Breaking The Stigmas For Better Depression Care
There is a lot of stigma around menopause generally, and we wanted to bring attention to this as another contributor to womens higher prevalence of depression disorders, says co-lead author Pauline M. Maki, PhD, of the department of psychiatry and the department of psychology at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
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Age Of Depression And Menopause
Studies looking at the age of menopause and depression have found that a later age at menopause and a longer reproductive period are associated with a reduced risk of depression, and it seems that longer exposure to estrogen produced by the body is the reason. Those who go through early menopause appear to be at an increased risk of depression and should talk to their doctors about this possibility.
Coping With Menopause And Menopause Symptoms
How you cope with menopause can depend on a few things:
- did menopause arrive as expected for you or early, as a result of surgery, or chemotherapy, or prematurely for no reason?
- your age and your stage of life. Have you had all the children you want?
- your general state of mental health as you go through menopause and in the past
- whether you are content where you currently are in your life. Have you achieved the things you want to achieve?
- how you see your body in menopause and what you feel about the changes
- do you exercise, sleep well, eat well, keep on top of the stress by practising relaxation techniques?
Hormonal changes during menopause or lifestyle influences it is difficult to know which is influencing how you go through menopause.
If you have been feeling anxious and suffering mood swings or panic attacks there are many things or relaxation techiques you can do for yourself to improve how you feel.
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Talking With A Therapist
Even though it is essential, women often battle to talk to a therapist about all the negative biological changes they find happening in their lives during menopause.
Talking with a therapist can help women see not only their losses associated with menopause but also the opportunities that are waiting.
A therapist helps you deal with your depression to enjoy exploring and discovering the next phase of your life. A therapist will show you that there is life after menopause.
Menopause And Depression: How Are They Connected
Although most women transition to menopause without experiencing psychiatric disorders, an estimated 20% suffer from mood swings and depression at some point during menopause.
There is a well-established connection between changes of various hormonal systems and psychiatric health issues, both in psychiatric and endocrine patients. The transition into perimenopause and menopause may be a tempestuous experience for some women. Modifications in hormone levels may impact neurotransmitters in the brain.
The reduction in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, like vaginal dryness, irregular periods, hot flashes and disturbed sleep. These causes menopausal and perimenopausal depression symptoms like low mood, anxiety, irritability, fears, and mood swings. Menopause mood swings can wreak havoc on your psyche. The irritability caused due to menopause depression may also result in difficulty in concentrating and memory lapses.
Women who had severe premenstrual syndrome in their younger years may experience severe, sharp and inexplicable changes in mood during perimenopause. Also, females with a history of clinical anxiety and depression seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurring clinical depression during menopausal months or even years before actual menopause.
Women transitioning to menopause are found to suffer more depression with the following states:
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What Is The Connection Between Perimenopause And Depression
Most people think that the estrogen levels are what make a difference in moods, but studies have shown that its really the change in daily hormones that is related to mood disruption in women. In other words, its not the fact that womens estrogen levels are low that makes a difference, but that estrogen levels are fluctuating. Many people misunderstand how the hormones change around the perimenopause. People believe that it is a gradual tapering off of estradiol, but women experience tremendous and dramatic fluctuation of estrogen. Estrogen levels can be even higher than what women experience during regular menstrual cycles, explains Maki.
Mood Swings And Depression
Studies indicate that mood swings are more common during perimenopause, when hormonal fluctuations are most erratic, than during the postmenopausal years, when ovarian hormones stabilize at a low level. No direct link between mood and diminished estrogen has been proved, but it is possible that mood changes result when hormonal shifts disrupt the established patterns of a woman’s life. These changes can be stressful and may bring on “the blues.” Mood swings can mean laughing one minute and crying the next, and feeling anxious or depressed. These changes are transient, however, and do not usually meet the criteria for a diagnosis of clinical depression, a more profound dysfunctional emotional state.
Over their lifespan, women have more depression than men. But there is no evidence that decreased estrogen alone causes clinical depression. Although women who have had previous episodes of depression may be vulnerable to a recurrence during perimenopause, menopause in and of itself does not cause clinical depression. The incidence of depression in postmenopausal women is not any higher than at any other time in life.
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Was Hat Sie Dazu Gebracht Das Buch Zu Schreiben Wie Wurde Ihnen Klar Dass Es Da Einen Echten Bedarf Gibt Aber Noch Keine Richtige Hilfestellung
Susanne Esche-Belke: In den letzten zehn Jahren habe ich in meiner Praxis Tausende Frauen behandelt, die erschÃ¶pft, verzweifelt und unsicher waren, weil seit Jahren niemand ihre Beschwerden gesehen, erkannt oder geschweige denn behandelt hat. Es ist uns wichtig, dass Frauen mehr Information darÃber zur VerfÃgung steht, was in ihren KÃ¶rpern passiert. Frauen brauchen Zuwendung, VerstÃndnis, Ansprache und handfeste Hilfestellung. Auch SolidaritÃt untereinander. Dazu wollen wir mit Midlife Care beitragen.
