Causes of Depression
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Understanding the causes of menopause can be difficult because several different factors, including physical, psychological, and emotional factors, can affect a person's mood and bring on depression. But chances are, for women approaching menopause, the prominent cause is related to the fluctuation of hormones, especially estrogen, that pre-empt menopause.
There are other causes of depression in addition to hormonal causes, which will be discussed below. Continue reading to learn about the hormonal causes of depression during menopause.
Hormonal Causes of Depression
As women approach menopause, their hormonal levels begin to taper off. This decrease in hormones, especially estrogen production, has myriad effects on a woman's body and mind, and is often the underlying cause of depression experienced during this period of time.
Although more than just estrogen levels are limited just prior to menopause, estrogen is at the root of depression for women preparing to go through menopause.
There are multiple reasons why decreased levels of estrogen in a woman's body can cause depression, but each reason has to do either with how estrogen affects the brain or how low levels of estrogen prompt other symptoms that can then lead to depression.
Continue reading to learn more about how estrogen causes depression during menopause.
Estrogen and serotonin
Estrogen hormones have a significant effect on the brain chemical known as "serotonin", which causes feelings of happiness and helps maintain a stable mood. Estrogen helps to stimulate the production and transmission of serotonin, and prevents it from being broken down. When not enough estrogen is present during menopause, serotonin levels will drop, which can cause depression.
Estrogen and cortisol
Low levels of estrogen are also thought to cause depression during menopause because of its affect on cortisol, the "stress" hormone. Normally, estrogen helps to keep cortisol levels low, but when estrogen levels drop during menopause, women have higher levels of cortisol than ever before. Studies have found that high levels of cortisol can be a cause of depression.
Estrogen and other menopausal symptoms
A drop in estrogen during menopause causes many other symptoms besides depression, such as hot flashes, anxiety, and insomnia. These symptoms can also lead to depression because of the physical and emotional stress they can inflict on a woman going through menopause.
Other Causes of Depression
In addition to hormonal causes of depression, which are the most prominent causes during menopause, other factors can either cause or exacerbate depression. They can be separated into five categories: Biochemical, genetic, personality, environmental factors, and disease.
Norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine are three neurotransmitters involved in mood. Neurotransmitters are essentially chemical messengers that transmit electrical signals between brain cells. Scientists believe that if there is a chemical imbalance in these neurotransmitters, then clinical states of depression result.
Depression susceptibility can be passed down from parent to child through genetic make-up. A parent who has experienced depression can pass the trait onto the child.
Some personality types are more prone to depression than others. Those who have a natural inclination toward a pessimistic world view are more likely to get depressed.
Factors existing in a person's life that could be related to, for instance, work stress, children leaving home, or divorce can cause depression.
Depression can also be related to having a disease because of the stress and emotion turmoil associated with having a disease, such as cancer or diabetes.
Understanding the causes of depression is extremely important to gain a clear picture of what's happening at the core of the issue, which will enable comprehension on how to treat it. Click on the following link to learn about the treatments for depression.
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