Menopause is an experience that varies from woman to woman. Women can experience a range of symptoms including hot flashes, depression and sleeplessness for years leading up to menopause. Although many factors (exercise, stress, etc.) can play a part in how menopause affects you, studies show that Black and Latina women experience perimenopause earlier, have more intense effects and have a longer transition period.
Emotional changes in the run-up to menopause can sometimes lead to depression.
It is important to see a doctor to help determine whether you’re just feeling stressed or “blue” — or whether you might have clinical or major depression, a condition associated with a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Changing hormones during perimenopause — the time when a woman’s body is preparing for the end of monthly periods — may be associated with that imbalance, according to the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Symptoms of menopause depression
Many women will experience symptoms from time to time that can also be the hallmarks of major depression. They include prolonged tiredness, low energy, loss of interest in normal activities, sadness, irritability, sleep disturbances, agitation, weight changes and decreased sex drive.
If these symptoms last longer than two weeks, it would suggest major depression, according to NAMS.
A more detailed list of symptoms includes a persistently sad, anxious or “empty” mood; feeling hopeless or pessimistic; being irritable or feeling guilty, worthless or helpless.
People with major depression may lose interest in hobbies and activities, have appetite or weight changes or feel fatigued. They may move or talk more slowly; have trouble concentrating, remembering or making