Depression and Anxiety

Depression

woman-anxiousMany theories have debated the link between hormones and depression. When all of the research is summarised it appears that oestrogen and testosterone are likely to account for a small percentage of the depressed mood women experience around the time they become menopausal.

Women who have had a hysterectomy are more likely to experience depression than women who have had a natural menopause. It may also be that physiological changes such as hot flushes and night sweats have a secondary or roll on effect on the feelings and thoughts of women at this time.

It is important to remember that depression at this time of life is also influenced by previous episodes of depression, stress, relationship satisfaction, self esteem, body image, social and cultural factors.

Anxiety

Anxiety involve extreme feelings of fear and worry.

When intense anxiety is experienced over a length of time and interferes with daily life, then anxiety can be perceived as a problem that requires both medical and psychological treatment.

Symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • a racing heart or palpitations
  • rapid breathing
  • sweating
  • dizziness.

There are many different kinds of anxiety such as:

  • panic attacks
  • phobias
  • social and generalised anxiety.

Some menopausal symptoms are similar to anxiety- type symptoms such as:

  • hot flushes
  • sweating
  • awareness of breathing
  • ‘crawling skin’.

Managing Depression and Anxiety

If a woman is worried, it is important for her to discuss their symptoms with a health practitioner or psychologist to seek clarification about the symptoms they are experiencing.

  • Keeping a diary can help you to identify thought patterns so these can be challenged.
  • Relaxation techniques are a valuable tool.
  • Talking to friends, family or a trusted health professional can also be very worthwhile.

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