Premenopausal and menopausal women are often at higher risk for depression. Studies show that menopausal symptoms such as sleep problems, hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue can affect mood and well-being. The drop in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause might also affect mood.
The depression could be caused by a combination of hormone changes and menopausal symptoms.
Because of increased risk, women in their midlife years should especially be aware of the signs of depression.
Symptoms include changes in sleep and/or appetite, feelings of sadness and emptiness, hopelessness and helplessness, loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, decrease in energy and motivation, difficulty focusing, increased isolation and in severe cases, thoughts of hurting yourself and/or suicide.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is extremely important to discuss the signs with your physician.
Because depression can be linked to menopause or hormonal factors, as well as family history, chemical imbalances, stress and other medical illnesses, it is important to be properly evaluated and treated by a medical professional. Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of women’s health and behavioral health providers and services dedicated to treating women in the community suffering with depression, especially during their midlife years.
For more information on behavioral health services offered at Cone Health, visit http://www.conehealth.com/bhc or call (336) 832-9700.
Barbara “B” Akins is a registered nurse and staff educator at Cone Health Behavioral Health Hospital.
Barbara received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from North Carolina A & T University in 1975. She is also certified in the Congregational Nurse Program, through The Duke Endowment and the Moses Cone-Wesley Long Community Health Foundation.