Menopause and Depression: Causes and Facts

Menopause and Depression: Causes and Facts |

Some women find the transition to menopause very challenging. Fast hormone changes may affect the brain’s neurotransmitters. The decrease in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can result in hot flashes, that make it really difficult to sleep. 

But can menopause cause depression? In short, yes. Hot flashes can easily lead to anxiety, mood swings, and depression. 

Menopause Depression Symptoms

People who experience depression during menopause usually have the following symptoms:

  • Sadness;
  • Loss of energy;
  • Lack of concentration;
  • Suicidality;
  • Irritability;
  • Insomnia;
  • Decreased pleasure in regular activities;
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Anxiety;
  • Headache;
  • Inability to make decisions.

Depression Menopause Causes

I’ve already mentioned that hormone changes can really affect your mental and physical health. However, that is just one of many things that has an impact on your mood. All of the listed below factors can also make depression in menopause a lot more likely:

  • Negative thoughts of menopause;
  • Low self-esteem;
  • Lack of physical activity;
  • Lack of support;
  • Job dissatisfaction;
  • Smoking;
  • Pre-menopause diagnosis of depression.

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help You With Depression And Menopause

Menopause depression is handled in much the same way as depression that occurs at any other time. Your healthcare provider may recommend changes in your lifestyle, drugs, therapy or all of that at the same time.

It is also necessary to rule out all physical reasons for your symptoms, such as thyroid problems, before attributing your depression to menopause.

Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor may propose a change to your lifestyle to see whether it has a positive effect on your mood.

Get the Needed Rest

The majority of women have sleep problems during menopause. Thus, your doctor may advise you to sleep more at night. Try going to bed at the same time every day and waking up at the same time as well. You should try making your room quiet and cool during your sleep to get the best rest possible.

Give Up Smoking

Studies have shown that women who smoke during menopause are more likely to develop depression in contrast to non-smokers. You could always ask for assistance if you need help quitting smoking.

Get Enough Physical Activity

Regular workouts can help alleviate stress and improve your mood and energy. Try practicing for a total of 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.

Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Yoga, meditation, different types of massage- all of that can help you relieve stress. In addition, your sleep will improve significantly.

Effective Antidepressant Medication

If lifestyle changes don’t help you at all, your healthcare provider will most likely recommend you talk therapy or antidepressants. Hormone replacement therapy may be an option as well, but even though it can boost your mood, it isn’t effective against depression.

Talk Therapy

Depression after menopause can prevent you from talking to your friends or family. If that’s the case, you should speak to a professional therapist who can help you deal with your problems.

Antidepressant Medication

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as best antidepressant for menopause depression. That’s because every case is different, so your doctor is the only one who can choose the right medication.


Sheri Goddard

Expert on menopause. Woman Consultant at Menopause Coach.
I will help you look at menopause in a "new light", and empower you to make healthy, alternative choices rather than thinking you MUST use unsafe traditional methods as you make your transition to menopause and beyond.

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