Women have an increased risk for depression as they transition to menopause. The time period before menopause is "perimenopause" and it represents the passage from reproductive to non-reproductive life. Research has indicated that depression is more likely to occur before menopause, known as "perimenopause" while women experience a fluctuation of hormones. Estrogen levels gradually declining may bring on depression.
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Signs and Symptoms of Depression
- Two or more weeks of depressed mood
- Decreased interest or pleasure in activities
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleep patterns
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Extreme restlessness and irritability
- Thoughts of suicide
Depression is treatable at any stage of life. For perimenopausal mood swings, some experts recommend a low-dose oral contraceptive (OC) to help stablize hormone levels1.
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- Mental Health, Depression, and Menopause- Healthline.com
- Depression in Women: 5 Things You Should Know- NIMH
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- Depression in Women: Understanding the gender gap - Mayo Clinic
- Depression in Women - Mental Health America
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1. Depression & Menopause. (2018). Menopause. The North American Menopause Society.