women reported suffering from extreme fatigue, while nearly a third said their mood was affected, triggering tears and sudden emotional outbursts.
Meanwhile 49 per cent of women who were experiencing symptoms leading up to the Menopause Mood Disorder didn’t realise this was due to the perimenopause.
Commenting on the findings, psychotherapist Sally Brown said: ‘As perimenopause can start up to 10 years before periods stop, many women don’t immediately associate the changes in their mood with their hormones.
‘This means they start to question their relationship and life in general, or even their mental health.
‘It can be frightening and it’s perhaps no surprise that one in four women aged 45 to 64 seeks treatment for depression, compared to one in 10 men.’
Overall, a third of women in the survey said symptoms of the Menopause Mood Disorder left them embarrassed – and half said the whole ordeal affected their confidence levels.
Dr Hilary Jones, a GP, said: ‘Fluctuating hormones can lead to low mood and three quarters of women stated they suffered from low mood.
‘Over a third of those surveyed had to adjust their lives to deal with the affects that the perimenopause has on their bodies.’
Trouble sleeping is a big problem, which further lends itself to mood swings and irritability, he explained.
However the survey, which interviewed women aged 41-55, also uncovered a worrying trend of women being offered antidepressants when approaching their GP about these mental health symptoms.