Feelings of sadness can be normal, appropriate and even necessary during life's setbacks or losses. Or you may feel blue or unhappy for short periods of time without reason or warning, which also is normal and ordinary. But if such feelings persist or impair your daily life, you may have a depressive disorder. Severity, duration and the presence of other symptoms are the factors that distinguish ordinary sadness from a depressive disorder.
Depression, or irritability, which is a significant change in mood for an extended period of time associated with loss of interest in usual activities, sleep and eating disorders, and withdrawal from family and friends.
Hip fracture is more common in depressed elderly people. That is why being elderly and depressed and lonely significantly increases the chances that you will break bones if you fall over.
Depression can be produced by a great variety of factors. However, when women approach menopause, the main cause can be easily found: hormonal imbalance. The fluctuation in estrogen levels produces changes not only in body functioning, but also in mental health.
Depression causes are usually divided into two: psychological and physical. However, it's generally accepted that physical causes are responsible for these depression.
Psychological causes for Depression
These are grouped in two, the ones related to disorders which are really uncommon, and the ones related to life stresses. The first ones are characterized because they are rare hereditary diseases provoked by chemical imbalance in the brain.
The second group is related to daily stress, overwork and fatigue, which can make you lose emotional stability. Either way, keep in mind that the physical causes for depression are much more likely to happen.
Physical causes for depression
The main cause for depression is hormonal imbalance. Estrogen hormones have a definite effect on your mental state since they regulate the levels of serotonin, which is the brain chemical that manipulates mood. If your serotonin happens to drop, so will your mood; and if it rises, your mood will too. Therefore, depression appears when your serotonin drops due to an estrogen level declination.
As imbalanced hormonal levels are the most common cause for depression, there are a variety of safe and effective treatments for it. Take a look at the following article which explains properly what steps to take for controlling depression.
Depression is just an indicator of the declination of estrogen hormones that menopause produces. These changes result in a hormonal imbalance in a woman's body and cause Depression. Therefore, the best and most effective way to treat Depression is to control its main cause by balancing hormonal levels.
Three approaches for the treatment of Depression
There are three levels of treatments of Depression:
- (1) Lifestyle Changes,
- (2) Alternative Medicine and
- (3) Drugs and Surgery.
You should always start with the least risky approach (lifestyle changes) and go on to riskier approaches (surgery/drugs) only if necessary.
The first level involves no risk but may be the hardest way to go. You'll have to change many habits of your daily life. So if you are considering this approach, you will need a strong mind and a positive thinking for managing these changes.
Nonetheless, techniques for stress reduction (e.g. yoga), a diet rich in estrogenic food (soy, alfalfa, cherries, rice, wheat and yams) or even becoming more fit by doing regular exercises, will have positive effects on the treatment of Depression.
It's not easy to follow up this approach, that's why you might want to consider the next level of treatment, because alternative medicine is an excellent treatment for Depression.
Alternative approaches involve little or no risk and can be considered as the safest way to treat Depression. In this level of approach, Herbal remedies are the most effective option.
There are basically two types of herbs to treat Depression during menopause: phytoestrogen and non-estrogenic herbs. Phytoestrogen herbs (e.g. Black Cohosh, Dong Quai) contain plant estrogens. Therefore, these herbs replace the missing estrogen; unfortunately, phytoestrogen herbs produce several side effects (like breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes) as a result from adding hormones from outside.
Unlike phytoestrogen herbs, non-estrogenic herbs don't contain any estrogen. Instead, non-estrogenic herbs nourish your hormonal glands for healthy production of your own natural hormones. This ultimately ends up in balancing overall hormones levels. Due to this, non-estrogenic herbs, like Macafem, can be considered as the safest way of natural treatment for Depression.
Nature & Health magazine. Dr. Chacon says:
A combination of approaches is a good route to take. Lifestyle changes combined with alternative medicine will probably take care of Depression during menopause in a more efficiently way.
Drugs and Surgery
Interventions at level 3 involve the highest risk and often the highest costs. The most common drug therapy for the treatment of Depression in the US is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). There's no doubt that this is the quickest and strongest way to combat hormonal imbalance; unfortunately, it entails serious side effects and increases the risk of different cancer types among women.
If you still consider following this approach, take a visit to your physician, and get informed about what this treatment option involves.
Remember that these three levels of approaches are not mutually exclusive. You can use different approaches at different times or combine several at the same time. Nowadays more and more women think that the best treatment for Depression during menopause is accomplished via a combination of healthy lifestyle and alternative treatments.