Can Menopause Cause Depression
The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.
When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.
An Easy Step By Step Of Meditation For Menopause And Depression
Depression Anxiety & Menopause
Hormonal changes may be a small part of the causes of the depressed mood and anxious feelings women often experience around perimenopause.
Identifying what is a menopausal symptom and what are ‘true’ mood changes, depression or anxiety can be confusing. Often anxiety symptoms get worse with perimenopause. What might start as a hot flush might lead to an anxiety attack.
In turn, the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats, can affect mood and make some women feel depressed. Many women kept awake at night because of night sweats find they are exhausted, can’t think clearly and feel more negative because they have had poor quality sleep.
Depression and depressed mood around the time of expected menopause is more likely to occur because of factors other than menopause, including:
- prior episodes of depression
Emotional health around the menopause is also more likely to be influenced by previous experiences of prior traumatic events; for example, past abuse. Women often seek counselling at menopause and might want to work through traumas they have previously experienced. This time of life seems to allow things to come to the surface.
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Things To Avoid During Menopause
As we have focused earlier, healthy food is really important to keep your body and mind in a good state. So, you must choose to avoid things like:
- Processed food: Chips, cookies and cakes must be sidelined as they contain excess sugar and salt and may make you feel bloated. Instead look for its alternatives like whole grain crackers or peanut butter dip.
- Spicy food: Spicy food may taste better to your tongue but definitely not great for the body. Spicy food can trigger symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, etc. So, instead of hot taco sauce or extra red chillies, choose to add turmeric, basil or cumin in your food as they act as healthy spices.
- Alcohol: Listen to your body! Do not strain yourself with heavy consumption of alcohol as it increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, alcohol may again trigger hot flashes and bloating and you certainly do not want any of them during menopause.
- Caffeine: We know you want to start your day with a cup of coffee or hang out with friends to enjoy a mocha but consuming caffeine can activate body temperature. Rather, go for a ginger lemon tea, peppermint tea or some hot flavored milk.
- Saturated fats or fatty meat: Your hormone levels need to be controlled and eating bacon or brisket is definitely not recommended. If you are craving for meat, you can go for leaner meats like chicken or turkey.
Keep smiling and stay strong Woman! You are doing good.
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Identify The Problem And Talk About It
Youre not the only person who is suffering from menopause depression, and you should be clear about it. Depression is not like a normal feeling of sadness or boredom; its much more than that. It could be caused by a medical condition as well. Consult a doctor and identify what is causing the depression in your life.
Along with consultation, you should talk about your emotions and feelings to your close friends and relatives. They can help you out with your problem, and telling others about your feelings will help in reducing the feeling of sadness and boredom as well.
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Importance And Rationale For Screening
Despite the high prevalence of depression, studies have shown that family physicians may fail to recognize up to 30%50% of patients with MDD, particularly when patients present with somatic symptoms, perhaps due to time constraints. Primary care physicians need reliable methods for identifying patients with depression so that they can assess patients quickly and efficiently and improve identification and patient outcomes. Thus, it is important to identify factors that can serve as flags for a potential increased risk for MDD. Women who are at or approaching menopausal age, particularly those with changes in menstrual patterns and/or menopausal symptoms, may represent such a group. In addition, clinicians also should inquire about a history of any depression or reproductive cyclerelated mood disturbance, which may help predict vulnerabilities during this time period. It is also important to ascertain the presence and severity of menopausal symptoms, given the documented increase in risk among women experiencing VMS. Such symptoms are often the primary reason for seeking treatment among midlife women, offering primary care physicians an opportunity to screen for the presence of psychiatric conditions.
Final Thoughts On Dealing With Menopause & Depression
If you find that menopause depression is altering your relationships, ability to work, or the quality of your life, take action and consult a healthcare professional as soon as possible. Learn as much as you can about depression linked to menopause so you have a better understanding of what is happening and why. Take charge in terms of your self-care, and remember, youre not alone.
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The Following Are Some Of The Key Symptoms Of Depression
- A nagging feeling of sadness or anxiety
- Loss of interest in activities which you used to enjoy, including sex
- Feelings of restlessness or constant irritability
- Frequent crying or busting into tears at the slightest triggers
- Feelings of guilt, helplessness or general pessimism
- Lethargy, to the point of not being able to get out of bed, or excessive sleeping
- Major change in weight
- Difficulty concentrating
- Suicidal thoughts
If you are experiencing a few or all of the above symptoms, it is best to approach your doctor for more information to better understand what you might be going through during this phase.
Depression is a condition which only a healthcare professional can diagnose you with after reviewing your symptoms, medical and family history, physical condition and even laboratory test results.;So dont worry if youre feeling down sometimes, it could just be a bad day, not clinical depression!
