Menopause And Depression: Everything You Need To Know

menopause and depression

Not many people know this, but menopause and depression are intricately connected, and almost every woman goes through it when they reach “that time” of their lives.

It’s a common belief that as women enter the menopausal years, it’s “normal” to feel depressed. However, this is a myth. Depression at any age is not normal and is always cause for concern.

Depression has long been shown to be prevalent during menopause. Upwards of 70 percent of women experience a depressive disorder as they transition into menopause.

A new study not only confirms the high prevalence of depression but also the greatest risk factors for it in postmenopausal women. With the decrease in hormone production during menopause, women are more prone to a number of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, sadness, restlessness, memory problems, sleeping difficulties, lack of confidence and concentration, and a loss of libido.

At the same time, as women age, the fear of death becomes more pronounced and can increase feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. This is why depression in later life, particularly for women in menopause, is a concern.

Related: Migraine And Menopause: Things You Need to Know

Tips For Detecting Depression During Menopause

A woman who feels depressed and thinks she also may be entering menopause should be evaluated by her physician, gynecologist, and a mental health professional to determine whether symptoms could be related to the hormonal transition, or if it’s something more involved.

Depression and menopause should be assessed in the following ways.

  • First, a comprehensive physical exam should be done with your general practitioner. This is to make sure there are no other medical conditions that can mimic depression, like anemia, diabetes, thyroid issues, etc.
  • Once you’re cleared by your general physician, you should meet with your gynecologist for further assessment. The evaluation will identify the stage of menopause you’re in and if there are any other gynecological issues impacting your emotional and physical well-being.
  • Next, a depression screening will be done with your gynecologist, and if necessary, you will be referred to a mental health specialist who’ll further assess depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • When you’re with a mental health clinician, you’ll be asked to review your current and past symptoms, life stressors, and other aspects of your life. A formal evaluation will occur that will address mood and anxiety disorder symptoms.

Treatments

If it’s been determined that if you are in menopause and experiencing a depressive disorder several kinds of treatment are available. Depression is not a one-size-fits-all experience; read as much as you can about treatments, then discuss them with your team of professionals to find what best suits your needs.

1. Antidepressant Treatments

Studies have shown that the optimal approach to depression during menopause is the use of antidepressant medications. In fact, research has shown that not only do SSRIs help manage depression, but also reduce hot flashes and other physical side effects of menopause.

2. Hormonal Treatments

While antidepressants are the most appropriate treatment for depression in menopausal women, estrogen may also be appropriate for mild to moderate symptoms, particularly if the woman has never been depressed before. Studies are comparing estrogen and antidepressants to determine for which patients estrogen may be preferred.

Related: 3 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Suffering from Depression

3. Psychotherapy 

Talk therapy is also recommended for depression during menopause. Sessions can focus on the neurobiological changes that shift during this time in life, and also address many of the existential and/or spiritual worries many have. Learning to build a life full of meaning and purpose can reduce depression and offer ease and acceptance in one’s golden years.

4. Holistic Measures

Many different kinds of holistic approaches can help manage menopause and depression. A great way to address your emotional and physical life at this age is to feed your senses and embrace experiences. Link here for more about later life depression.


Written By Deborah Serani
Originally Appeared In Psychology Today
menopause and depression pin

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Understanding The Sylvia Plath Effect: How Mental Turmoil Fuels Artistic Brilliance

The Sylvia Plath Effect: How Mental Turmoil Fuels Artistic Brilliance

Poets have long been seen as depressed souls. But why? Is there a deep connection between creativity and mental illnesses? Why do writers and poets who can create such  greatest works of art, literature, and poetry struggle with depression? Let’s delve into the world of writers grappling with the Sylvia Plath Effect.

Creativity is a blessing that each and every writer is always grateful for. But it can also be a curse for some. Why? Writers and poets think deeply. They feel everything from the core of their heart. 

