Roughly 10% of women in midlife experience menopause depression. While it's great that the majority of women avoid it, it can be difficult if you are one of the 10%.
You may have a sensitivity to changing hormones (affiliate link) causing you to experience menopause and depression.
Irritable or Depressed?
While many women say that midlife is the best time of their lives (forget high school!), they also notice that they are more easily annoyed than in the past.
While it is no fun to feel like you can't control your emotions, a higher irritability rate is natural and does not mean that you are experiencing depression.
Consider all of the challenges that you are facing in your life right now.
You may be raising teenagers, caring for your parents, balancing your mortgage(s), and paying for your children's college education all while planning for your not-too-distant retirement.
That is a lot to be stressed out over!
But, if your negative moods last longer than two weeks or are greatly affecting your life, you might be suffering from menopause depression.
Menopause, Depression, and Estrogen
There are three main types of estrogen, and one type, estradiol, acts as a mood lifter. It is like a hormonal anti-depressant, raising our serotonin activity in the central nervous system and making us feel good.
But, a low level of estrogen does not seem to be the only cause of depression for menopausal women. In fact, scientists are still not exactly sure why menopause depression occurs.
As a supplementary treatment, estrogen has been shown to help women feel better if they are on other depression therapies. But by itself, boosting your estrogen level is not a long-term cure for menopause depression.
There are a few lifestyle changes and supplements that can make you less susceptible to menopause depression, but be sure to see your doctor for a treatment plan that fits you.
Here are some lifestyle tips that can help to treat your menopause depression. Be sure to use these along with the treatment prescribed by your doctor.
Being deficient in certain vitamins and minerals can lead to depression. Be sure your body gets what it needs to help you feel good!
Low levels of vitamin C are associated with depression. Get your 1,000 mg per day and avoid vitamin C deficiency!
Along with fighting depression, omega-3s reduce the risk of heart disease and help to prevent osteoporosis. Take 1,000-2,000 mg per day.
Low levels of magnesium are associated with depression, and many people have found their depression eased within one week of taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium will also help your bones and teeth. Take 400-1,000 mg a day. If you take too much, you may have diarrhea, so find the right dose for your body.
This herb is used to treat mild depression, hot flashes, irregular periods, and tender breasts.
Some studies say that this herb is as effetive as Prozac in treating mild to moderate depression. Other studies say that it's about as effective as a placebo, but with few side effects, why not give it a try?
People also take this herb to ease anxiety. Take 300 mg three times a day.
This herb is also a good choice for treating anxiety, and you can take this with Saint John's wort. It contains substances that give you a calming effect and ease your nerves. Take 100-300 mg a day.
Take 40-80 mg of this herb a day to boost your mood as well as improve your memory.
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