Depression can arise unexpectedly and last for the entire menopausal transition. If you're usually happy with your life, it can be upsetting to be confronted with long periods of sorrow or lethargy. You may feel ashamed or think there are no cures, or that you don't deserve them. However, there's nothing wrong with you, as depression during menopause is often due to drastic hormonal shifts. There are affordable, low-risk cures for restoring a fulfilled and joyous emotional state.
A main reason why women experience depression during menopause is because of declining sex hormone levels. Estrogen in particular is important for one's emotional state, and so the shift directly affects brain chemistry. Neurotransmitters - or chemical messengers, such as serotonin - are not produced as regularly. This is difficult to maintain a happy, content state or not get excited about the things that used to make you happy.
Many women are turning to a potent North American herb called black cohosh. It is packed with phytoestrogens, which are plant-based compounds that are received by estrogen receptors in the body, in turn helping to raise low estrogen levels.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is one of the leading herbal cures for depression and has been found to be equally as effective as prescription medications for many individuals experiencing depression. In fact, in Europe, it is widely prescribed to individuals with depression, especially those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which occurs during the winter months.
It has been successfully used for centuries, as it helps regulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of joy and relaxation. It is becoming increasingly popular, so it is widely available in natural markets and specialty shops.
Individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle sometimes have a harder time overcoming the symptoms of depression. When you exercise, whether by dancing, cardio, aerobics classes, or yoga, you increase your energy levels and boost endorphins, which can make you calm and happy.
While running in the park can fill you with the uplifting sounds and sights of nature and help oxygenate your body, joining a group class can boost your oxytocin levels, providing you with feelings of support and friendship.
Even if you are feeling depressed at this very moment, there are things you can do to find relief. You can turn off your computer and do some sit ups or dance to your favorite song. Or, you can go to your local specialty market for some herbal tea. When it comes to menopausal depression, there are home cures for you that can help you find mental stability. While home remedies support you, you can also seek help from a professional, who can help you with your overall treatment. If you have thoughts of suicide, make sure you talk to a doctor as soon as you can.
- Cooney, G.M. et al. (2013). Exercise for depression. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 9, CD004366. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD004366.pub6
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. (2013). St. John's Wort and Depression. Retrieved May 26, 2014, from http://nccam.nih.gov/health/stjohnswort/sjw-and-depression.htm
- Office of Dietary Supplements. (2008). Black Cohosh. Retrieved May 26, 2014, from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/BlackCohosh-HealthProfessional/
- Stanford University School of Medicine. (n.d.). What is Depression? Retrieved May 26, 2014, from http://drc.stanford.edu/depression.html