They are sensitive souls who often repress their own emotions and pour it out on the page, expressing their deepest thoughts and feelings, and joys and sorrows through their work.

While this can help them to create literary masterpieces, it can also



Up Next

Depressed Overeating: 7 Tricks That Can Help You Stop Overeating When Depressed

Depressed Overeating: Ways You Can Stop Overeating

Struggling with the dark cloud of depression is tough enough on its own, but when it comes hand in hand with overeating, it can feel like an endless cycle of despair. I am talking about depressed overeating.

We’ve all been there, finding solace in that extra slice of red velvet cake or the bottom of a bag of deep fried cheese balls, only to be left with a mix of guilt, shame and physical discomfort.

However, the good news is that there are certain things you can do to break free from the clutches of depressed overeating. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and all you have to do is have faith in yourself.

Before we delve into the strategies that can help you put a stop to depressed overeating, let’s find out the link between depression and overeating.



Up Next

Feeling Blue? 9 Signs of Mild Depression You Shouldn’t Ignore For A Brighter Tomorrow

Feeling Blue? Signs of Mild Depression

Have you ever found yourself feeling down, lacking motivation, or losing interest in activities you once enjoyed? If so, you may be experiencing mild depression. It’s essential to recognize the signs of mild depression and understand its causes and treatment options. 

What is Mild Depression?

Mild depression, also known as dysthymia or persistent depressive disorder, is a form of depression that lies on the milder end of the depressive spectrum



Up Next

Masculinity And Mental Health: 12 Warning Signs of Depression In Men And What To Do

Signs of Depression in Men You Shouldn't Ignore

Do you often feel frustrated, irritable, and withdrawn? If you are a man and if you are frequently in a bad mood, then it’s likely that you have male depression. The shadows of masculinity can often hide the signs of depression in men.

Male mental health is a topic we rarely talk about as a society that is supposed to be fair and equal. Yet, societal expectations often silence the cries for help from men who suffer from depression. 

But let’s change that today! Depression affects millions of people worldwide, regardless of gender. However, men often face unique challenges when it comes to recognizing and addressing



Up Next

Battling Post Graduation Depression: 7 Powerful Strategies To Crush Post-Grad Blues After College

Coping with Post Graduation Depression: Powerful Tips

Did you experience a mix of excitement and uncertainty after completing your graduation? The transition from the structured world of academia to the uncharted territory of post-graduation life can be overwhelming. This can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions, including post-graduation depression.

Let us explore what is post grad depression, its symptoms, and most importantly, effective strategies on how to overcome post graduation depression. So, if you’re a recent graduate struggling to find your footing, keep reading – there is hope on the other side!

What is Post Grad Depression?

Post graduation depression, also known as post grad



Up Next

7 Signs Of Endogenous Depression And How To Treat It

Signs Of Endogenous Depression And How To Treat It

Endogenous depression is classified as a major depressive disorder, a mood disorder characterised by persistent and intense feelings of sadness that can last for extended periods of time.

Psychology differentiates two types of depression: endogenous (causes from within the person) and exogenous (causes relate to external events in a person’s life).

Understanding Endogenous Depression

It is thought of as a type of depression in which there are no external changes that



Up Next

Philosophy And Depression: Does Studying Philosophy Make You Depressed?

Is There A Connection Between Philosophy And Depression?

Ever thought about the purpose of life? Or maybe about the nature of reality? If so, you may be curious about the fascinating realm of philosophy. However, most people believe that philosophy and depression are closely related. 

So is it true that studying philosophy makes you depressed? Can being philosophical lead to a state of existential angst and melancholy? 

For centuries, this field of philosophical study has been a source of curiosity and reflection. Whether it’s the deep thoughts of ancient Greek philosophers or contemporary philosophical musings, philosophy has molded our beliefs & understanding of the world around us and how we fit into it.

So today let us find the answer to the age old question – Does studying philosophy make you depressed?