MOOD, ANXIETY, & DEPRESSION
WHAT IS IT?
Women are more likely to have depressed mood, major depression, and/or anxiety during perimenopause. While it is normal to occasionally feel down or anxious, or have a moody day, major depression can significantly interfere with your life.
Symptoms of depression can include:
- loss of interest or pleasure in your activities,
- weight loss or gain,
- trouble getting to sleep or feeling sleepy during the day,
- feeling restless and agitated or else very sluggish and slowed down physically or mentally,
- being tired and without energy,
- feeling worthless or guilty,
- trouble concentrating or making decisions,
- a sense that something bad is going to happen,
- a sense of hopelessness,
- thoughts of suicide, and
- inability to take care of yourself.
If you have many of these symptoms for two or more weeks, you may have major depression.
Anxiety symptoms include:
- excessive worrying that interferes with daily functioning,
- difficulty concentrating,
- tense muscles,
- panic attacks, and
- trouble sleeping.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MY BODY?
We are not completely sure why the risk for depression increases during the menopause transition, but hormone fluctuations likely play a role. Night time hot flashes, or night sweats, and insomnia can contribute to mood changes as well.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Women who are most at risk are those with a history of depression. But even women who have not been depressed before are about 3 times more likely to develop depression during the menopause transition compared to premenopause. Poor sleep, stress, negative life events, higher body mass index, smoking, younger age at menopause and African American race increase this risk.
Treatments that are inappropriate or have not been studied for this symptom are not listed.
Please scroll beyond “References” to access more resources if you are browsing on mobile or tablet
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Authors: Drs. Hadine Joffe, Katherine Newton, & Leslie Snyder. Last reviewed: July, 2021