As well as the many physical symptoms that come with menopause - including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness - many women are also stuck in an emotional battle with themselves. Battling irritability and mood swings can seem like tug of war with no winner in sight, but there are ways to win against menopausal depression. Read on to learn about why depression occurs during menopause and ways to cope with it.
Why Am I Emotional during Menopause?
Women typically reach menopause in their early 50's; however, menopausal symptoms can begin to occur anywhere up to 15 years beforehand. This stage is known as perimenopause. At the onset of perimenopause, the body's estrogen levels drop dramatically. This hormonal shift creates emotional instability, causing mood swings which can lead to depression. The following self-care methods can help you to ease the symptoms of depression by balancing your hormone levels.
Jogging, yoga or a walk in the park for as little as 30 minutes a day can work wonders to alleviate depression. Exercise releases endorphins, the “feel good” hormone. This can also bring a sense of accomplishment which supports your self-esteem, and this can boost overall well-being. Setting aside time to support and nourish the body is a way of self-nurturing that creates positive change. Even as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day has been found to be beneficial.
Life doesn't stop because menopause begins. Find a way to have your needs accommodated by asking those around you - your partner, children, and friends - to support you during this time. Look at joining a local or online support group, or even seek out a therapist to talk to about your worries. Talking to a compassionate person can be a cathartic release.
Stress can worsen depression during menopause. Children, problems at work, relationship strife, and many other stress triggers can aggravate depression. Look at what's triggering your stress. Are your expectations unrealistic, or are you taking on more than you can handle? Stress relieving techniques such as meditation, acupuncture, or yoga are also great ways to find clarity and come to know what is important to you.
Write it Down
Keep a journal and write down what your priorities are. Put aside tasks that are not completely necessary and create avenues where you can set and complete realistic goals.
Dealing with menopause and depression is not an easy battle to overcome, but there are resources available to help you. If depression symptoms persist, it is important to talk to your doctor about your feelings, and together try and find a treatment method that will work for you. Don't despair, there will be a solution! Click here to find more information about treatments for hormonal imbalance during menopause.