CAN MENOPAUSE CAUSE DEPRESSION
Menopause is a milestone in the reproductive cycle of a woman. It is the time when the menstrual period stops, estrogen levels markedly reduce, and ovaries stop producing eggs. Menopause results in various symptoms that take a toll on mental well-being, such as mood swings, prolonged phases of sadness, and sleep disturbances. If you are above 40 years of age and think you might be nearing menopause, talk to your OB about it. Download a doctor’s app on your smartphone and get in touch with a doctor from home.
How do you know if you have reached menopause?
Medically, menopause is defined as missing a period for 12 consecutive months (in the absence of other obvious causes). If you fit this criterion, you are most likely menopausal. Once a woman has reached menopause, she is no longer able to get pregnant. Experts say the average age of menopause is 51. Studies show that most women transition into menopause most often between the ages of 45 and 55.
The transition period is called perimenopause. Some women experience it years before actual menopause kicks in. Your body begins to make the natural transition to menopause with hormonal fluctuations resulting in a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms. Most of these changes occur in your 40s, or right around the time of menopause. Do you feel like you’ve been angry, frustrated or depressed for no reason? Have you been crying more often? You might be in the perimenopausal phase.
Talk to an online health expert. Most women become confused with the onset of these symptoms. Book an online doctor’s appointment with a doctor’s app and get an online consultation without going to the hospital.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental health condition or a mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness. For a diagnosis of clinical depression, you need to be having such feelings for at least 2 consecutive weeks or more. Depression causes a loss of interest in daily activities and affects your feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
Symptoms of depression
Most common symptoms of depression include:
- mood swings
- lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- feelings of hopelessness
- Appetite or weight changes
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Lack of self-care
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
Clinical depression is also known as a major depressive disorder. If you experience these symptoms for most of your day, every day for at least 2 weeks or more, you might have clinical depression and you will need to consult your healthcare provider for it. Get a doctor’s app on your smartphone and use it to book an online doctor’s appointment. With a doctor’s app, you will instantly be able to connect with online doctors to treat your health concerns remotely.
How can you tell whether it’s menopause or clinical depression?
The most important factor that will help you discern whether your depression is related to menopause or not is your age. If you fall anywhere between 41-51, your chances of perimenopause increase. Many women that go through this transition experience extreme shifts in hormonal levels resulting in the feeling of depression.
It’s tough to tell the difference between a new onset of depressive symptoms or exaggerated symptoms from an existing diagnosis. Talk to a healthcare professional to help you with a proper diagnosis and management.
A quick way to get professional help is through a doctor’s app. Download one on your smartphone. It is a particularly useful tool to have during the current pandemic in which people are advised to stay away from hospitals unless it’s an emergency. Book an online doctor’s appointment with the doctor’s app at your convenience.
Since many symptoms of common depression overlap with menopausal depression, it can be challenging to evaluate. Having said that, there are certain symptoms that set them apart.
- hot flashes
- sleep disturbances
- mood problems
In severe cases of depression, women might even have suicidal thoughts or execute self-harm.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, reach out for help right now. It’s never too late to get support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call your local emergency number or use a doctor’s app and instantly connect with an online healthcare professional.
Additional symptoms of menopause may include:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Problems with sleep due to low levels of progesterone and estrogen
- Hot flashes
- night sweats
- Problems with memory
- Difficulty in focusing
- crying spells
- Changing feelings about your sexual health
- Vaginal dryness
How do you treat it?
For perimenopausal and menopausal women diagnosed with depression, treatment guidelines for depression should be followed. These include treatment with antidepressants and/or psychotherapy. A particular form of psychotherapy that has proven to be successful in treating depressive symptoms is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
Some studies suggest that hormone replacement therapy may help to enhance the mood in menopausal women, but it is not considered a form of treatment for depression. Some experts suggest estrogen to help reduce hot flashes and night sweats as well as other mild to moderate symptoms related to menopausal depression.
Use a doctor’s app to consult with an online doctor about treatment options. Do not self-medicate as there are risks associated with hormone replacement therapy. Your online healthcare provider can help you cope with menopausal depression and advise lifestyle changes to improve your quality of life.
How do you use a doctor’s app?
If you want to get quality healthcare from the safety of your home, download the Mylivedoctors app on your smartphone and book an online doctor’s appointment at your convenience. Talk to an expert for medical advice without leaving home. Using a doctor’s app for remote healthcare is a great option to address non-urgent medical problems.
Talking or confiding in a healthcare professional can help relieve some of the anxiety and depression in and of itself. It also allows your doctor to make a proper diagnosis and create a treatment plan that focuses on your needs.