Like pregnancy and postpartum, midlife is another time of increased risk for depression and anxiety for moms and women. The hormonal changes of perimenopause combined with the life changes and stressors which naturally occur during midlife can result in clinical depression and clinical anxiety even among women who haven’t had these mental health conditions earlier in their lives. Moms and women who have experienced these conditions prior to perimenopause are even more susceptible to midlife changes in hormones, brain chemistry and life circumstances causing them problems.
In midlife, relationships both love relationships and friendships that have seemed solid for many years, start to falter. The stress of both women’s and men’s changing bodies and brain chemistry create problems with sexual health and body image that often impacts couples feeling close and comfortable with each other. At the same time, kids may be leaving for college and moving out and for women and men who have been family-centered, this can be a big loss. Job change, divorce, caring for aging parents and concerns about retirement are additional stressors.
For midlife women and men, self-care practices and stress reduction skills are important to maintain mind-body health and well-being. Explore this website to learn more about self-care and what you can do to thrive as a mom, and practice stress reduction skills to ease anxiety, worry and self-criticism. Contact Dr. Sanford if you have a question about your pregnancy or postpartum emotional health and if you’re concerned about your life stress and emotional health and what you can do to feel better.