Depression in Menopause
As women unconsciously enter perimenopause the first signs may be related to their emotional and mental wellbeing, rather than physical symptoms. A 2015 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ survey found that a whopping 45 per cent of ‘older women’ - their words, not ours - were concerned about depression.
“Rainy Days and Mondays”, this Carpenters wistful song certainly sums up those ‘down days’.
Women with a history of severe premenstrual syndrome, post-natal depression or previous episodes of clinical depression, may be predisposed to developing depression as their hormones surge and dip.
While we’re all allowed to feel down occasionally, a low mood should improve after a few days. But depression is different. It’s a continuous feeling of extreme sadness and loss of interest and enjoyment in life lasting for more than two weeks. According to NHS Choices other indicators for depression include feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and lack of energy, changes in your sleeping and eating habits, and having thoughts about suicide or self-harm. If any of that sounds familiar, talk to your doctor.
And the good news is….
If depression is caused by hormonal imbalance in perimenopause and menopause it should lift when your hormones begin to level out.
The best ways to deal with menopause depression
Depression caused by hormone fluctuations is a serious mental health condition, which should be treated by your doctor. But improving your diet, exercising, and being kind to yourself certainly won’t do any harm.