“Most women who present with depressive disorders
during the menopause transition are women with a history
of depression before the menopause transition, and…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Depression umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Clinical Depression
  • Depression
  • Feeling Depressed
  • Menopause Blues

Depression

What is depression?

DotS the definition of depression may vary. The World Health Organization’s definition is:

“Depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 3.8% of the population affected, including 5.0% among adults and 5.7% among adults older than 60 years. Approximately 280 million people in the word have depression. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when recurrent and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition. It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family”.2

In Depression: Overview the (United States) National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) definition is:

“Depression (also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks”.3

Sadness or Depression

Is sadness the same as depression?

In Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know the NIMH explain:

“Being sad is a normal reaction to difficult times in life. But usually, the sadness goes away with a little time. Depression is different—it is a mood disorder that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working”.4

Perimenopause

Is there an association between perimenopause and depression?

In Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 3. Certain Types of Depression Are Unique To Women: Perimenopausal Depression the NIMH note:

“Perimenopause (the transition into menopause) is a normal phase in a woman’s life that can sometimes be challenging. If you are going through perimenopause, you might be experiencing abnormal periods, problems sleeping, mood swings, and hot flashes. Although these symptoms are common, feeling depressed is not. If you are struggling with irritability, anxiety, sadness, or loss of enjoyment at the time of the menopause transition, you may be experiencing perimenopausal depression”.5

Common or Not

How common are symptoms of depression during perimenopause?

In Depression Common During Perimenopause But Not Regularly Assessed By Providers the NAMS explain:

“Almost 40% of women experience symptoms of depression during perimenopause, yet it often goes undetected and untreated because many healthcare providers aren’t screening for it and aren’t prepared with treatment options”.6

In New Study Confirms High Prevalence of Depression During the Menopause Transition the NAMS elaborate on:

“Depression has been shown to be prevalent during menopause, affecting as many as 70% of women transitioning into menopause”.7

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and depression?

In Menopause FAQs: Symptoms — Q. My family tells me that I’ve become moody, and I admit that I sometimes feel blue or short-tempered. Menopause? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

Menopause Depression“A. Most women make the transition into menopause without experiencing depression, but many women report symptoms of moodiness, depressed mood, anxiety, stress, and a decreased sense of well-being during perimenopause”.8

In Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) elaborate on:

“Research suggests that women are more likely to feel depressed during the menopause transition.

Women who have a history of depression or premenstrual syndrome (PMS) may be more likely to develop depression during this time”.9

Cause

What may cause depression during menopause?

The NAMS note:

“It has been suggested that mood symptoms may be related to erratic fluctuations in estrogen levels, but limited data exist on why this occurs”.10

On page one in Menopause and Depression: Depressive and Menopause Symptoms the NAMS elaborate on:

“It is important to note that not all midlife women experience mood problems, but some women are more vulnerable than others to developing either depressive symptoms or an episode of clinical depression during the menopause transition, especially those women who have had depression previously”.11

On page 777 in The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Depression, published July 2022, the NAMS also note:

“Depressive symptoms worsen as women transition through menopause, although evidence is mixed as to whether depressive disorders are more common during the menopause transition relative to premenopause. Most women who present with depressive disorders during the menopause transition are women with a history of depression before the menopause transition, and women with a history of depression are at high risk for recurrence during the menopause transition”.12

In Managing Your Symptoms: Managing Mood and Emotional Health – Anxiety and Depression the JH note:

“Hormonal changes around the time of menopause can lead to anxiety and depression, but other factors may also cause these feelings.

If you experienced anxiety before reaching menopause, some symptoms could make your anxiety worse. For example, hot flushes could lead to an anxiety attack.

Also, symptoms such as night sweats can affect your mood and make you feel exhausted, grumpy or depressed.

At this stage of life, you may experience depression for different reasons. For example, if you are having relationship problems or feeling more stress than normal.

You might also reflect on negative past experiences during this time, leading to feelings of depression”.13

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Is menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) beneficial in improving depression?

On page 778 in The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Depression – Key Points – “endorsed by more than 20 well-respected international organizations” – published July 2022, the NAMS note:

  • “There is some evidence that ET has antidepressant effects of similar magnitude to that observed with antidepressant agents when administered to depressed perimenopausal women with or without concomitant VMS (Level II)
  • Estrogen therapy is ineffective as a treatment for depressive disorders in postmenopausal women. Such evidence suggests a possible window of opportunity for the effective use of ET for the management of depressive disorders during the perimenopause (Level II)”.14

What is ET?

ET can be an abbreviation for Estrogen Therapy.

What is VMS?

VMS can be an abbreviation for Vasomotor Symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.

What is Level II?

On page 768 in The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Methods the NAMS explain:

“When recommendations are provided, they are graded according to these categories:

  • Level I: Based on good and consistent scientific evidence
  • Level II: Based on limited or inconsistent scientific evidence
  • Level III: Based primarily on consensus and expert opinion”.15

Depression Online Resources, Programs, Apps and e-therapies

Are depression online resources, programs, Apps and e-therapies available?

