How Is Hormonal Imbalance Linked to Depression?

By Jenny H. | Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Many women experience depression when they are menopausal. Changing estrogen and progesterone hormone levels in the body can leave women feeling a mix of emotions. Furthermore, other unpleasant menopause signs and symptoms can be difficult for women. Vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and mood swings (among others) can all combine to leave women feeling emotionally volatile, which can sometimes then lead to depression.

How Does Hormonal Imbalance Affect Depression?

Hormonal imbalance occurs during perimenopause, as estrogen and progesterone hormone levels begin to shift due to the ovaries no longer producing the same quantity of hormones in preparation for pregnancy.

Progesterone and estrogen hormones control the amount and secretion of serotonin and endorphins in the body. These both promote well-being and happy moods. With hormonal imbalance these are disturbed, and depression can occur.

How Do I Know if I Am Suffering from Depression?

Although feeling sad can occur to anyone for different reasons, depression caused by hormonal imbalance is much more severe, and there are other symptoms that menopausal women and their friends and family should look out for, such as:

Low energy levels, feelings of guilt, and anxiety are common symptoms of depression
  • Difficulty concentrating and memory loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feelings of guilt and anxiety
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Loss of libido
  • Unusual sleeping patterns, often sleeping too much or too little 
  • Intense fatigue and low energy levels
  • In very extreme cases, possible thoughts of suicide

Consequently, women should be aware of the symptoms of depression due to hormonal imbalance so that they are able to watch out for them.

What Can Be Done to Fight Depression Caused by Hormonal Imbalance?

Exercising and keeping a healthy diet are good ways to fight depression

There are a number of things that women can do to medicate their depression. However, they should begin by making healthy lifestyle changes. For example, exercising is extremely important for women who are fighting depression. Exercise releases endorphins into the body, which produce emotions of happiness and contentment. Exercise not only has many health benefits, it also reduces stress and boosts self-esteem.

It is also important that women have a healthy diet that is filled with fruits and vegetables, fiber, protein, and dairy. Furthermore, there are also natural supplements available, which can help women balance their hormones and therefore manage depression.

However, if a menopausal woman, or a close friend, is concerned about extreme depression they should consult a medical practitioner. Depression is a very serious disorder and medical advice should be sought. Nevertheless, natural measures are always better due to the lack of dangerous side effects, and these options should always be explored first. Click here for more information about depression, hormonal imbalance, and treating menopause.