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What You Need to Know About Depression During Menopause

What You Need to Know About Depression During Menopause

Key Points

  • Menopausal depression is classified as experiencing symptoms of depression for two or more consecutive weeks.
  • There's treatment options available if you feel you're suffering from depression.
  • If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or impulses, seek professional care as soon as possible. Suicide is never the answer.

Depression can occur at any time in our lives, but it seems to be particularly prevalent in menopausal women. Doctors and scientists are divided about whether the depression is caused by a change in the balance of hormones, or by associated factors such as lack of sleep and fatigue brought on by other symptoms of menopause. Menopausal depression is classified as two consecutive weeks or more of feeling in a depressed mood during menopause. This is often accompanied by a general listlessness, irritability, lack of concentration, feelings of worthlessness, lack of appetite, and in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts.

Remedies for Depression During Menopause

It is important to visit your doctor, as untreated depression can lead to more serious problems such as heart problems and malnutrition. Your doctor will also be able to rule out any physical causes for the depression. Once your doctor is sure that the depression is menopausal, you may be prescribed a number of treatments depending on your level of depression. For moderate to severe depression, antidepressants are usually prescribed. Another option is the use of hormone replacement therapy. This may help treat the underlying causes of your menopausal depression. In some cases, a series of sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist can prove to be helpful, as they can teach you how to deal with the feelings and thoughts you are having.

In mild cases, regular exercise and a change of diet can have a very positive effect. Cutting down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume usually leads to a marked improvement. 30 minutes of exercise a day will have a positive effect on your depression and will help you to feel more energetic.

Taking time to talk about your depression can also help. Talking to support groups or family members is a great idea. Spending time analyzing how you feel and then vocalizing it to people who won’t judge you is often the first step to getting over your depression.

What Are Other Causes of Depression?

There are many different causes of depression. If your family has a history of depression, then you are more vulnerable to developing this condition yourself. It's important to have an accurate family history when it comes to psychiatric conditions, as much as possible. Knowing your family history can help direct a doctor to a diagnosis.

Trauma can also be a cause of depression. If you experience a traumatic event, such as the unexpected loss of a loved one, an abusive relationship, or a severe accident, you may develop depression as a result. If you think your depression may be linked to trauma, it's important to speak with a mental health professional as soon as possible.

Finally, depression can come with changes in your life. This is especially common among older people, but it can happen at any age. Sometimes, we don't feel that our lives are going in the direction we want. Or, we might look back on our lives and feel as if we didn't accomplish enough. You might have a hard time accepting the fact that you're getting older. All of these factors can lead to you developing depression.

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Do not take the content of this article as professional medical adviceIt's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.

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