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Depression and the menopause

According to the Mental Health Foundation, depression in women is more likely compared to men. We often hear about fluctuating hormones leading to low mood, anxiety and even depression during the menopause but it is so important we don’t try and normalise depression as just another symptom. The transition itself can bring not only changes to your body but your mind too, specifically your mental health. It’s been suggested that women who have suffered from depression in the past are more likely to see problems arise during the menopause but it can be dependent on so many factors and shouldn’t be brushed aside.

Recognising the Symptoms of Depression

If you regularly feel sad, tearful, hopeless, or empty, you may be experiencing depression. Other symptoms of depression include:

  • irritability, frustration, or angry outbursts
  • anxiety, restlessness, or agitation
  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • lapses in memory
  • lack of energy
  • sleeping too little or too much
  • changes in your appetite
  • unexplained physical pain

As stated by Helen, a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at the NHS Devon’s Talking Health service, “women need to feel they can go and ask for help, that they can access mental health services either through their GPs or by self-referral, and they’ll be listened to, and know that there is treatment available which can help them manage their symptoms, and that they’re not losing their minds.”

Please do speak to your GP or healthcare expert and seek advice, there’s plenty of help out there so reach out and get the support you deserve.