Menopause symptoms and treatments.
Depression is sometimes a prevalent side effect of menopause. Depression often manifests as persistent feelings of low mood, despondency, and a loss of interest in various aspects of life. These manifestations commonly present as a prevalent symptom during the menopausal transition.
During the menopausal phase, women frequently report heightened emotional sensitivity, characterized by increased tearfulness and irritability. Often, they find themselves frustrated by these emotional fluctuations. Experiencing feelings of sadness or melancholy is a normal response to grief or life’s challenges. However, the process of perimenopause, menopause, and the subsequent phases can exacerbate these emotions significantly. Additionally, various factors such as changes within the family dynamics, workplace stress, self-worth concerns, and societal perceptions of menopausal women contribute to these feelings of sadness, compounding the emotional burden experienced during this phase.
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Symptoms of depression
The degree and length of depression symptoms can vary. Although not everyone experiences depression in the same way, the following are frequent symptoms:
- Persistent sadness
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Changes in appetite or weight:
- Sleep disturbances
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Agitation or irritability
- Physical aches and pains
- Suicidal thoughts or behavior
It’s crucial to note that exhibiting a couple of these symptoms does not automatically imply clinical depression. However, if these symptoms last for more than two weeks and significantly interfere with everyday living and functioning, they may indicate a depressive condition, and professional help is advised.
Relationship between depression and menopause
Menopausal symptoms: A woman’s quality of life may be impacted and sadness or poor mood may result from the physical symptoms and difficulties of menopause, such as hot flashes, sleep issues, and changes in body image.
Hormonal swings: Neurotransmitters in the brain that control mood can be impacted by the drop in oestrogen and progesterone levels that occurs during menopause. Feelings of melancholy, anger, and depression may be influenced by these hormonal changes.
Personal and life circumstances: Menopause frequently occurs in conjunction with other life changes, such as children moving out of the house, professional changes, or ageing parents, which can be stressful and aid in the onset of depression. The likelihood that someone would have menopausal depression can also be affected by personal factors like heredity, stresses, and a history of depression.
Coping mechanisms and treatment options
Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT), might be useful in assisting people to control their depressive symptoms and create coping mechanisms throughout menopause.
Changes in lifestyle: Healthy lifestyle decisions can have a favourable effect on mood and general wellbeing. These include engaging in things that make you happy and fulfilled, getting regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and using stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness or relaxation exercises.
Support system: Share your experiences and emotions with friends, family, or support groups. A solid support system can offer sympathy and understanding on an emotional level.
Hormone replacement treatment (HRT): HRT may be suggested in some circumstances to treat menopausal symptoms like mood swings and sadness. However, deciding to try HRT should only be done after talking with a healthcare provider about the potential dangers and advantages.
Antidepressant drugs: Selective serotonin reuptake (SSRIs) are frequently offered to women experiencing menopause related mood changes but there is little evidence to support their benefit in those who are not clinically depressed. Menopausal women often describe feeling tearful and/or down but don’t feel depressed.
- Aches and pains
- Anger and Bitterness
- Bleeding with intercourse
- Brain fog
- Headaches and migraines
- Lack of motivation
- Loss of energy and fatigue
- Loss of libido
- Low self-esteem and low confidence
- Night-time sweats and hot flushes
- Panic attacks
- Period issues and changes
- Sleep issues
- Soreness and pain during intercourse
- Vaginal dryness and soreness
- Women’s Health