Suzann Kirschner-Brouns: Als Fachjournalistin insbesondere fÃr Frauenmagazine habe auch ich immer wieder erlebt, wie wenig Frauen Ãber sich wissen, sich zutrauen oder auch einfordern von ihren Ãrzten und ihrer Umgebung. Dabei kann Wissen so sehr dazu beitragen, die Phase der Hormonumstellung nicht nur gesÃnder, sondern auch glÃcklicher zu erleben.
Do Complementary And Alternative Approaches For Midlife Mood Issues Help
NAMS has studied those as well, says Maki: We are recognizing the importance of things like mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, exercise, and a good diet. For women whose depressive symptoms dont reach the threshold for clinical episode of depression its not keeping them at home yoga could help to improve mood a little bit. But really the only thing that has been shown to help significantly in the alternative area is exercise. Aerobic is good, and literature shows that its even better if you do it with people or outside.
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Start A Mindfulness Practice
Mood swings are made worse when negative thoughts start to spiral out of control. To center yourself in the moment, set aside a few minutes each day for mindfulness exercises, such as a daily meditation. Mindfulness helps us have awareness and control over whats going on with our thoughts, says Thurston. And our thoughts are a really big determinant of our mood. And remember, as difficult as this time may be, what youre going through is totally normal and it wont last forever. And thats something you can feel good about.
Signs Of Perimenopausal Depression
The signs and symptoms of perimenopausal depression overlap with the symptoms of depression unrelated to perimenopause, but there are some unique elements.
Regular depression is characterized predominantly by sadness accompanied by not eating, not sleeping, not enjoying things and difficulty concentrating, Dr. Rubinow says. Perimenopausal women experience a lot of anxiety and worry, and they often begin to disconnect from other people. They gradually dont enjoy things that theyre supposed to enjoy, and thats a terrible source of guilt for them.
Other symptoms include:
- Crying for no reason or tearfulness
Some women even complain of cognitive difficulties , although its a little bit difficult to separate that from the cognitive complaints that most people have when they reach midlife, Dr. Rubinow says.
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Drug Or Biological Treatments
Treatments for perimenopausal depression usually include antidepressants and gonadal hormones. Often, the order in which they are used depends on the clinicians particular expertise or medical specialty.
Hormone therapy alone may be appropriate for recent onset depression, without suicidality, in otherwise healthy women experiencing other perimenopausal symptoms. The hormone therapy chosen must be tailored for each patient. Recommendations by the International Menopause Society, updated in 2016,5 are a useful, comprehensive set of evidence-based practice guidelines.
Tibolone is a synthetic steroid with a mixed hormonal profile which has shown benefit in treating perimenopausal depression.6 Tibolone can cause minor intermenstrual bleeding, but does not cause increased breast density.6
Bioidentical hormones are compounds synthesised to resemble ovarian hormones. There are limited safety and dosing data on these compounds which are not recommended by the International Menopause Society.5
Combining hormone therapy and antidepressant therapy may be required for perimenopausal women with depressive symptoms that do not respond to either treatment alone. In such cases, the adverse effects of combined treatment need to be monitored carefully.
Show Love And Be Positive
Ensuring that your partner knows that they are loved is important for their overall well-being and can be vital in helping someone with depression. It’s important to recognize when your partner makes smalls steps of progress to get better. Try to talk to your partner in a way where you ask open-ended questions in a nonjudgmental way so that they can feel comfortable opening up to you.
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If Youve Been Diagnosed With Depression In The Past
Having a history of depression makes it more likely youll experience an episode as you approach menopause. Talk to your doctor if your previous symptoms return or if you have new ones, including:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness or irritability
- Low appetite or overeating
- Overwhelming fatigue and lack of motivation
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
- Difficulty making decisions and absorbing information
- Thoughts of suicide
Can Menopause Cause Depression
The time leading up to menopause is a physical and emotional roller coaster for some women. The so-called change of life comes with a host of symptoms triggered by hormonal shifts hot flashes, insomnia, mood fluctuations and even depression.
When women go through sudden hormonal changes like those that come with perimenopause, puberty, postpartum and even their monthly cycle, theyre at a higher risk for depression, says Jennifer Payne, M.D., psychiatrist and director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. In general, women are twice as likely as men to develop the condition.
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What Are The Signs Of Perimenopause
As mentioned earlier, every woman experiences perimenopause differently. While some women struggle with every single symptom, others may breeze through with very little discomfort. Many of the symptoms mimic those of other health conditions, so its important to consult with a licensed health care practitioner at the onset of perimenopause symptoms to rule out other reasons for concern.
Here are some signs you may be entering perimenopause:
- Irregular periods*
- Urine urgency and incontinence
*Its important to note that even though your body is producing less estrogen and your periods are irregular, you can still get pregnant, so be sure to continue using birth control to prevent an unwanted pregnancy during this time.
