Menopause: Depression, Mood Swings & How To Cope With It?
Menopause can act as a huge change for women as their menstrual cycle stops and the estrogen levels go down. A woman is now not able to bear a child or get pregnant and the fact might not act as a sweet truth for many. For some of them, menopause is a physically painful process at one end whereas concerns for body image, unattractiveness, low confidence, etc. becomes a roller coaster for mental health. It is indeed a time of change and mood swings during menopause tag along with many.
Menopause happens at an average age of 50, however this transition could occur in between 45 to 55. When she misses her period for consecutively 12 months, one can consider the arrival of the menopausal stage. Now the question arises, if menopause is a common biological phenomenon then why do some women face depression, anxiety and mood disorders?
Is There A Link Between Menopause And Depression?
The persistent feeling of sadness, loss of interest in any activity and overburdening of emotions may be experienced during menopause because of a major shift in hormonal cycle. A quick drop in estrogen levels may generate newest symptoms of depression like hot flashes or sudden fever, sleep disturbances and mood swings. Other symptoms that could be seen include:
- Constant feeling of crying
- Anxiety, nervousness and panic attacks
- Lack of interest, sadness and fatigues
- Weight changes and loss of appetite
- Difficulty in concentration and trouble in making decisions
- Feeling of unsatisfactory relationships with partner
- Night sweats
- Suicidal thoughts
If suicidal thoughts are making way in your life, call a local helpline number (1-800-273-8255) or 911(USA) or Suicide Prevention Helpline (India).
However, it is not proved that menopause causes depression but the above mentioned symptoms may want you to keep a check on yourself and look for the solutions to cope with depression and mood swings during depression.
How To Cope With Menopause Stress?
Now the question may arise ‘When do I know if I have to seek help during menopause’, then here is the answer. Apart from experiencing the physical pain and following doctor’s recommendations to keep the body healthy, you must consider meeting a therapist if any of the above signs or overwhelming emotions are keeping your mood disrupted for more than 2 weeks straight.
- A counsellor or general practitioner must be consulted for combination of treatments.
- Psychological therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy(IT) or Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) could be taken up as recommended.
- Hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy has helped many women to tackle depression during menopause. However, there are risks associated with the therapy and must be consulted with a therapist before any decision.
2. Lifestyle Adaptation
Even though you are going through menopause and it is a typical time to manage your mood, some major or minor lifestyle changes can help you to calm yourself down.
- Many users have experienced mood stabilization with regular practice of Yoga and meditation.
- A good diet that includes green leafy vegetables, fruits and protein content. Moreover, consuming Omega-3 fatty acids and food that help in battling depression.
- Consume vitamins, minerals and other medications as prescribed by the doctor.
- Indulge in light exercises for 30 minutes a day or go for a long walk.
- Do not hesitate to share your feelings with family members, children and friends. They are all there to listen to you.
- Get enough sleep and give yourself enough time to rest.
- Engage in a healthy hobby or try something creative which makes you feel better within. For example, gardening, cooking a yummy dish or painting an old dress with some creative designs.
Things To Avoid During Menopause
As we have focused earlier, healthy food is really important to keep your body and mind in a good state. So, you must choose to avoid things like:
- Processed food: Chips, cookies and cakes must be sidelined as they contain excess sugar and salt and may make you feel bloated. Instead look for its alternatives like whole grain crackers or peanut butter dip.
- Spicy food: Spicy food may taste better to your tongue but definitely not great for the body. Spicy food can trigger symptoms like hot flashes, sweating, etc. So, instead of hot taco sauce or extra red chillies, choose to add turmeric, basil or cumin in your food as they act as healthy spices.
- Alcohol: Listen to your body! Do not strain yourself with heavy consumption of alcohol as it increases the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, alcohol may again trigger hot flashes and bloating and you certainly do not want any of them during menopause.
- Caffeine: We know you want to start your day with a cup of coffee or hang out with friends to enjoy a mocha but consuming caffeine can activate body temperature. Rather, go for a ginger lemon tea, peppermint tea or some hot flavored milk.
- Saturated fats or fatty meat: Your hormone levels need to be controlled and eating bacon or brisket is definitely not recommended. If you are craving for meat, you can go for leaner meats like chicken or turkey.
We wish you to sail through the phase of menopause and anxiety or depression as soon as possible. Make sure that you don’t consume any drugs or alcohol and even don’t consume the medicine without consulting the doctor. And with that said, keep reading blogs on Calmsage and follow our Facebook page for an everyday healthy dose.
Keep smiling and stay strong Woman! You are doing good.
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