The topic in this article is about depression and how it affects menopause. Depression is a real illness, just like heart disease or cancer, and it’s probably more common than you think, especially during the menopausal transition. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% amount adults older than 60 years old.
So what are the symptoms? These include, emptiness, hopelessness, decreased energy or fatigue, loss of interest in activities that you enjoy and a persistent sad or anxious mood that lasts for at least two weeks.
Feelings of depression does not mean you are weak, imperfect or at fault for how you feel. Experts say depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors, this may include a family history of depression, experiencing traumatic or stressful events, going through major life changes, such as menopause.
In addition to changes in hormone levels and the rapid drop in estrogen, discomfort from hot flashes, poor sleep, negative feelings of the idea of aging, upsetting life events, such as divorce, death of a spouse and unemployment, increase the odds for depression, while strong social support during the menopause transition helps to decrease depression.
Depression can interfere with your relationships and with normal daily activities like working, eating, and sleeping. It may also be hard to maintain lifestyle habits that support overall health, including eating well, getting regular exercise, not smoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol intake.
Other practical things that may also help you;
This can help you identify what is a menopausal symptom and what is more likely to be a symptom of depression.
Do this to have the emotional energy to do other things you need to do.
Fatigue can make you prone to anxiety and low mood.
Exercise is a mood buster and great for your health. Go for a 30 minute walk.
A yoga session, a walk with a friend, making time to speak with a friend, sitting in the park or a beach, a movie, a relaxing bubble bath, facial or manicure, or making time to do whatever you want to do.
Meditation stimulates areas of the nervous system related to positive emotions. It increases the secretion of serotonin and endorphins.
Depression is treatable. Consult your doctor or health practitioner to rule out the possibility that your feelings are the result of medications you are taking or a medical condition.