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Is Depression A Symptom Of Menopause

Q: Is There A Link Between Menopause And Depression

45 Symptoms of Menopause – Depression and Anxiety

A: Changes inhormone levels may influence neurotransmitters in the brain. The drop inestrogen levels can also lead to hot flashes that disturb sleep, which can thenlead to anxiety and mood swings.

If you experience symptoms of depression nearly every day for two or more weeks, you might be depressed. Talk with your doctor about finding a treatment that will work for you. Your doctor will also want to rule out any medical causes for your depression, such as thyroid problems.

Emotions And The Menopause: Mood Swings Anxiety And Depression

Womens emotional symptoms during the menopause vary. Some have no symptoms at all, others have mood swings, anxiety and depression. These symptoms can be frightening and surprise many women, adding to the burden of hot flushes and irregular periods. They talked about these symptoms and how they affected their lives.A range of emotionsSome women noticed no emotional changes during the menopause, or found their moods levelling out as their periods declined.

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.

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Get Your Levels Checked By Your Gp

If you can relate to any of these symptoms and your symptoms are affecting the quality of your life in any way, which they no doubt are if youre reading this, then please do seek medical advice. Request to get your hormone levels tested along with your bloods to check for any nutrient deficiencies that could also be affecting how you are feeling.

In addition there are dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to help balance both your hormones and help you manage your symptoms.

The decision whether H.R.T. is suitable for you is very much an individual decision based on your individual circumstances and medical history. Its something you should discuss directly with your doctor and no-one else.

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What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause

Menopause anxiety and depression concerns

by Haley FritzFeb 2, 2021

When you think of a woman going through menopause, you might think of symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or mood swings.

These symptoms receive a lot of attention due to the fact that there are over-the-counter and prescription drug remedies designed especially to target them. However, the symptoms of menopause are actually far more complex than these companies let on!

In total, there are 34 different symptoms that can be attributed to menopause. A woman going through menopause might experience some or all of these symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

Read on to learn more about the menopause process and how it might affect a womans health and well-being.

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Causes Of Midlife Depression

There are many reasons that women may suffer from depression after the age of forty. Some of them are biological, some are situational, and some are psychological. A few common factors in midlife depression are:

  • Hormone changes:;Decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone can upset the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin , which in turn affects mood, sleep,;and appetite.
  • Response to loss:;Loss of parents, children leaving home, divorce, friends lost to illness, loss of youth, or poor healthany one of these might trigger an extended grief response that could turn into major depression.
  • Medical conditions:;Some medical conditions can make you more likely to suffer from depression. If you have heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, sleep disorders, seasonal affective disorder, or a previous head injury, you may be more prone to major depression.
  • Drug and alcohol use:;Alcohol and opiate pain medications are depressants. If you regularly use these substances, they can interfere with hormone activity and;can have the side effect of depression symptoms. Alcohol can also worsen hot flashes and night sweats, adding sleep difficulties to your list of things to cope with. Although it’s tempting to ease your emotional pain with an extra glass of wine or other drugs, they can actually make your symptoms worse and make it harder to sort out whether or not you’re depressed.

Get Your Physician To Pay Attention To You

If you are suffering from depression and are perimenopausal, make sure your healthcare professional can connect the dots so he or she can correctly prescribe therapy for you. The North American Menopause Society offers a that you can bring to your practitioner that explains the connection between the two.

Related:;Women, Hormones, and Depression

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Mood Swings And Depression

Studies indicate that mood swings are more common during perimenopause, when hormonal fluctuations are most erratic, than during the postmenopausal years, when ovarian hormones stabilize at a low level. No direct link between mood and diminished estrogen has been proved, but it is possible that mood changes result when hormonal shifts disrupt the established patterns of a woman’s life. These changes can be stressful and may bring on “the blues.” Mood swings can mean laughing one minute and crying the next, and feeling anxious or depressed. These changes are transient, however, and do not usually meet the criteria for a diagnosis of clinical depression, a more profound dysfunctional emotional state.

Over their lifespan, women have more depression than men. But there is no evidence that decreased estrogen alone causes clinical depression. Although women who have had previous episodes of depression may be vulnerable to a recurrence during perimenopause, menopause in and of itself does not cause clinical depression. The incidence of depression in postmenopausal women is not any higher than at any other time in life.

Treatment Options For Symptoms Of Menopause

Menopause and Depression: Are Antidepressants making you worse?

Fortunately, you dont have to live with frequent hot flashes, wild mood swings, or episodes of major depression. There are many treatment options to help manage your menopausal symptoms. For example, our specialists may recommend hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical hormone therapy to replace the estrogen youve lost. HRT can come in pills, creams, patches, injections, or pellets.;

If youre going through menopause or perimenopause and experiencing mood swings or other mental health issues, contact The Association for Womens Health Care with offices in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois for help, either by calling or booking an appointment online.

