Menopause and Depression
Menopause and Depression: What are the causes and what are the cures? Menopause and depression is an interesting topic.
Menopause refers to a period in a womans life when she stops having her monthly periods. This is a normal part of the aging process, signifying the end of a womans reproductive years. In most women, menopause occurs during the late 40s or early 50s, though women whose ovaries have been surgically removed can have menopause at any time. Studies have shown that menopause predisposes women to depression, which has been attributed to the hormonal changes that take place during this time. This article will explore the relationship between menopause and depression, as well as what a woman can do to ease the resultant symptoms.
Menopause and Depression What Causes It?
During menopause, women usually experience a drop in estrogen levels, which triggers emotional changes. This is because the estrogen levels have a direct effect on serotonin, a hormone which regulates a persons moods, sleep and energy levels. The production of serotonin in the brain normally requires estrogen, which means that when the estrogen levels go down, so do the serotonin levels. This causes the mood changes that take place during menopause, leading to depression. The onset of menopausal depression varies from one woman to another, and is dependent upon ones serotonin amounts in the brain. Research studies have shown that women who generally have low serotonin levels may be more prone to depression than other women during menopause.
In understanding the link between menopause and depression, one is also able to understand the depression symptoms, all of which stem from low serotonin levels. Some of the symptoms of menopausal depression are sleeping problems, mood swings, fatigue, irritability and anxiety. A close look at these symptoms clearly shows that they are all related to the functions of serotonin as indicated earlier. Depression in menopause is normally treated using antidepressants and/or psychotherapy, depending on its severity. Estrogen replacement is also widely used to provide relief from the symptoms. However, estrogen replacement therapy should be brief, because estrogen has been linked to heart diseases and breast cancer.
Menopause and Depression What Can Be Done?
Even though the symptoms of menopausal depression maybe inevitable to a certain extent, a woman is not completely helpless against them. In addition to the treatment options, it is possible to ease these symptoms and maintain ones health and well-being in various ways. One of the ways in which a woman can do this is by engaging in calming skills such as meditation and breathing techniques. It is also possible to ease these symptoms by engaging in creative hobbies or activities, which help to foster ones sense of achievement. This eases the symptoms of depression by enhancing a womans sense of self-worth. Eating healthy food and exercising regularly has also proved helpful in keeping these symptoms at bay. In this case, a healthy diet is one that consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber.
Despite the prevalence of depression in menopause, it may go undiagnosed and untreated in some women, who think that its symptoms are part of the aging process. However, in recognizing the connection between menopause and depression, a woman is able to seek help if the symptoms manifest. Fortunately, menopausal depression can be effectively treated, while one may also ease its symptoms in various ways as mentioned in the article. There are so many things one can and should be doing to ease the symptoms of menopause and depression.