It has been observed that the approach of menopause triggers acute bouts of depression. This has been attributed to the fact that the hormone levels fall below normal levels due to drying up of the ovaries. The hormonal imbalance causes acute mood swings which if left untreated will develop into depression. This is why treatments like hormonal replacement therapy actually help in controlling mood swings and depression attacks.
Research Agrees that Menopause and Depression are Connected
There have been a number of research studies on women who are going through the menopausal stage, with specific emphasis on the cause and treatment of depression. It has been found in most of the studies that women who had no previous history of moodiness and/or depression develop this as they become pre-menopausal. This is further aggravated by the fact that women themselves tend to dismiss the connection between the onset of menopause and depression, and do not seek professional help.
The Risks of leaving it Untreated
Without professional help the mood swings usually turn into migraines and acute depression which not only harms the body but also affects greatly the quality of life of the woman and those that live with and around her. It has been seen, though it is not conclusively proved, that menopause and depression even play a role in marital life. Many marriages break around this time (when the woman is in the age group of 39-47 years) and the reasons can be attributed to the fact that with the depression and mood swings it becomes difficult for them to maintain a happy married life.
The depression and mood swings have been widely attributed to the reducing amounts of hormone levels in the pre-menstrual period of a woman life. In this menopause and depression are directly connected. It has been seen that a rich diet in soy food products (tofu, soy milk and soy powder) as well as linseed help to a large extent because these have phytoestrogens (plant estrogen) which balance the depletion of this hormone to some extent. In the same lines hormone replacement therapy also has been seen as a very effective solution to counteract depression.
Self-help is the Best Help
Women have a choice today to fight the demons of mood swings and depression without feeling like they are loosing control on their lives and on themselves. The connection between menopause and depression has been recognized in medical science. The most important thing however is that women themselves recognize and seek help at the right time.