All about each symptom of menopause
women going through menopause

Depression and Anxiety during Menopause

Most people experience some feelings of depression and anxiety occasionally, and this is normal. However, when either feeling becomes constant and overwhelming than it becomes a disorder that should be addressed. A woman can have anxiety or depression for a number of reasons. Both conditions can have widespread effects on many aspects of a woman's life and affect her personal relationships. However, understanding the condition can help someone who has depression or anxiety.

Why Do Some Women Have Depression or Anxiety during Menopause?

There are different reasons for depression and anxiety during menopause. There are different types of depression. Clinical depression can be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain and usually requires antidepressants to treat. Symptomatic depression is persistent feelings of sadness and disinterest. Depression can be caused by:

Depression and Anxiety during Menopause
  • Genetics. If a relative has had depression, you are more likely to have it.

  • Traumatic of stressful life events. This can include the death of a loved one, divorce, or losing a job.

  • A chronic or severe medical condition

  • Loneliness

  • Alcohol and drug abusive

Anxiety becomes a problem when it is chronic and overwhelming. This type of anxiety happens over every day events and often includes anxiety attacks. Anxiety can be caused by:

  • An underlying medical condition
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Traumatic of stressful life events

How Can Depression and Anxiety during Menopause Be Avoided?

It is not always possible to completely avoid anxiety and depression. However, eating healthy and exercising regularly can help. Finding an activity that helps you to relieve stress and anxiety can also help. Activities like this can include running or walking, yoga or pilates, swimming, practicing a sport, playing an instrument, gardening, or having an artistic pursuit such as painting or drawing.

Treating Depression or Anxiety during Menopause without Medication

It is important to reach out to people who care about you and who you can trust if you have anxiety or depression. Opening up to a partner, family member, close friend, or community leader may help you.

Addressing what may have caused your anxiety or depression in the first place will also be beneficial. Treating an underlying medical condition or giving yourself time to mourn a traumatic life event will help you to feel better over time.

Getting enough sleep and cutting back on alcohol and caffeine will also help you to get better.

What Medication Is Available?

Depression and Anxiety during Menopause

For women going through menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may help to ease the emotional effects of menopause. However, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication are also available by prescription. It is important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Seeing a therapist or psychiatrist on a regular basis can also help you to sort through what you are experiencing and how you can feel better. Click here to read more about treatments for depression.

Menstrual Cycle and Depression: The Link

This article looks closely at the evidence that links these two phenomena.

Middle-Aged Women and Depression

Depression is relatively common in middle-aged women. This article explains in more detail the link between middle -age and depression.

Menopausal Depression: Should I Be Worried?

Depression is a common symptom of menopause and should be treated professionally.

Sources:
  • National Health Service. (2014). Clinical Depression. Retrieved from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Anxiety. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/basics/definition/con-20026282
  • The North American Menopause Society. (2015). Depression and Menopause. Retrieved from http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause