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Menopause & Depression: Understanding the Connection

Menopause marks a time of unpredictable hormonal fluctuations for women. Hormonal levels are closely connected to mood and overall well-being, and this is why some women may be at an increased risk for depression as they reach middle-age.

“Women going through the menopause are four times more likely to suffer from depression than women who are younger than 45,” according to Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, the executive director of the North American Menopause Society.

During perimenopause, women’s estrogen levels gradually decrease. These hormones are responsible for maintaining the proper function of your body and when one is dramatically reduced or increased, there are consequences to your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Mood Swings & Depression

Mood swings are a common symptom for women in menopause, and it is normal to occasionally or briefly feel sad, down, or otherwise “blue.”

These mood swings can progress into depression as a symptom of other problems or ordeals in life, though is typically short in duration. There are a combination of factors that can contribute to mood swings and worsen depression and these can include overall stress levels and feelings about body image, aging, and sexuality. 

Depression is considered clinical when it is long-lasting and caused by a chemical imbalance, and should be treated accordingly. Some women may be more likely to suffer from depression due to family history and other contributing biological factors.

Common Depression Symptoms

Changing levels of estrogen during the perimenopausal period can have noticeable effects on your health. Common symptoms of menopause-related depression include:

  • Decreased interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in sleep patterns

Not all women will experience symptoms in the same way. If you’re suffering from depression and believe it may be related to menopause, it may be time to get help from our experienced and compassionate team at Abundant Life Health Care.

How Abundant Life Health Care Can Help

When suffering from depression, there are several important things that can help you begin to find relief from symptoms and improve your quality of life. Treating the whole person is what’s most important and identifying the root of the problem, rather than simply treating symptoms. 
While hormone replacement therapy can relieve symptoms of menopause, including depression, we have found great success at correcting hormonal imbalances using bio-identical hormones, nutrition, dietary supplements, and positive lifestyle changes. Self-care is always important and can help you manage your stress and cope with and even overcome depression.

It’s our goal to help you discover your optimal energy and wellness. Request an appointment to start your journey toward abundant health today.

Posted by Karole Beck at 1/22/2018 3:57:00 PM
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