Navigating depression during menopause can be challenging, and it can be difficult to differentiate regular depression from depression caused by hormonal changes. As a woman, I know how important it is to stay attuned to your body and seek help when needed. Here are some factors to consider when trying to distinguish between regular and menopause depression:
Timing: Pay attention to when the depression occurs. If it arose around the time of menopause or perimenopause, and you had not experienced it before, it is likely menopause related depression.
Symptoms: Hormonal depression may present with unique additional symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Regular depression may be characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities but not the above mentioned symptoms as well.
Hormonal changes: Fluctuations in estrogen levels are often associated with hormonal depression. Women experiencing hormonal depression may notice that their symptoms worsen during certain times of their menstrual cycle.
Treatment response: If your depression is hormone-related, treating your hormones first before trying antidepressants may be a more effective long-term solution.
Remember that seeking help from a healthcare professional is essential to determine the underlying cause of depression and develop a personalized treatment plan. By working with a healthcare professional and staying in tune with your body’s signals, you can navigate menopausal hormonal changes with confidence and well-being. Don’t be afraid to speak up and seek the help you need.