“Women can feel depressed and/or experience changes in their mood around perimenopause (the months/years before menopause) when their hormone levels fluctuate”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Mood Changes Umbrella include?

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

  • Menopause Mood Changes
  • Menopause Moodiness
  • Menopause Moods

Mood Changes

Is there an association between menopause and mood changes?

In 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? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) elaborate on:

Menopause Mood Changes“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. Women with a history of clinical depression or a history of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or postpartum depression seem to be particularly vulnerable to recurrent depression during perimenopause, as are women who report significant stress, sexual dysfunction, physical inactivity, or hot flashes”.2

Symptoms of Depression

Is there an association between symptoms of perimenopause and depression?

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”.3

Depression

Does menopause cause depression?

According to the Australasian Menopause Society:

“Depression is not more common at menopause than at other stages of life, but a past history of depression, particularly post-natal depression, and stress during the peri-menopause may make a woman more likely to succumb to mood problems”.4

In Symptoms of Menopause: Menopause & Moods the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) note:

“Women can feel depressed and/or experience changes in their mood around perimenopause (the months/years before menopause) when their hormone levels fluctuate. Menopause does not cause depression, but women who have had depression before menopause, or who have a history of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), may be more sensitive to the hormonal changes that menopause brings”.5

In Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause the JH also acknowledge:

“In turn, the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes and night sweats, can affect mood and make some women feel depressed. Many women kept awake at night because of night sweats find they are exhausted, can’t think clearly and feel more negative because they have had poor quality sleep”.6

Cause

What may cause menopause mood changes?

The NAMS explain:

“It has been suggested that mood symptoms may be related to erratic fluctuations in estrogen levels, but limited data exist on why this occurs”.7

In 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? the NAMS also note:

“A. …The idea of growing older may be difficult or depressing for some women. Sometimes menopause just comes at a bad time in a woman’s life. She may have other challenges to deal with at midlife, and menopause gives her one more problem on her list”.8

Common or Not

How common are menopause mood changes?

The NAMS explain:

“In studies, mood changes have been observed in up to 23% of peri- and postmenopausal women. Additionally, symptoms of anxiety—tension, nervousness, panic, and worry—are reported more frequently during perimenopause than before it, regardless of whether symptoms of depression are present or not”.9

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

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

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHT – 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”.10

Health Care Provider

What if my mood changes are making me moodier?

If your mood changes are making you moodier, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. In Going Mad In Perimenopause? Signs and Solutions: Seek Support the NAMS note:

“Don’t try to diagnose and treat yourself; you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about reaching out for help. By evaluating symptoms as well as personal and family history, the appropriate health professional can provide expert relief recommendations. Remember, medication for depression is most effective when used in combination with counseling or psychotherapy.

Adopting appropriate strategies can help you achieve a happier, healthier future”.11

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Sources

  1. Symptoms of Menopause: Menopause & Mood. Last Updated: 24 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 21 July 2022
  2. 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: 21 July 2022
  3. 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: 21 July 2022
  4. What Is Menopause? Psychological Symptoms of Menopause. Content Created May 2022. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/185-what-is-menopause Accessed: 21 July 2022
  5. Symptoms of Menopause: Menopause & Mood. Last Updated: 24 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/menopause-symptoms/ Accessed: 21 July 2022
  6. Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause. Last Updated: 28 June 2021 | Last Revised: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/mental-health-emotions/ Accessed: 21 July 2022
  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: 21 July 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: 21 July 2022
  9. Depression, Mood Swings, Anxiety: Menopause and Mood Disorders. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/depression-mood-swings-anxiety Accessed: 21 July 2022
  10. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/global-consensus-hrt-2016-06.pdf Accessed: 21 July 2022
  11. Going Mad In Perimenopause? Signs and Solutions: Seek Support. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/going-mad-in-perimenopause-signs-and-solutions Accessed: 21 July 2022

Topic Last Updated: 21 July 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 21 July 2022
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