Depending on your Country, depression online resources, programs,  Apps and e-therapies may be available.

Your health care provider or local community health center may know of your Country’s recommended depression online resources, programs, Apps and e-therapies, similar to the (Australian) Department of Health’s Head To Health Search for Digital Mental Health Resources.

Treatment

What may treatment involve?

On page one and two in Menopause and Depression: Treatment the NAMS elaborate on:

“Treatment will vary depending on whether you are suffering from mood symptoms or experiencing clinical depression. If you are having a major depressive episode, therapies that have been proven to help depression, such as antidepressants, cognitive behavior therapy and other types of psychotherapy will be recommended.

  • Antidepressants…
  • Psychotherapy…
  • Estrogen Therapy…
  • Complementary medicine”.16

Health Care Provider

What if I feel depressed?

If you feel depressed, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider abut this, soon as possible.

In Get Immediate Help the (United States) MentalHealth.gov elaborate on:

“People often don’t get the mental health services they need because they don’t know where to start.

Talk to your primary care doctor or another health professional about mental health problems. Ask them to connect you with the right mental health services”.17

In Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 1. Depression Is A Real Medical Condition: Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better the NIMH explain:

“If you think you may have depression, start by making an appointment to see your health care provider. This could be your primary doctor or a health provider who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health conditions (for example, a psychologist or psychiatrist). Certain medications, and some medical conditions, such as viruses or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A health care provider can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Your health care provider will examine you and talk to you about treatment options and next steps”.18

On page one in Menopause and Depression: Recognizing Depressive Symptoms and Depression the NAMS explain:

“When you are transitioning into menopause, you should notify your healthcare practitioner whether you have suffered from depression in the past or whether you were particularly sensitive to hormone changes and have experienced premenstrual syndrome or postpartum depression. Be alert and notice whether these mood changes are mild and do not greatly affect your quality of life or whether they are severe and debilitating and interfere with your daily activities”.19

In Depression: How Health Professionals Can Help the JH remind us:

“Remember:

  • Depression is common
  • It is not a sign of weakness
  • It is nothing to be ashamed about
  • It can be treated”.20

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Menopause Depression?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Menopause Depression?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Depression. Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society Vol: 29, No. 7, pp 767-794. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/nams-2022-hormone-therapy-position-statement.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  2. Depression: Let’s Talk. 13 September 2021. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression Accessed: 10 November 2022
  3. Depression: Overview. Last Reviewed: September 2022. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145398 Accessed: 10 November 2022
  4. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know. Revised: 2020. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml Accessed: 10 November 2022
  5. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 3. Certain Types of Depression Are Unique To Women: Perimenopausal Depression. Revised 2020. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml#pub3 Accessed: 10 November 2022
  6. Depression Common During Perimenopause But Not Regularly Assessed by Providers. 21 January 2020. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/depression-screening-during-perimenopause-1-21-20.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  7. New Study Confirms High Prevalence of Depression During the Menopause Transition 01 July 2020. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/depression-and-fear-of-death-during-menopause-7-1-20.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  8. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms — Q. My family tells me that I’ve become moody, and I admit that I sometimes feel blue or short-tempered. Menopause? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 10 November 2022
  9. Symptoms of Menopause: Mood and Emotional Health. Last Updated: 12 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms#mood-and-emotional-health Accessed: 10 November 2022
  10. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms — Q. My family tells me that I’ve become moody, and I admit that I sometimes feel blue or short-tempered. Menopause? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 10 November 2022
  11. Menopause and Depression: Depressive and Menopause Symptoms. 2018:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/menonote-menopause-and-depression.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  12. The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Depression. Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society Vol: 29, No. 7, pp 767-794. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/nams-2022-hormone-therapy-position-statement.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  13. Managing Your Symptoms: Managing Mood and Emotional Health – Anxiety and Depression. Last Updated: 20 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/managing-your-symptoms#managing-mood-and-emotional-health Accessed: 10 November 2022
  14. The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Depression – Key Points. Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society Vol: 29, No. 7, pp 767-794. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/nams-2022-hormone-therapy-position-statement.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  15. The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society: Methods. Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society Vol: 29, No. 7, pp 767-794. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/professional/nams-2022-hormone-therapy-position-statement.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  16. Menopause and Depression: Treatment. 2018:1-2. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/menonote-menopause-and-depression.pdf Accessed: 27 July 2022
  17. Get Immediate Help. Last Updated: 06 September 2022. MentalHealth.gov https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help Accessed: 10 November 2022
  18. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 1. Depression Is A Real Medical Condition: Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better. Revised: 2020. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml#pub1 Accessed: 10 November 2022
  19. Menopause and Depression: Depressive and Menopause Symptoms. 2018:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/menonote-menopause-and-depression.pdf Accessed: 10 November 2022
  20. Depression: How Health Professionals Can Help – Remember. Last Updated: 07 December 2020 | Last Reviewed: 10 March 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/depression Accessed: 10 November 2022
Topic Last Updated: 12 November 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 10 November 2022

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