Cognitive behavour therapy for menopausal symptoms

Posted , 6 users are following.

Thought this may be of interest:

"Cognitive behaviour therapy is a brief, non-medical approach that can be helpful for a range of health problems, including anxiety and stress, depressed mood, hot flushes and night sweats, sleep problems and fatigue." (Women's Health Concern)

I was aware if this because I had seen a TV programme about how effective CBT is for treating menopausal symptoms. What I didn't know was the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in the UK recommends CBT as a treatment option for menopausal women and states that GPs and health care professionals should provide info and advice on getting this treatment ... just a little tit bit that may be useful to take to your GP when they tell you they have exhausted all the options for you.

1 like, 13 replies

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Isn't this essentially saying talk therapy can help people with menopause? Not sure thats groundbreaking lol. I'm sure having a therapist to vent to on any issue is helpful but won't make menopause symptoms go away. Or anxiety caused by hormonal fluctuations.

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    • Posted

      Well no, that isn't groundbreaking, but CBT is more than simply talk therapy, it equips you with the mental tools and techniques to combat those nasty meno symptoms. NICE recommends it for anxiety, depressed mood, hot flushes and night sweats, sleep problems and insomnia and NICE bases it recommendations on robust empirical evidence. CBT therapy has been shown to reduce hot flushes by 64%, sleeplessness and night sweats by 95%. Like Dazednconfused says, it is another tool in a women's arsenal for fighting those awful meno symptoms. The TV programme (hosted my Merilla Frostrup) that I saw gave CBT to a group of women with a range of meno symptoms and the quality of life was measurably improved for all of them.

      Anyway, just sharing the info - someone may find it useful - not everyone may know about it and may not know that, in the UK, GPs are supposed to provide info and advice on it to menopausal women. I'm not sure how that works, mind you - perhaps if you ask your GP about it they may say it is only available privately or refer you for CBT on the NHS and by the time you get your NHS appointment menopause is long over! Perhaps we need to be proactive - I know there are books and online courses available, but I am not sure how effective those are compared to a therapist. Perhaps there are women who have tried CBT for meno who could let us know how effective it was?

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  • Posted

    Interesting info - thanks for posting.

    And if it helps why not, therapy of course cannot directly deal with the physical symptoms of peri/menopause caused by fluctuations in hormone levels which are biological not psychological. But if it is used as a tool to help cope mentally with what for many women is a very difficult time of life, and it works, then it could be used alongside other medications and remedies as part of a tool kit. Every little helps!

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    • Posted

      Indeed. Whatever works. Worth a try if HRT isn't helping. Anything that may help is worth a try - there are lots of alternative therapies. I don't know anyone who has had CBT but I do know women for whom acupuncture has helped with hot flushes - is there a physiological basis to acupuncture? Well, we could have a whole other discussion on that.

      Love the nickname btw!

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  • Posted

    i replied to this and it made me do a new thread. basically i have been there done it. some help, can destabilize you emotionally. get a mid life fully qualified women as a therapist!

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    • Posted

      in some ways yes, if you can catch your anxiety before it builds, and maybe not panicking when waking up in hot flushes at night. But my menopausal mood swings seem to happen in moments so I am scrabbling to rescue the situation. I say to see a mid life women, because the young man I saw clearly had no understanding of menopause. I was seeing him as support when my mother was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. I have a history of problems, so maybe I just need a different approach. I found questioning my thoughts and feelings all the time very distabilising. My sleep was even more disturbed, and my therapist was not concerned about it, when he should have been.

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  • Posted

    I have been given 5 sessions through my work after being on the sick for 8wks with prei anxiety had every symptom under the sun palps not sleeping hot flushes not eating and many many more, had 1 session with a nice lady in her 60s and apart from a lot of umming and awwing she told me to think my myself tell everyone who doesnt help me about themselves and get plenty of rest, if i didnt like work give it up,,, as if whos gonna pay my bills? and when she asked about my anxiety which is worse in the middle of the night i told her my dog used to relax me and help me through it but sadly i had to have her put to sleep in nov,so she told me to get another dog (REALLY) £50 for 50 mins glad iam not paying, all i want is to learn how to deal with the horrid symptoms menopause gives you as iam unable to take HRT not the rubbish she way saying that was no help whats so ever, so ladies i would think again before you waste any money a bottle of wine is much cheeper lasts about the same amount of time and if your like me after the bottle you just might get a decent nights sleep, big hugs to all in this crap they call the menopause xx

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