Personality Disorders Community

Is Menopause Making Her BPD Worse?

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QUESTION:

Dear Dr. Heller,

I am a master's degree student in occupational therapy at Western Michigan University. I have a case involving a 47 year old woman who has been diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder, in addition to bipolar disorder. I am writing to you because I am wondering how menopause might contribute to the list of issues. I have been through scores of links and am unable to find anything at all about how menopause interacts with mental illness. Any ideas, links, or resources you can provide will certainly be appreciated!

DR. HELLER'S ANSWER:

There's nothing in the literature about menopause and the BPD. There is literature that lack of estrogen worsens or causes depression, reduces stamina and intellectual function, and can increase anxiety.

From experience I know menopause can worsen the BPD, and the symptoms get better dramatically when estrogen therapy is initiated.

The BPD is worsened by any significant stress, and menopause with it's low estrogen is a definite stress.

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