Depression and Menopause - Discussion and Suggestions

In discussing depression and menopause, we must understand that the latter is not a disease condition, although it could cause a lot of discomfort both physiologically and psychologically.

Some of the common physiological symptoms which women experience during menopause are hot flashes, night sweats, osteoporosis, vaginal complications, urinary incontinence, headaches, palpitations, accompanied by vaginal changes, joint pain, as well as changes in cholesterol profiles and sleep patterns.

By seeking professional gynecological help, all of these symptoms can be dealt with effectively and women can go through the entire experience with minimum discomfort. Of course, there are also safe and natural ways and remedies to assist with the situation.

The psychological symptoms experienced by many women during menopause include depression, mood swings, panic attacks, irritability, general malaise and the feeling of inability to cope with change, etc. These can cause depression and menopause acts as one of the triggers of the condition. Indeed, menopause is identified as one of main causes of depression in women.

Menopausal depression is caused mainly by a decline in the level of estrogen. This hormonal imbalance is responsible for the manifestation of various symptoms of menopause depression, such as:

  • Depleting energy levels, fatigue, and tiredness.

  • Frequent bouts of crying.

  • Feeling sad, lonely, frustrated, and negative, accompanied by irritability.

  • Lack of sleep or insomnia and loss of appetite.

  • Inability to concentrate on tasks or complete them on time.

  • Various physical ailments of no particular cause or origin.

  • Sexual dysfunction.

  • Overriding thoughts of suicide.

Increasingly, more women feel that hormone replacement therapy is the answer to their problems of depression and menopause. However, the fact is that hormone therapy can only provide temporary relief from the various symptoms of depression, but it does not cure or treat the condition. Therefore, the best form of treatment for menopause-related depression includes counseling, psychotherapy, and pharmacological drugs, including antidepressants.

As always, our stand is that the use of any drugs, which come with many side effects, should only be carried out as a last resort.

In dealing with depression and menopause, women must try and seek professional help for the psychological aspect of menopause as much they would approach a physician for the physiological symptoms. It is extremely important for women to realize that depression triggered during menopause will have repercussions on both one's personal life and one's professional life.

A good therapist will be able to guide women through this delicate phase by offering advice that will work in difficult situations. If the symptoms of menopausal depression persist for over two weeks, one must make it a point to seek professional help, because things have a way of deteriorating fast.

Most women consider all else priority over themselves and end up neglecting their psychological problem, and this is certainly not the way to handle issues. Therefore, it is important for the rest of the family to also keep an eye out for the symptoms of depression in menopausal women and to offer help and support when required.

In addition to the above, getting the right amount of rest and sleep will go a long way in helping women cope with depression and menopause and with the changes going on within the body and mind. Resting the mind and body is a natural technique of healing. Controlling the diet by including a lot of salads, soups, and sprouts ensures that the diet has a lot of fiber in it which also helps a lot.

Cultivating other relaxation techniques, like yoga, meditation, reading or listening to music, diverting the mind from regular and mundane tasks also helps with depression and menopause. The whole idea is to do things that soothe and calm a person and harmonize the body, mind, and soul. These are some ways of coping with menopause and the associated symptoms, but if there is no sign of relief from mood swings and depression, one should seek professional help immediately.

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