HotFlashDaily is about helping you make the best of a very challenging transition.
Because life doesn't pause during menopause.

Menopause & Depression

Menopause & Depression
Research has confirmed a link between depression and perimenopause—something that we women have known for years.

Research has confirmed a link between depression and perimenopause—something that we women have known for years.

Changing hormone levels, the loss of fertility, aging, stress, changing sexuality—these are all things that can cause mood swings and a depressed mood, or aggravate a more serious clinical depression. But before we talk about what to “do” about it, let’s define our terms a bit.

Types of Depression

The North American Menopause Society describes 3 different uses of the word “depression”:

A depressed mood — This is a normal, brief period of feeling blue or sad that is commonly experienced and rarely requires treatment. The medical term is dysphoria.

Depression as a symptom — Sometimes called an adjustment reaction, this type of depression may be due to a wide variety of medical or psychological problems, or to intense reactions to life events (such as divorce, losing a job, death of a loved one). It is usually short term and most often does not require treatment, although it can progress to clinical depression. The medical term for depression that occurs most of the day, more days than not, for at least 2 years is dysthymia.

Clinical depression — This is a disorder believed to result from a chemical imbalance in the brain. A clinical (major) depression requires treatment. Women with a history of clinical depression may be more likely to experience it during menopause.

Treatment Options

If you find yourself feeling blue most of the day, having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, feeling despair and loneliness, you may just be going through a rough patch, or it may be something more serious.

Your doctor can help you figure out what’s going on, and the best course of treatment.

In some cases, medication may be recommended, but there are other things you can try to help alleviate the depression:

  • Herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort
  • Exercise releases endorphins that give you a good feeling
  • Try yoga, meditation, and a Mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Mindfulness has been shown to relieve stress and depression in many cases.
  • If you and your doctor decide it’s appropriate, anti-depressant medication or therapy.

A major sign of depression is a lack of energy or desire to do anything. In that kind of mindset, it can be very difficult to seek help. If you’re feeling this way, reach out to someone: a friend, family member, anyone who can support you as you get the professional help you need.

Chances are, everyone is going to go through a period of depression at some point. The key is to recognize it for what it is, and to not brush it off as “a bad month” etc. Remember, our goal at Hot Flash Daily is to make each day the best it can be, so if you’re struggling- please do reach out for help.

You’re not alone. There is hope.

Here is a link to a list of help lines you can call to speak to someone.

About Allie McKenzie

Allie is a contributing author at Hot Flash Daily.

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©2016 Hot Flash Daily. All rights reserved.

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HotFlashDaily.com was created in the spirit of making every day your very best, even when you just don’t feel like it.

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