Menopause & Depression

The first signs of menopause – irritability, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in hobbies – aren’t always so easy to spot. If you’re encountering these symptoms, you may find yourself wondering if this is just depression. The sad truth is that menopause and depression are linked and may coincide. Continue reading down below to learn more.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.”

The menopausal transition usually starts between ages 45 and 55. It can last around seven years but sometimes for up to 14 years. The length depends on lifestyle factors like smoking, age, race, and ethnicity. Menopause may affect a woman’s bladder function, changes in period, sleep cycles, and sexual health. It affects about three million women each year.

What Is Depression?

Depression (also known as major depressive disorder) is a widespread and serious medical ailment that negatively impacts your feelings, the way you think, and how you behave. Thankfully, the symptoms are treatable. Depression triggers sadness and even a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy doing. If ignored, it can result in a range of emotional and physical issues and affect your means of completing daily tasks at home and work.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression affects up to 40 million people in the U.S. alone and, globally, nearly 300 million.

Can Ketamine Help?

Ketamine, once used solely for anesthesia, is recognized as a medicine that offers therapeutic value for several conditions which have proven unresponsive to standard treatment options. It’s a dissociative medicine, characterized by distorted sensory perceptions and making someone feel disconnected or detached from the world around them and themselves.

For decades, ketamine has been used to control symptoms of mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain conditions. It was approved in 2019 as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression, and many also soothe the symptoms related to menopause.

Menopause & Depression

The intersection of menopause and depression is becoming more well-known with each passing year. According to the North American Menopause Society, “Women appear to be particularly vulnerable to depression during the perimenopause years and in the years immediately after menopause. Theories exist as to why women have double the rates of depression during this period. One theory is that there is a “window of vulnerability.” Some women are more sensitive to the hormone shifts during perimenopause which puts them at greater risk for depression. In addition, women at greatest risk are those with a history of depressed mood earlier in life.”

Menopause is a natural biological process affecting bone and heart health, body shape and composition, and physical function. Chronic depression isn’t something destined to happen over time, as is menopause.

Signs of depression in menopausal women

  • You may feel continual sadness, anxiety, or struggle with low moods
  • You may feel hopeless or cynical about others and the world around you
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, insignificance, or helplessness
  • You’re not interested in things you used to enjoy doing
  • Low energy, easily fatigued
  • Slowed bodily movement or speech
  • Restlessness and problems sitting still
  • Trouble focusing, remembering, or decision making 
  • You have sleep problems, like waking early or oversleeping
  • You notice hunger or weight changes
  • Thinking of death, suicide, or suicide attempts
  • You experience aches or discomforts, headaches, spasms, or gastrointestinal issues absent an apparent physical reason, and they don’t ease or subside even with treatment.

Final Thoughts

The Tri-Cities Infusion & Wellness Clinic’s team is passionate about helping all of our patients alleviate their pain and suffering. Our staff is fully committed to identifying and implementing innovative treatment options to provide hope and relief.

Contact us today to learn more about treatments for depression and other mental health conditions.

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