Is there a link between depression and menopause?

Recognizing and Treating Menopausal Depression

When there are so many changes going on in your body, it's hard to imagine yet another symptom to deal with. Fortunately, depression is usually pretty easy to identify and there are many options for treatment. When it shows up paired with menopause, it doesn't differ a lot from other incarnations of the mental health disorder.

So, with that being said, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you look out for the following symptoms:

  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Loss of joy or pleasure
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Chronic pain with no obvious cause
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Frequent crying
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Of course, changes in appetite, sleep and sex drive can also be symptoms of menopause. While such indicators shouldn't be ignored, they should especially be brought to the attention of a doctor if you're also experiencing some of the mood-oriented symptoms of depression, like loss of pleasure or excessive crying.

If you're diagnosed with depression, there are a number of treatment options available. For starters, correcting hormonal imbalances with hormone therapy may help ease your depression. At the very least, it can help with other symptoms, such as lack of sleep, that may be contributing to your depression.

Beyond that, traditional depression treatments should be effective. These can include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are prescription drugs that target neurotransmitters in the brain; dietary and fitness changes; and psychotherapy.

If your depression is leading you to have thoughts of suicide, call a mental health professional right away to get help.

Learn more about depression and women's health below.

Related Articles


  • Boyles, Salynn. "Nearing Menopause? Depression a Risk." WebMD. April 2, 2006. (March 12, 2012)
  • Cleveland Clinic. "Menopause and Depression." May 13, 2010. (March 12, 2012)
  • Jones, Jessica Ward. "High Testosterone May Worsen Depression During Menopause." PsychCentral. June 30, 2010. (March 12, 2012)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Depression in Women -- Perimenopause and Menopause." Sept. 1, 2010. (March 12, 2012)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Depression (major depression)." Feb. 10, 2012. (March 12, 2012)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Menopause." July 23, 2011. (March 12, 2012)

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