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Effective Treatment Is Available; Talk With Your Doctor About Mood Issues

This study reinforces the fact that we should be monitoring women for mood issues during midlife because we can do something about it, says Faubion, noting that treatment with an antidepressant is considered first-line therapy for major depression, regardless of when it occurs. But sometimes just dealing with the symptoms of menopause is enough to improve mood, and;hormone therapy may also have a direct impact on depressive symptoms that occur during the menopause transition and in early post-menopause.

Perimenopause: Rocky Road To Menopause

What are the signs of perimenopause? Youre in your 40s, you wake up in a sweat at night, and your periods are erratic and often accompanied by heavy bleeding: Chances are, youre going through perimenopause. Many women experience an array of symptoms as their hormones shift during the months or years leading up to menopause that is, the natural end of menstruation. Menopause is a point in time, but perimenopause is an extended transitional state. Its also sometimes referred to as the menopausal transition, although technically, the transition ends 12 months earlier than perimenopause .

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A New Study Suggests That Hormone Therapy Might Help With Perimenopausal Depression But Is It Safe For You

Hormone therapy has long been a controversial topic, and a new study about the role of hormones in depression is adding some fodder to the debate. A study published in the January 10 issue of JAMA Psychiatry determined that hormone therapy may help ward off symptoms of depression in women. Researchers found that perimenopausal and early postmenopausal women who were treated with hormones were less likely to experience symptoms of depression than women in the study who were given a placebo.

But while the findings of the study are important particularly considering that a woman’s risk of depression doubles or even quadruples during the menopausal transition that doesn’t mean hormone therapy should be widely used for preventing depression in women at this stage of life, says Dr. Hadine Joffe, the Paula A. Johnson Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School, who wrote an editorial accompanying the study. “It’s not a ‘never,’ but it shouldn’t be a standard approach; in general, all of medicine has moved away from using hormones for prevention,” she says.

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Mood And The Menopause

Different Menopause Symptoms Of Menopause

Mental illness is prevalent in all age groups and for women this manifests as affective and anxiety orders. The menopausal transition is a time of increased risk.

The presentation of mood disturbance in the menopause transition appears unique with less depressive symptoms, increased anger, irritability and fluctuation in severity of symptoms. Assessment of psychosocial stressors, menopausal symptoms and mood is necessary.

Most women with will benefit from education about the menopause transition and are likely to respond to treatment, if needed.

In the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing almost half of all respondents aged 18-65 had a mental health problem at some time in their lives. One in five Australians experience a mental illness in any year. The most common illnesses are related to anxiety, then affective and substance use disorders. Women have a higher prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders .

The menopausal transition is a time of increased risk of mood disturbance. Even women with no previous history of depression, particularly those with history of vasomotor symptoms or adverse life events are at increased risk of depressive symptoms compared to premenopausal women . The risk of a major depressive episode is also higher in the peri-menopause compared to the pre-menopause in women with a history of Major Depressive Disorder .

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Health Changes And Mood Disturbances

Changes in your physical health at the time of menopause may also drive mood changes. For example, anxiety may be triggered by an overactive thyroid gland, which becomes more common with age. In addition, anxiety and depression may be triggered by a lack of sleep, which also becomes more common at the time of menopause, as hormone shifts cause nighttime hot flashes or other sleep disruptions that make it more difficult for women to get the rest they need.

So, what can you do to protect your mental health as you go through menopause?

Be aware that mood changes may accompany other menopausal symptoms.

Monitor your mood and make note of patterns in other factors such as sleep and stress levels. Seek professional help if symptoms become severe and interfere with daily life.

Make lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, getting adequate sleep, and controlling stress to reduce potential symptoms.

Reach out to others. Don’t struggle alone.

Role Of Pms And Smoking

In the second, similarly designed study, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine researchers followed 231 women between the ages of 35 and 47 for eight years.

Once again, the women were premenopausal at entry and they had no prior history of major depression.

Blood samples were taken periodically throughout the eight-year period to determine hormone levels, and researchers also administered standardized tests designed to measure depression symptoms and clinical depression.

Compared to when she was premenopausal, a woman was more than four times as likely to have symptoms of depression during perimenopause. Changes in hormonal levels were significantly associated with the appearance of these symptoms, even after adjusting for other lifestyle factors that have been linked to depression.

A diagnosis of clinical depression was also found to be two-and-a-half times more likely during the transition to menopause.

“We are not saying that hormones are the only things that impact depression risk during this period of a woman’s life,” says researcher Ellen Freeman, PhD. “But both of these studies support the idea that hormones are directly involved.”

