“Whether menopause causes depression continues to be debated, but there are many things you can do to help with both depression and anxiety if you experience…”.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

Terminology

Can depression mean different things to different people?

I think the term depression can be like the terms diet, love and menopause and mean different things, to different people, at different times, in different places.

When I use the term depression what I mean may be different to what someone else means or what is meant in medicaltalk by the term clinical depression.

It can therefore be important when the term depression is used, to be clear about what is meant, so we may work out whether we are on the same page meaning the same thing or not.

Definition

What is depression?

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

“Depression is a common illness worldwide, with more than 264 million people affected. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when long-lasting 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 (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 medical condition that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities like 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. But it is a myth that it is “normal” to feel depressed. 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

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”.7

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”.8

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”.9

In Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause the JH elaborate on:

“Depression and depressed mood around the time of expected menopause (51-52 years in Australia) is more likely to occur because of factors other than menopause, including:

  • Prior episodes of depression
  • Significant stress in your life
  • A negative attitude to things happening in your life
  • Dissatisfaction with your relationships
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor body image
  • Poor lifestyle such as little exercise or a high intake of alcohol”.10

Traumatic Events

May traumatic events come to the surface at this time?

The JH also note:

“Emotional health around the menopause is also more likely to be influenced by previous experiences of prior traumatic events; for example, past abuse. Women often seek counselling at menopause and might want to work through traumas they have previously experienced. This time of life seems to allow things to come to the surface”.11

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

May menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) be beneficial in improving depression?

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016, is:

  • “MHT may be beneficial in improving mood in early postmenopausal women with depressive and/or anxiety symptoms. MHT may also be beneficial for perimenopausal women with major depression but antidepressant therapy remains first-line treatment in this setting”.12

Online Treatment Programs

Are online depression treatment programs available?

DotC (Depending on the Country) online depression treatment programs may be available. Your health care provider or local community health center may know of your country’s recommended online depression treatment programs.

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”.13

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”.14

In Depression & Menopause: If Depression Is Severe the NAMS also note:

“Many primary care providers are not specifically trained in the management of mental health disorders, including clinical depression. Consultation with a mental health professional may be appropriate, and an expert opinion can be reassuring”.15

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 doctor or 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 doctor can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests. Your doctor or health care provider will examine you and talk to you about treatment options and next steps”.16

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”.17

In Who Can Assist: What Works? the (Australian) Beyondblue note:

“Everyone’s different. Treatment needs to be tailored to your condition, circumstances, needs and preferences. Most people with anxiety or depression benefit from one or a combination of the following:

  • Lifestyle changes and social support
  • Psychological or ‘talking’ therapies
  • Medical therapies”.18

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

Menopause Depression“Remember:

  • Depression is common
  • It is not a sign of weakness
  • It is nothing to be ashamed about
  • It can be treated”.19

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 above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Mental Health & Emotions. Last Updated 13 December 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/mental-health-emotions/ Accessed: 03 January 2020
  2. Depression: Let’s Talk. 04 December 2019. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression Accessed: 03 January 2020
  3. Depression: Overview. Last Revised: February 2018. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145398 Accessed: 03 January 2020
  4. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml Accessed: 03 January 2020
  5. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 3. Certain Types of Depression Are Unique To Women: Perimenopausal Depression. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml#pub3 Accessed: 03 January 2020
  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: 27 January 2020
  7. 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: 03 January 2020
  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: 03 January 2020
  9. 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: 03 January 2020
  10. Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause. Last Updated 13 December 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017 Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/mental-health-emotions/ Accessed: 03 January 2020
  11. Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause. Last Updated 13 December 2019 — Last Reviewed 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/mental-health-emotions/ Accessed: 03 January 2020
  12. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/ba6379e868044bec13015ac2b84f2753.pdf Accessed: 03 January 2020
  13. 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: 03 January 2020
  14. Get Immediate Help. Last Updated: 31 August 2017. MentalHealth.gov https://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/immediate-help Accessed: 03 January 2020
  15. Depression & Menopause: If Depression Is Severe. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/mental-health-at-menopause/depression-menopause Accessed: 03 January 2020
  16. Depression In Women: 5 Things You Should Know – 1. Depression Is A Real Medical Condition: Most People With Depression Need Treatment To Feel Better. National Institute of Mental Health https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-women/index.shtml#pub1 Accessed: 03 January 2020
  17. 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: 03 January 2020
  18. Who Can Assist: What Works? Beyondblue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/who-can-assist Accessed: 03 January 2020
  19. Depression: How Health Professionals Can Help – Remember. Last Updated 18 April 2016 — Last Reviewed 10 March 2014. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/mental-emotional-health/depression Accessed: 03 January 2020
Topic Last Updated: 27 January 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 03 January 2020
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