**Heavier than normal bleeding during your period can be a sign of another medical condition, so always discuss changes in your period with your doctor.
Mood And The Menopause
Mental illness is prevalent in all age groups and for women this manifests as affective and anxiety orders. The menopausal transition is a time of increased risk.
The presentation of mood disturbance in the menopause transition appears unique with less depressive symptoms, increased anger, irritability and fluctuation in severity of symptoms. Assessment of psychosocial stressors, menopausal symptoms and mood is necessary.
Most women with will benefit from education about the menopause transition and are likely to respond to treatment, if needed.
In the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing almost half of all respondents aged 18-65 had a mental health problem at some time in their lives. One in five Australians experience a mental illness in any year. The most common illnesses are related to anxiety, then affective and substance use disorders. Women have a higher prevalence of anxiety and depressive disorders .
The menopausal transition is a time of increased risk of mood disturbance. Even women with no previous history of depression, particularly those with history of vasomotor symptoms or adverse life events are at increased risk of depressive symptoms compared to premenopausal women . The risk of a major depressive episode is also higher in the peri-menopause compared to the pre-menopause in women with a history of Major Depressive Disorder .
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What Can I Do About My Changing Body Image
Even though itâs normal, you can feel baffled and upset to see your body change. Try these tactics to build a healthy outlook:
- Get the focus off your flaws and onto what you like about yourself. When critical thoughts come up, it can help to jot down a few self-compliments you can come back to later.
- Immerse yourself in positive pursuits that allow you to grow. Expand your social or spiritual life to replace inward, self-critical habits.
- An exercise routine can boost your body image as well as your health and outlook, even if you donât lose weight.
North American Menopause Society: “Menopause FAQs: Understanding the Symptoms,â âThe 2017 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society,â âGet Positive About Body Image.â
National Institutes of Health.
Diagnosis Of Perimenopausal Depression
The causes of midlife depression are complex its not easy to tease out what is biology and what is environment. According to the new guidelines, diagnosis of depressive disorders during midlife includes:
- Clinical assessment of depression and other mental health issues
- Review of previous psychiatric history
- Identification of menopause stage
- Overview of sleep hygiene
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Q: Does Having Panic Attacks Mean You Have Panic Disorder
A: Not necessarily. Those with panic disorder have frequent panic attacks. And, in between, they worry about when the next one will strike and try to adjust their behavior to head it off. But a single or a few isolated panic attacks dont mean you have a panic disorder.
Women who were prone to anxiety in the past or who had postpartum depression are sometimes more likely to have a panic disorder during menopause. But any woman can develop one.
Panic disorders can be hard to identify because somesymptoms, such as sweating and palpitations, mirror those that many womenexperience anyway during perimenopause and menopause. But, just because a panicdisorder is not easily diagnosed, that doesnt mean that it doesnt exist orthat you cant treat it.
Natural Remedies For Perimenopause Mood Swings
For some women, mood swings are the first indication they are entering perimenopause. As the ovaries begin producing less estrogen, women may find themselves becoming more easily annoyed by things that wouldnt have bothered them as much in the past. Feelings of anxiety, stress, tension, and worry also tend to be more pronounced during this time, and many women experience crying episodes during perimenopause.
Feelings of depression are another common and more serious side effect of perimenopause.
If you are experiencing one or many of these symptoms of perimenopause, its important to speak with your doctor to ensure you are getting the right treatment for your individual symptoms. Medication is available, and while you may prefer natural remedies for perimenopause, be sure to discuss the pros and cons with your doctor first.
Here are 9 natural remedies for perimenopause that are known to reduce the mood symptoms of perimenopause.
2) REGULAR EXERCISE. When youre physically active, your brain produces feel-good endorphins, which can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Regular exercise also helps reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, and helps you work through and put your problems into perspective. If youre looking for natural remedies for perimenopause mood swings, commit to 30 minutes of physical activity each day and see if you notice a difference. I think youll be pleasantly surprised!
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Don’t Spend The Day In Bed
At the same time, while it is important to allow yourself time to be sad, it is important that you do not let your depression take over your life. Make sure you get out of bed and leave the house every day to get some fresh air, even if it is to do something like go for a walk or go grocery shopping.
What Are Anxiety And Depression
Depression is a chronic feeling of sadness and hopelessness. These feelings can often occur for no apparent reason, and symptoms are similar to sadness caused by grief or illness . Depression can make daily life seem impossible, and even the simplest of tasks can seem exhausting. Menopausal depression induces:
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Trouble thinking or concentrating
Anxiety is of a similar ilk to depression, usually arising from the same sources, and is defined as a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. This feeling can arise from the depressive feelings, but anxiety itself could also be triggering low moods and depression. A few of the symptoms associated with anxiety are:
- Chronic feeling of unease or dread
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