Women in the study who reported more premenstrual syndrome prior to the transition to menopause had an even greater depression risk than other perimenopausal women.

“We know that some women seem to have an increased sensitivity to hormone fluctuation,” Freeman says.

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Take Steps To A Better Nights Sleep

Again, this is another where you might be thinking easier said than done, GEN M. We get it. But there is a simple trick you can try and in doing so, reduce menopause irritability and mood swings.

Using your phone or watching TV right before bed can wreak havoc on sleep. The blue light emitted by screens can make our brains think its daytime, disrupting our natural sleep-wake cycles. Turn everything off around two hours before and try reading instead.

Suffering from night sweats or difficulty sleeping? Click for more information and advice.

Age Of Depression And Menopause

Can post-menopausal symptoms lead to depression?

Studies looking at the age of menopause and depression have found that a later age at menopause and a longer reproductive period are associated with a reduced risk of depression, and it seems that longer exposure to estrogen produced by the body is the reason. Those who go through early menopause appear to be at an increased risk of depression and should talk to their doctors about this possibility.

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Do Complementary And Alternative Approaches For Midlife Mood Issues Help

NAMS has studied those as well, says Maki: We are recognizing the importance of things like mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, exercise, and a good diet. For women whose depressive symptoms dont reach the threshold for clinical episode of depression its not keeping them at home yoga could help to improve mood a little bit. But really the only thing that has been shown to help significantly in the alternative area is exercise. Aerobic is good, and literature shows that its even better if you do it with people or outside.

What Is Postmenopausal Depression

It’s all change in your fifties. The kids have fled the nest, you’re starting to make plans for retirement, and chances are if you’re a woman you’re also going through the menopause. All too often, it’s also a time when mood swings and depression strike for females. How can women know whether it’s ‘just’ the menopause or something more?

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Dealing With The Symptoms Of Menopause

You could argue that the physical and mental changes that occur during menopause aren’t really “symptoms.” The term is usually associated with a disease, which menopause is not. Also, it is often hard to say which changes are a direct result of a drop in hormone levels and which are natural consequences of aging. Some of the symptoms overlap or have a cascade effect. For example, vaginal dryness may contribute to a lower sex drive, and frequent nighttime hot flashes may be a factor in insomnia.

Hot flashes and vaginal dryness are the two symptoms most frequently linked with menopause. Other symptoms associated with menopause include sleep disturbances, urinary complaints, sexual dysfunction, mood changes, and quality of life. However, these symptoms don’t consistently correlate with the hormone changes seen with menopause transition.

Specific Aspects Of Depression During The Menopausal Transition

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

The depression experienced by women throughout the menopausal transition and beyond may be different from that of premenopausal women; both the time course of symptom presentation and the nature of symptoms may vary. For example, in premenopausal women, depressive symptoms are often associated with or exacerbated during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, suggesting an association with hormonal changes. In perimenopausal women, however, hormonal changes are not necessarily limited to the luteal phase, and, therefore, symptoms may not follow a predictable cyclical pattern. In elderly women, depression may be primarily associated with symptoms of impaired cognitive function that is followed by cognitive decline.

Depressive symptoms may also differ substantially during the various stages of menopausal transition,,,, and the age at which a woman experiences the menopausal transition may also affect the degree of distress related to symptoms. In the early 1970s, McKinlay and Jefferys reported an increase in symptoms of sleeplessness, depression, weight increase, and palpitations in women transitioning from premenopause to menopause. In addition, the latter 2 symptoms were decreased in women in late postmenopause .

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How To Help Yourself Feel Calmer And More Patient

So what can you do to help yourself through this?

Relaxation techniques

Theres a few little techniques, but again as I say with these kinds of emotional issues, you very often find yourself right in the middle of a scenario before you suddenly realise whats going on, and then it can be quite difficult to control. But certainly, if you suddenly think to yourself, Oh, Im getting really impatient here, try and do some slow deep breathing.;

And the great thing is that if you practice this every day, it will soon be second nature, and you can fall into this relaxation technique very, very quickly.


Exercise is another great way of helping to deal with impatience and irritability. Just even getting out in the fresh air, getting a little bit of peace and quiet away from everybody, and even just some speed walking or brisk walking round the block at lunchtime, can make quite a lot of difference to how you feel on the rest of the day.


Look at your diet because lots of sugar, lots of processed foods, and if youre not eating either properly, or youre not eating regularly enough, then your blood sugar levels are going to go up and down like a yo-yo, and that will trigger your impatience and your irritability as well.

Reduce your caffeine intake

Menopause Support

Dont feel guilty

So I will look forward to seeing you next week, for another edition of A.Vogel Talks Menopause.


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