Women who are approaching the menopausal stage are at a higher risk for depression, and two current studies show strong evidence that hormonal changes may be at least partially to blame. Both studies followed women through menopausal transition called perimenopause. Women in the studies did not have history of depression but their risk of developing indicators of depression significantly increased during these years.
Depression is a disease that due to biological factors such as hormones in the brain, particularly serotonin, that regulate the mood. There are times that levels of serotonin may drop causing fluctuations in mood and severe episodes of depression. People who suffer from depression experience intense feelings of hopelessness, melancholy, and sadness for lingering periods of time, which is at least two weeks. This disease can lead to range of symptoms and can have terrible effects on a person’s life including isolation, physical ailments, and even suicide.
Menopause can set off feelings of sadness and episodes of depression in some women. It is said that anywhere between eight percent and fifteen percent of menopausal women experience some for of depression. Menopause depression causes are still on debate and has had theories and assumptions of why so many menopausal women experience mood disorders.
One theory of menopause depression is that the stress of menopause symptoms leads to depression. Some women find it hard to manage on their own symptoms of menopause as they already have to deal with work, family, finances, and friends, let alone the big physical change, causing the onset of depression.
Another theory on menopause depression connects the illness with irregular levels of hormones in the body. All through the menopausal stage, levels of progesterone, estrogen, and androgen are continuously changing. These hormones are believed to be associated with the mood centers in the brain. As hormones drop, mainly estrogen, a woman experience periods of sadness and hopelessness. A number of women experience severe drop in mood which results to depression.
Women in the stage of menopause have an increased risk of developing menopause depression if they have a history of mood disorders. Those who have been depressed before, particularly during their twenty’s, are more probable to see the depression reoccur. Those who have gone through surgical menopause are also at a higher risk of menopause depression. Surgery cause a significant drop in estrogen levels in addition to increased anxiety and symptoms. Women smokers, or have young children, or under a lot of stress, are more prone to develop some form of depression during this time.
Seeking help immediately when experiencing menopause depression is very much advised, there will be a number of alternatives available to help reduce the symptoms and assist in letting women get enjoyment out of life again. Menopause depression diagnosed is the first step to begin living a happy life after menopause.