Fortunately, the advancements in medicine today means there is now a lot more understanding about the condition both in terms of causes as well as management strategies. As such, many people who have been diagnosed with depression are not only able to get on with their daily lives, but also recover from the condition altogether.
Address Stress In Your Life
Although it is not always possible to remove the sources of stress from your life, you can learn how to handle them better. Try journaling, painting, or other relaxing hobbies in addition to mind-body practices, like meditating or practicing yoga. You may also try foot reflexology for menopausal depression as it can not only relieve its symptoms, but also boost your immunity and reduce stress.
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Types Of Depression During Menopause
The following types of depression are distinguished:
- ;Menopausal. It occurs in 40-50 years. The disease develops due to hormonal changes. A woman often has mood changes, she becomes more irritable, and tearful. There is a decrease in libido, sleep and appetite are disturbed, apathy appears. Menopause depression treatment should be carried out carefully and on time.;
- ;Endogenous. The causes of this condition are considered age-related changes, as well as chronic diseases of the internal organs. The symptoms of depression after menopause are severe. A woman is diagnosed with a negative attitude not only to the future but also to the past.;;
- ;Involutional. The patient exaggerates the seriousness of her condition, focuses on this. It comes after the completion of hormonal adjustment. Previous interests are lost. The danger of this type of depression after menopause is that suicidal thoughts become very common, but there is also a panic fear of death. Menopause depression treatment is a must.;;
- ;Reactive. It is characterized by rapid development. A woman has a decrease in self-esteem, the appearance of feelings of remorse, guilt. She loses weight, has sleep disorders, problems with the functionality of the gastrointestinal tract. In parallel with depression, hypochondria develops. A woman definitely ought to have a menopause depression treatment.;
The Link Between Menopause And Depression
Estrogen plays an important role in regulating the hypothalamus in the brain. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that controls a variety of physiological and behavioral functions such as body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, sleep and certain social behaviors.
During menopause, the abrupt changes in estrogen levels directly impacts the hypothalamus resulting in the physiological and mood changes commonly observed in menopause. This is linked to an increased risk of depression during menopause.
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Treatment Of Depression In Women With Menopause
If you experience four or five common symptoms of menopause depression daily for two weeks or more, consider seeing a healthcare professional. Mental health professionals can screen you using tools like the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 , which confirms the presence of depressive symptoms, and the PHQ-9, which rules out physical or medical causes for those symptoms.
Here are four treatment options for depression with menopause:
Q: How Do I Know When To Seek Help For Emotional Problems During Menopause
A: Whendepression or anxiety causes difficulties in your relationships or at work, andthere isnt a clear solution to these problems, its probably time to see yourdoctor. More specific reasons to seek help include:
- You have suicidal thoughts or feelings.
- Your negative feelings last more than two weeks.
- You dont have anyone in whom you can confide.If you dont have anyone to share your thoughts with, its hard to know if whatyoure thinking makes sense. A good therapist will offer invaluable perspectiveon the issues most important to you.
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Uterine Bleeding: What’s Normal What’s Not
One concern for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women is knowing whether irregular uterine bleeding is normal. Most women notice normal changes in their cycle as they approach menopause. Periods are often heavy or more frequent, and they may stop and start. But abnormal uterine bleeding may be a sign of benign gynecologic problems or even uterine cancer. Consult your physician if any of the following situations occur:
- You have a few periods that last three days longer than usual.
- You have a few menstrual cycles that are shorter than 21 days.
- You bleed after intercourse.
- You have heavy monthly bleeding .
- You have spotting .
- You have bleeding that occurs outside the normal pattern associated with hormone use.
When you report abnormal vaginal bleeding, your clinician will try to determine whether the cause is an anatomic problem or a hormonal issue. He or she also will investigate other possible causes. In addition to identifying the cause, he or she will help you manage any excess bleeding, which sometimes leads to anemia.
On rare occasions, postmenopausal women experience uterine bleeding from a “rogue ovulation,” which is vaginal bleeding after a hiatus that may be preceded by premenstrual symptoms such as breast tenderness. Presumably, the ovaries are producing some hormones and maybe a final egg.
Tips For Coping With The Change:
- Know your enemy: The key to dealing with menopause, according to Green, is to learn everything you can about it. “I would also encourage her to talk to other women about their experiences going through menopause in order to help normalize and de-stigmatize the transition, as well as learn what type of treatments they have found helpful,” she says.
- Evaluate your options: Talk to your doctor about all available courses of treatment for menopause symptoms. “Because there are a number of effective options out there for treatment for both menopausal symptoms in general and depression more specifically, I would say it is helpful to evaluate all of them before making a decision,” says Green.
