Many women experience mood changes and depressed mood during menopause. Some women report mood swings, irritability, tearfulness, anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness. There isn’t always a clear reason for why this is happening. Research shows that menopausal symptoms such as sleep problems, hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue can affect your mood. The lower estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause may also be a reason for this change in mood. Or it could be a combination of the two.
Changes in mood can also be caused by things that are have nothing to do with menopause. If you are having emotional problems that are affecting your life, it is important to talk to your doctor about them. Talk with your doctor about what is going on in your life that may be affecting your mood and thoughts. Other things that could cause feelings of depression and/or anxiety during menopause include:
- Having depression before menopause
- Being upset about menopause and getting older
- More stress
- Having severe menopausal symptoms
- Not doing any exercise
- Feeling unhappy in your relationship or feeling alone
- Not having a job
- Having money problems
- Having low self-esteem (feeling low about yourself)
- Not having anyone to talk to or not feeling supported
- Feeling disappointed that you cannot have children anymore
If you feel that you need treatment for your symptoms, speak with your doctor. Together, you can work to find a treatment that is best for you. Depression during menopause is treated the same way as depression that occurs at any other time in your life. If your mood is affecting your quality of life, here are a few things you can do:
- Try to get enough sleep and stick to a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same times every day. Keep your room cool and dark. Use your bed only for sleeping and sex. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, large meals, or physical activity before bed.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Look for positive ways to unwind and ease daily stress. Try relaxation techniques such as meditating or breathing exercises; reading a book; or spending some quiet time outside.
- Talk to your friends, family, or go to a support group for women who are going through a similar situation.
- Ask your doctor about therapy or medicines. Menopausal hormone therapy can reduce symptoms that might be causing your moodiness. Antidepressants might also help.
- Seek therapy