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You're Not Crazy, You're Perimenopausal: Addressing Depression During Hormone Shifts

Apr 09, 2024
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You're Not Crazy, You're Perimenopausal: Addressing Depression During Hormone Shifts

Perimenopause, the years leading up to menopause, can be a time of significant change for women. 

Fluctuating hormones can cause a variety of physical symptoms, and for some women, it can also lead to emotional challenges like depression. 

If you're experiencing low mood, feelings of hopelessness, or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, it's important to know you're not alone.

Perimenopausal depression is a real condition, and there are steps you can take to feel better.

What causes perimenopausal depression?

The exact cause is unknown, but it's likely a combination of factors. 

During perimenopause, estrogen levels decline significantly.  Estrogen plays a role in regulating mood, so this decrease can contribute to feelings of depression. 

Additionally, other hormones like progesterone can also fluctuate, further impacting emotional well-being.

Symptoms of perimenopausal depression:

  • Feeling sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite or weight (either weight loss or gain)
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Feeling restless or slowed down
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you're experiencing these symptoms, it's important to seek professional help.

Treatment options:

  • Therapy: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be a helpful tool for managing perimenopausal depression. CBT helps you identify and challenge negative thought patterns that contribute to your mood.
  • Medication: Antidepressants can be effective in managing symptoms of depression. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of medication to determine if it's the right option for you.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep can all improve your mood and overall well-being.

Additional tips for coping with perimenopausal depression:

  • Talk to someone you trust: Talking about how you're feeling can be a big help. Talk to a friend, family member, therapist, or doctor.
  • Join a support group: Connecting with other women who are going through perimenopause can be very helpful. You can find support groups online or in your community.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help you manage stress and improve your mood.
  • Take care of yourself: Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly. These healthy habits can all improve your mood and overall well-being.

Remember, you don't have to go through this alone. There is help available, and you can feel better.

Here at Joy Mental Fitness, we have therapists experienced in treating perimenopausal depression. 

We offer a safe and supportive space for you to explore your challenges and develop coping mechanisms.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you navigate this stage of your life.

 

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