Why Do Women Feel Depressed During Menopause?
Compared to men, twice as many women suffer from depression, with perimenopause the tipping point between your usual smiley, happy self, becoming a moody, sad individual. And typically, you know it is happening, but you can’t put a finger on the cause. You recognise the anxiety and stress in your life and start searching for remedies to ease the stressors.
It could be that you have teenagers (and most parents will avail you of horror stories coping with teenage attitude and disrespect). It might be the constant toil of caring for elderly parents. You may be regularly babysitting grandchildren. Empty nesting still means continual worry for the child released into the adult world. After decades of marriage, maybe that relationship is dissolving. Most women are working fulltime and that just adds to the mix of not enough hours in the day. Stir into the pot your plummeting oestrogen hormone levels and it makes sense that something must give.
Of course, you are crying more in sad movies. And that sarcastic word just sets you off again. And heaven forbid your boss or partner says a cross word to you.
An understanding of how your body works and just exactly what ‘normal’ is – is considerably important once you enter menopause. Most women remain oblivious to the change that is about to occur and thus you and your family are totally unprepared.
Generally, you tend to have no health issues through your 30’s and 40’s and then – whoa – you start asking “What is happening to me?”. Do your research. Educate yourself on how depleted hormone levels are going to affect your emotional and physical well-being. Get blood tests done to check both oestrogen and progesterone levels. Both are equally important.
Researchers have found that midlife depression mostly occurs in the two years before and after your last period. Coupled with sadness and loss of enjoyment, (and more than likely weight gain) you start to become a bit of a hermit and have feelings of just wanting to be left alone. This is of course very difficult for partners and family to comprehend.
Your ovaries have passed their use by date and with no eggs being pumped out, then your body generates less oestrogen, which means producing less serotonin and this affects your brain. Serotonin is a chemical that acts as a mood stabiliser. Are you despondent, irritable, grumpy, nervous, anxious, or over-sensitive? Do you feel that you have lost that vitality of life? Are your sleep patterns going haywire? These are some typical menopause depression symptoms.
During midlife depression, chemically your 50-year body is becoming imbalanced. It is challenging as your body adjusts. When hormone levels drop, so too does your serotonin and cortisol levels, affecting stress and mood coping mechanisms. Both are frequently associated with depression developing. Issues throughout your life were easily solved, but with the imbalance, issues seem to take on a much larger scenario.
Your GP may prescribe a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (an antidepressant) to treat the depression. Some women resort to that extra glass of wine. However, at Natures Help, we promote naturally increasing serotonin levels.
Our product MenoCalm contains St John’s Wort, Motherwort, lavender, and passionflower. All these ingredients have an affinity towards relieving anxiety and stress. The properties of each one is widely acclaimed.
Balancing your hormones is also an essential step to better health. Meno Femin contains Peony, which supports a healthy balance.
Other Lifestyle Remedies.
- Avoid caffeine
- Eat nutritional food
- Reduce alcohol and smoking
- Blood flow and relaxation is improved with orgasm.
- Increase intake of magnesium
- Walk in the sunshine to increase your vitamin D
Educate your family so they understand your hormonal journey and why your moods are all over the place. Then rejoice that after 400 plus periods, life is just opening to all types of possibilities.
Written by Mona Hecke
Mona Hecke is a degree qualified Naturopath, nutrition specialist and health and wellness writer.
With over 20 years in the health industry, beginning with a focus on children and families, and a bestselling book ‘The Lunchbox Revolution’, Mona is now empowering women through education and conversation to take action and embrace change. Gut health, mindfulness, nutrition, hormones, and menopause are the topics that women want and need to know to create their healthy future.
Mona holds certifications in Lifestyle Coaching, Kinesiology, holistic herbal medicine, and nutrition.
A recognised leader in the health industry, Mona’s strong social media presence and passion for influencing change will continue to be a catalyst for health reform for the benefit of every Australian.