- Put yourself first: Because caregivers often adopt a “fix-it” mentality, they may begin to feel as though they have to do everything and be everything for their aging family member. But Myers says it’s essential to put things in perspective and remember to take care of your needs as well. “It may be an overused axiom, but you cannot take care of others if you do not take care of yourself.”
- Avoid isolation: Steer clear of the desire to avoid social interactions with others. “Even if you’re not in the best mood, or are tired, try to nudge yourself into a walk with friends or to lunch out with your favorite people,” says Myers.
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Symptoms Of Depression In Menopause
This diagnosis should be made only by a doctor. It is necessary to consult a specialist if you have symptoms such as:
- ;the feeling of depression, uselessness, inferiority, unreasonable anxiety;;
- ;the appearance of drowsiness, apathy, skepticism about the future, low self-esteem;;
- ;lack of desire to do something, joy;;
- ;sudden changes in pressure, mood, increased irritability;;
- ;the appearance of a negative reaction to external factors: light, noise.;
Depression menopause is manifested by a violation of sleep and the gastrointestinal tract, increased thirst, headache, and dizziness. In a woman, tearfulness alternates with outbreaks of aggression. In the presence of such symptoms, you need to undergo a comprehensive examination, including consultations with a therapist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, cardiologist, neuropathologist and psychotherapist to take full menopause depression treatment.
How Hormonal Changes During Menopause Influence Your Mood
The decline in estrogen is thought to impact the way the body manages norepinephrine and serotonin, 2 substances which are responsible for causing depression. Reduced levels of estrogen cause mood swings.
Mood changes are directly associated with menopause and can take mild forms such as feeling upset or irritated, or more severe like aggression.
Feelings commonly experienced due to hormonal changes include:
- anxiety accompanied by rapid heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, and unstable breathing
- depressed or unstable mood
- discouraged confidence
- memory loss
The mood changes that happen in the menopause transition cause women considerable trauma, distress and affect their overall well-being. This also impacts other people, particularly spouses, family and colleagues with whom the woman spends a considerable amount of time.;
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Why You’re At Risk For Depression And How To Counteract The Problem
Theres no denying it: as women near the midlife mark, menopause and depression start;to climb. Although theres still some mystery behind the link, factors like a family history of depression, a dip in self-image, and new stressors appear to raise the risk of depression during these transitional years.
However, social and psychological factors are just part of the puzzle. The physical changes you experience on your way to menopause are natural, but they can also upset the fine balance of hormones, neurotransmitters, and other chemicals your body relies upon. Depression may be a mental condition, but its definitely not all in your head.
Even if youve never suffered from depression before, you might find yourself struggling against the gloom at some point during your menopausal years. Although it can be one of the biggest challenges to your independence and personality, you have the ability to overcome depression before it overwhelms your quality of life.
How To Cope With Depression During Menopause
Depression: a medical condition where a person experiences long and intense periods of low moods, which affects their ability to function.
Menopause is a normal and — for most women — largely uneventful part of life. For some women, however, the menopausal transition is a period of biologic vulnerability with noticeable physiologic, psychological and somatic symptoms.
The perimenopausal period is associated with a higher vulnerability for depression, with risk rising from early to late perimenopause and decreasing during postmenopause. Women with a history of depression are up to five times more likely to have a MDD diagnosis during this time period.
Symptoms such as feeling down, significant changes in weight, social withdrawal, inability to concentrate, disinterest in life and anxiousness is best not to be dismissed as another menopause side effect, but something to be addressed with your health practitioner.
Not Quite Depressed: Just Feeling Down?
Feeling down is most often experienced during peri-menopause when the body is under stress while coping with fluctuations in hormones, particularly oestrogen and progesterone.Add stresses such as lack of sleep or raising teenagers, can leave you tired and vulnerable.
Night sweats can leave you sleep deprived resulting in feeling irritable and feeling down as well as an overall loss of sense of well-being.
Midlife stress can contribute to feeling low during menopause.
Such stresses include:
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Other Mental Symptoms Of Menopause
Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating are problems reported by some menopausal women. One study found a measurable decline in cognitive ability of others. However, these problems usually reverse when women are post-menopausal.
Emotional problems may not be as easy to see as a broken leg, or as directly diagnosed as heart disease, but they are no less painful, limiting, and potentially devastating.
Fortunately, help is available through counseling, medication, or a combination of treatments.
If menopause mood swings or emotional upheavals are interfering with a persons enjoyment of life, they should see a mental health counselor, or seek a referral from a general practitioner.