Symptoms — depression and sadness
When is depression hormonal?
“I didn’t have a zest for living. I was still going through the motions
of living, but not enjoying it. I had this dull feeling, and it lifted some of that
dull sensation of depression.” — Eileen,
Personal Program Member
Almost all of us feel great sadness once in a while. But when your depressed feelings
become frequent or constant, it’s time to take action.
Many women don't realize that there is a connection between the hormonal changes
during perimenopause or menopause and depression. And too few women understand that
depression often has a physical basis. Once you understand these physical causes
of depression, you can give your body the support it needs to overcome your feelings
You should rely on your health care provider to diagnose whether you have clinical
depression that requires medical treatment. In those cases
antidepressants are used and can be very effective. Please click here to
learn about the symptoms
of mood disorders and the differences between clinical and subclinical depression.
But for women who have symptoms of depression but aren’t clinically depressed,
a natural approach can provide them with the help they need.
Stress and depression
In our practice, we often see varying degrees of depression in women who are burdened
with what we term “toxic stress.” The typical profile includes a difficult
workplace, the demands of running a home and raising a family, plus in many cases
caring for aging parents. These are the most adverse kinds of stress, because they
are powerful and constant.
Stress like this causes imbalances in hormones and neurotransmitters that affect
mood as well as mental function. Sometimes these imbalances cause anxiety or mood
swings, and other times they are causes of depression. In the case of depression,
the body lacks sufficient serotonin, the neurotransmitter necessary to maintain
positive mood. The most popular type of
depression medication, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
(SSRI’s), such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Celexa, work by conserving the
body’s inadequate supply of serotonin. By contrast, the approach at Women
to Women is to understand why your body isn’t making enough in the first place,
and then help it produce more serotonin naturally.
Perimenopause, menopause, and depression
Perimenopause can seem to add to the stress level, and can certainly create hormonal
imbalances that affect mood and mental function. Many women feel disoriented and
confused by what is happening to them. The
estrogen dominance so common in perimenopause can exacerbate symptoms of
Perimenopause is also a time when many women find their true voice. This can bring
to the surface old unresolved emotional issues. While absolutely vital, this process
can add to your feelings of sadness or being overwhelmed. And in truth, it is a
lot to deal with.
A natural approach can help
The solution for depression depends upon the severity of your symptoms. Any woman
experiencing symptoms of depression should talk to her healthcare provider or a
mental health professional. For women with clinical depression or mood disorders,
antidepressants are often essential, at least temporarily.
But for other women — like those whose depression is a symptom of perimenopause,
menopause, or stressful conditions — a natural approach can provide relief.
Many women with subclinical depression don't realize that there are
alternatives to antidepressants.
The basic approach we have found effective for subclinical depression is to give
yourself more support while trying to reduce the demands on you. This approach targets
the causes of depression by encouraging the body to produce more serotonin and balance
hormones and neurotransmitters naturally.
The Essential Nutrients in our Personal
Program provide vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that are vital to
support healthy neurotransmitter and mental function. We also offer an eating plan
(including recipes!) to help you maintain a healthy diet.
The Program also includes gentle endocrine support to help your body achieve and
maintain a healthy balance between estrogen and progesterone. And the optional nursing
support can help with personalized guidance on how to reduce stress, shield yourself
from the stressors that you can’t reduce, and support your body better with
exercise, time for yourself, and facing unresolved problems.
Our Personal Program is a great place to start
The Personal Program promotes natural hormonal balance with nutritional supplements,
our exclusive endocrine support formula, dietary and lifestyle guidance, and optional
phone consultations with our Nurse–Educators. It is a convenient, at-home
version of what we recommend to all our patients at the clinic.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to call us toll-free at
1-800-798-7902. We're here to listen and help.
Last Modified Date: 04/27/2012