Joanne is a 44 year female, who developed severe anxiety symptoms after her husband was caught with marital infidelity. She was previously without anxiety symptoms before this highly stressful event. Joanne, a mother of a 6 year old daughter, visited her doctor due to complaints of problems sleeping, fatigue, poor concentration, and irritability. Her doctor soon found out that she has been excessively stressed from the fallout with her husband, and has excessive worrying throughout the day and night.
Joanne’s life was turned completely around, as she had to go back to work full-time due to her husband losing his job and separating from her. In addition, she took a financial hit as the household income decreased by 70 percent.
Joanne spends her days and night worrying about the future, worrying about losing her house, worrying about money, worrying about her daughter, worrying about her husband, worrying about her parents- pretty much worrying about everything. In addition, she has sleeping problems, fatigue, muscle tension, headaches, irritability, and poor focus.
To make matters worse, Joanne had also entered menopause. She has irregular periods, when previously she had regular ones. She also reports hot flashes, heat intolerance, and flushing. So when she has the anxiety and hot flashes together, it becomes quite unbearable, both psychologically and physically.
She visited her doctor, who subsequently diagnosed Joanne with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Joanne was referred to a therapist for psychotherapy, but her anxiety symptoms persisted even after several sessions. When psychotherapy was not helpful, her doctor then prescribed citalopram (Celexa), which helped to reduce her anxiety symptoms. However, after a few months, citalopram stopped working and she was subsequently prescribed venlafaxine (Effexor). Venlafaxine was quite effective at reducing her anxiety symptoms, and this positive effect was lasting, unlike the citalopram treatment. Joanne also reported a reduction of her hot flashes, although she continued to have heat intolerance.
This case report outlines the strong association between anxiety and vasomotor symptoms (i.e. hot flashes) in menopause (Freeman et al., 2005). Fortunately, there are options for treatment for women who have anxiety in association with the vasomotor symptoms of menopause. For anxiety and menopause, the treatment options include hormonal treatment (estrogen and progesterone), pharmacological treatment with SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), and non-pharmacological interventions (CBT- cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture) (Krause and Nakajima, 2015).
However, with the side effects that are inherent with SSRIs and hormonal treatment, a good alternative is a natural anxiety supplement, such as KalmPro. In addition, Anxiety Protocol can help to further reduce your anxiety, especially if you don’t want to see a therapist.
For more information and help, please visit the anxiety in women category by clicking here.