Menopause and Depression is an area that has not had a lot of research. However, research suggests that during the time a woman is making the transition into menopause, she is at risk of depression, particularly if that transition is tumultuous. Women with no family history or personal experience of depression suddenly feel helplessly down and out. They’ve been healthy, medically stable and free of major stresses. Then BAM.. Menopause hits. YOu are having mood swings, mainly due to lack of sleep as hot flushes keep waking you wake you up.
Menopause and Depression
Menopause is not a major risk for depression, however, the hormone changes that occur at this point in a womans life can influence the neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin, dopamine that regulate brain function. These neurotransmitters send messages to various parts of the brain responsible for functions such as sleep, appetite, mood , sexual interest and sense of well-being.
Oestrogen may stimulate the brain and boost serotonin, while progesterone may reduce serotonin.
Rapid swings in hormone levels can throw some women out of synch. Considering this, its not far fetched to say that Menopause can be the breaking point that throws a womens mood into a tailspin, particularly if the above mentioned brain transmitters are already running on empty. Some people have mentioned this to be like a reverse puberty.
The fact is, that one in three women will be diagnosed with depression at some point in their life. This frequently coincides with menopause , particularly if the menopause transition is especially long or difficult.
The key is to understand that there are various types of depression, to recognise the signs and symptoms, and most important, to remember that depression is a treatable disease, not a sign of weakness or something you should be ashamed about. You can do something about it and feel better