Written by Kendal Choe
Can Perimenopause Cause Depression in Midlife?
Perimenopause marks the beginning of a woman’s midlife, and it can bring about many physical and emotional changes. The emotional impact of perimenopause, particularly depression, often goes unrecognized. However, when women go through significant hormonal changes during perimenopause, they’re at a higher risk for developing depression.
During perimenopause, the ovaries produce less estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal changes have a major impact on mood and emotional well-being because they influence serotonin, a brain chemical responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being.
As your body produces less hormones, serotonin levels also fall. Another way perimenopausal may cause depression is because the hormonal changes can negatively affect sleep quality. Sleep difficulties and insomnia can occur due to nighttime hot flashes, and poor sleep can make you up to 10 times more likely to become depressed. Studies show that because of these hormonal fluctuations, women in perimenopause are at a 2x to 4x increased risk of developing depressive symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Perimenopausal Depression in Midlife
It is crucial to recognize that perimenopause-related depression is not a sign of personal weakness but a valid medical condition that deserves attention and support. The following are common signs of perimenopause depression in midlife:
- Fatigue and lack of motivation
- Lack of interest in once-enjoyable activities
- Persistent feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or helplessness
- Mood swings and increased irritability
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty making decisions and absorbing information
- Thoughts of suicide
What Can I Do?
If you’re experiencing signs or symptoms of depression that are affecting your daily life or your relationships, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional for guidance. Many perimenopausal women find relief from depressive symptoms after receiving hormone replacement therapy or antidepressants. Cognitive behavioral therapy or lifestyle adjustments like exercising regularly and limiting alcohol consumption can also help reduce perimenopause symptoms.
Disclaimer: At It’sFetch.co we strive to provide valuable and reliable health information through our blog. We believe in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. However, it is important to understand that the content on our blog is not intended to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified medical professional.