Twice as many women are affected by depression than men with an increased risk of depression in women who have reached midlife. Menopause also seems to be a period where women are more susceptible to becoming depressed. Studies have revealed that menopause and depression occurs with more frequency during the transition to menopause. Notable is during this period there is a gradual decline in estrogen levels, where studies have shown changes in estrogen levels can be attributed to depression.
Symptoms of menopause and depression include two or more weeks where there is a loss of interest in pleasurable activities, sleep changes, Loss of energy and fatigue, trouble concentrating, changes in eating, mood changes, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, restlessness and irritability. Many women think these symptoms are part of the getting older, these symptoms should not be mistaken as normal for getting older.
Untreated depression is dangerous and can lead to much more severe depression and possible physical problems. Some examples, depression has been linked to increase risk of heart attacks and studies have shown depression to cause a loss of bone density increasing the risk of women to suffer broken bones.
Fortunately depression is very treatable. Depression affects the thinking patterns in individuals and can cause an individual to believe that their condition is incurable causing a sense of hopelessness. Through getting treatment this type of thinking pattern will improve. There are various different types of treatment available for depression.
Medication for treatment for women with menopause and depression can be very effective, with newer antidepressants now available they are much more tolerable than the older antidepressants.
For women with menopause and depression studies have shown that Hormone Replacement Therapy where estrogen is used may help in early stages of menopause. However, estrogen used as an antidepressant has not been proven.
Therapy has proven to be very successful in treating women with menopause and depression. Therapy in conjunction with medications can prove to be very effective in the treatment as well. Medications can relieve the symptoms of depression and give the individual time to receive therapy to help change their thought patterns.
Other types of treatment can involve the use of herbs and dietary supplements. Women should make sure to make their physician aware of what they are using. This type of treatment is not controlled and there has been no known studies that have proven this type of treatment has any affect on menopause and depression.