Menopause and depression
Depression is a low mood, feeling sad and/or numb that lasts for weeks or months and affects your daily life. This is different to feeling down, which usually lasts a few days. Having depression also means you might lack interest or pleasure from activities that you would usually find rewarding or enjoyable.
During menopause, our minds and bodies go through a lot and it’s no wonder that this can impact your mood. This might sound concerning but there is help out there and you do not need to struggle alone.
Depression affects people in different ways and can result in a variety of cognitive, emotional, and physical symptoms. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They can also co-occur with other issues such as anxiety.
You may have depression if you:
- Are feeling sad or depressed for weeks or months at a time
- Lost pleasure or interest in activities that you once enjoyed or felt rewarding
- Changes in appetite – weight loss or weight gain unrelated to dieting
- Issues with sleep – trouble having a good night’s rest or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy and/or increased fatigue during the day
- Increased fidgety activities (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, hand-wringing) or slowed speech/movements (usually observable by others)
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating, thinking clearly or making decisions
- Thoughts about death or suicide
Start your free online menopause assessment to see if HRT is right for you
CAN MENOPAUSE CAUSE DEPRESSION?
- Some might be more prone to depression or depressive episodes during menopause if they’ve experienced it at other points in their lifetime
- It’s during the perimenopausal phase that you are most at risk to develop depressive symptoms, even if you’ve never had depression before
- Stressful life events that are more common at this stage of life, such as divorce, job loss, or parental death may also trigger depression or depressive episodes
- Several other factors have been linked to perimenopausal depression, including a family history of depression, prior history of sexual abuse or violence, negative feelings towards ageing and menopause, and severe menopausal symptoms
Read more about the stages of menopause.
SIGNS OF DEPRESSION
Disrupts your sleep and appetite
Feeling tired all the time
Sleeping more or less, and waking up early
Difficulty concentrating, and possibly feeling anxious too
Causes of depression can be hugely complex and are usually a result of interactions between social, psychological, and biological factors
DEPRESSION AND MENOPAUSE
Walking at sunrise resets my melatonin, boosts serotonin and you never feel worse after a walk!”