Menopause and depression are something that most women will be challenged with in their lifetime. Menopause will bring about several changes to a woman’s body, including hormone production. This is a huge change because it really messes with your moods, appetite, sense of well being, comfort and stress levels. Doctors have come up with many theories over the years about what triggers depression, and many of them link hormone levels to the onset of depression symptoms in women. Lately doctors have concentrated on the time period leading up to menopause, known as perimenopausal years, as the time in which depression develops.
Menopause And Depression
There are a few things that should be looked at when you start to experience “the change.” First of all, you may be developing symptoms of depression long before you actually go through menopause. Symptoms for menopause and depression can be very similar and include feeling drained, not being able to sleep and having mood swings. It is important to pay attention to feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness and talk to your doctor if you have any suicidal thoughts or ideations. It is not uncommon for doctors to contribute your symptoms to menopause prematurely, and you could be suffering from depression.
There are several approaches you can use to treat menopause and depression. Obviously, you need to discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor. One of the first and most frequently used treatments for depression is medication, or antidepressants. This may be a great starting point to help you get back to your old self again, but do not set yourself up to take the medication for the remainder of your life. Consider an antidepressant something that is more of a springboard to get you back to where you want to be. In conjunction with menopause, your doctor may want to try hormone replacement therapy, particularly with estrogen, to help elevate your mood. Before electing to use this type of therapy it is very important to research and know the possible side effects of such treatment and find a doctor you are completely comfortable with.
Other treatment options for menopause and depression are out there for those that are not looking for medication. There are dietary supplements and herbal remedies that claim to help. This data is not substantiated scientifically, but is worth researching on your own. Psychotherapy can also be beneficial in helping a person overcome or work through depression. Talking to a therapist is a great alternative to medication, or it can be used in combination with medication.
Menopause And Depression – The Conclusion
Basic daily living suggestions can be helpful in battling depression whether you are suffering through menopause, perimenopause or just life. Daily exercise provides mental health benefits, as well as benefits to your body. A good night’s sleep is critical, although sometimes menopause can mess that up and there is nothing you can do about it. Eating healthy and dealing effectively with stress can help you feel better as well. One of the best ways to deal with stress is to have a good support system in place, be it family, friends or a good pet. The bottom line is menopause and depression are not the end of the world and there are ways to get through it happy and healthy.