Based on studies, women approaching menopause will experience a high risk of developing symptoms of depression because of the hormonal changes that are more likely to occur in perimenopausal years. During perimenopause, estrogen levels gradually decline, which some studies suggest may trigger depression. To be sure, a study has been made wherein researchers went after women’s progression to menopause, known as perimenopause. None of the women had a history of depression before this time in their lives, but they have found out the increased risk of having depression all out these years. The studies are published in the April issue of the journal Archives of General Psychiatry.
Depression and the onset of menopause have in common, i.e., sleep problems, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, and lack of concentration. Because of this, depression in women can go undiagnosed, thinking these problems are just a natural part of aging. If you’re not quite sure what’s going on, speak to your regular physician or gynecologist. A depression screen will quickly establish whether or not you’re clinically depressed and need treatment.
Depression in women in mid-life is greatly affected by life stressors and other sad moments throughout their lives, making them more vulnerable to menopausal depression. These could be social or cultural stressors like – career change, job loss, sudden changes in lifestyle, responsibilities to take good care of elderly parents, death of parents, the loss of a husband and children, lack of social support, and financial or marital difficulties.
Sometimes physical symptoms can be associated with depression. Once you determine these physical causes of depression, you can overcome your feelings of sadness and lessen the chances of having depression. On the other hand, for women who have symptoms of depression but aren’t clinically depressed, natural treatment for depression is the best method they can follow that might provide them with the help they need.
Some women treat their menopausal depression symptoms with hormone replacement therapy in low or short amounts, as HRT also has risks. Studies found that it increased the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke. That’s why experts recommend antidepressant medications instead, which is much safer when treating menopausal depression. Older types of antidepressants, called tricyclics collectively, are sometimes prescribed.