Bipolar Disorder and Perimenopause
Mood swings are strongly associated with the last one to two years of perimenopause. Experts suggest that bipolar symptoms can also worsen during this phase of perimenopause. Previously effective medications may no longer manage bipolar disorder symptoms adequately. Additional life stressors associated with this time in a woman's life (aging, body image, 'empty nest') can worsen bipolar disorder and make it more challenging to treat.
- Declining estrogen levels leave women especially vulnerable to the depression of bipolar disorder.
- Hormone therapy may help moderate symptoms.
- Psychotherapy can help strengthen coping skills, provide needed support, and improve patient insight.