Menopause can strike at any stage, even as young as their 50s, 40s and earlier. This is known as perimenopause. During this time, the hormonal changes in a woman’s body can be quite striking, resulting in a number of physical, emotional and mental effects. Many people have heard about hot flashes and many jokes are made about this, but what many don’t realize is that the hormonal changes can also bring on bouts of depression.
Some women can begin to enter the early stages of menopause in the 40s, although many don’t start until the mid to late 50s and early 60s. A woman’s body undergoes significant changes during this time. Those changes not only affect her physically, but they can and often have emotional changes as well. It’s not uncommon for a woman undergoing the early and middle stages of menopause significant mood swings and even a form of depression.
Perimenopause is the medical term for when a woman begins to enter menopause. It’s during this time that some women find the hormonal changes in their body are so severe that they go into depression, known as perimenopausal depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) lists three types of depression that are unique to women. They are premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), perinatal depression and perimenopausal depression. They define perimenopausal depression as:…
Perimenopausal depression can be quite severe and debilitating. It can lead strains in relationships with spouses and family and friends. If not recognized and dealt with, it can lead to devastating effects. It’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek medical advice and treatment. Your husband, family and sanity will thank you.