Depression and Our Hormonal Changes
Feelings of depression can be a very common symptom of PeriMenopause and Menopause. It is more than just an occasional bout of sadness. If it isn’t properly treated it can have an adverse impact on the overall quality of our life.
Did you know Women aged 45-55 are four times more likely to have depression, than women who have yet to reach PeriMenopause and Menopause?
For Women in Business suffering with depression, it can be extremely challenging and frustrating, with 51% of women reporting they take time away from their business or career due to PeriMenopausal and Menopausal symptoms. I know because I was one of them!
MY DEPRESSION STORY
For me, depression through PeriMenopause and Menopause started after my 40th birthday. There was a key week that triggered my breakdown over 11 years ago that is still so vivid today.
Frustrating, as this was not me. Yes it was busy both at work and home but nothing new for me. I always had a reputation of “Miss Resilient” in the office. When I got knocked down, I always got back up again – but this “knock down” was so very different.
MY PERSONAL STORY
So it was a Thursday evening in February and heading out of the office in Edinburgh, I flagged a black cab down to take me to the airport. Jumping in I just started to feel lost, lonely and invisible. It had been a long week. I was working on a very important project and the meeting that day had not gone well for me. I had been struggling with my confidence for a number of months now. After each business meeting my confidence levels just kept on falling.
The cab driver was talking to me and with each word we spoke I felt a deep sinking feeling. I was being polite, but I just wanted to get to the airport where I could sit alone. Getting to departures I found the situation very hot and stressful which I now know was a hot flush. I did what I had to do to get through, and headed to departures to finally sit down alone with the largest bag of wine gums I could find.
Sitting in departures I was reflecting on who would commute from London to Edinburgh in a day. Me of course because my confidence was shattered. I did not want to deliver the presentation via video link. My depression was impacting my speech causing me to stutter especially when under pressure. Somehow sitting in a room gave me a little more confidence, so the long commute seemed worth it.
I boarded the aircraft and flew to London City Airport. I sobbed inwardly through the flight thinking how can I make this all stop. We landed and by the time I got home everyone was asleep. Relieved as I just did not have it in me to answer “how was your day”.
Friday morning arrives and it was my turn for the school run. All started normally until I dropped off my daughter. Waved goodbye and headed to the office. As I joined the motorway I felt a tidal wave of anxiety hit me so hard. I went into autopilot and headed home breaking down in the hallway screaming will someone just make this all stop. Someone did – my family and close friends.
So I took three months off work to understand what happened to me so I could get back to my career and business. My family, friends and workplace were so supportive and I finally found the answer I was looking for but never expected – Menopause!
The physical, mental and emotional feelings I was experiencing were due to the menopause and my hormone decline and fluctuations. I had not even heard of the perimenopause and menopause was something women in their late 50’s go through. Not me I was only 40! Faced with the “breakdown” I just had to turn this into an opportunity for “breakthrough” and I did.
The result was my MidLife Resilience System to “Keep Women in Business through their Hormonal Changes”. My approach worked for me and other women. I just did not want another woman to go through what I did! It was painful with considerable consequences for me, my family and my business and career.
So for the past 11 years I have coached Women in Business to understand and manage their hormonal changes so they can continue to Lead Themselves, Family & Business through PeriMenopause, Menopause and PostMenopause…
Or simply – I Keep Women in Business Through Their Hormonal Changes with a Strong Body and Strong Business. I was invited to share my story on The Business Diaries Podcast – Listen to My Story…
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION THROUGH PERIMENOPAUSE|MENOPAUSE
As we transition through PeriMenopause and approach Menopause, our hormone levels begin to decline and fluctuate. This decline and fluctuation, can be the root cause of depression for us in perimenopause and menopause. It can have a wide range of consequences on our body, mind and relationships. Managing these symptoms can, at times, feel very overwhelming which I personally experienced.
Oestrogen has a significant effect on serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Serotonin causes feelings of happiness and also helps maintain a stable mood. Oestrogen helps to stimulate the production and transmission of serotonin. When there is not enough oestrogen present during our hormonal changes, our serotonin levels will drop, which can then contribute to depression. Read my Blog on “Are Mood Swings Spoiling Your Day” for more information on how oestrogen impacts our brain.
The decline and fluctuation of our oestrogen levels also trigger the other “40 Changes Over 40” besides depression. The compound effect of all the potential changes can lead to depression because of the physical, mental and emotional consequences.
If you had postnatal depression or severe PMS, then it is likely you may experience these types of symptoms. This is because your body is more sensitive to changing levels of hormones – this was me…
HOW TO MANAGE DEPRESSION
Using my MidLife Resilience System will help manage depression and our hormonal changes as we transition through our PeriMenopause, Menopause and PostMenopause.
- Food – Eat regularly, with no more than 4 hours between each meal. If blood sugar levels drop or fluctuate this can increase your stress levels and impact your adrenal glands.
- B Vitamins – These are important to the mental and emotional wellbeing of women.
- Tryptophan – An essential amino acid needed for the production of serotonin, which can provide relief from depression. Found in eggs, salmon and spinach.
- Probiotics – Good bacteria in the gut have been linked to a significant reduction in depression. Eat foods including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, miso, Kombucha or supplements which contain live bacteria.
- Move – Daily movement releases serotonin, dopamine and endorphins, which provides a great mood boost. Spend time outdoors to obtain adequate levels of Vitamin D. A lack is known to contribute to the development of depression especially during the winter months.
- Others – Talk to people you trust explaining how the PeriMenopause is impacting you. Share the science explaining “it’s not you it’s the impact of your fluctuating hormones” – educate them to help you.
- Calm – We devote our energy to what’s going on around us, including family, friends, work and the wider world. Therefore it’s important to take time-out to reflect and reconnect with ourselves with a calming activity.
- Sleep – A healthy sleep schedule is important for treating depression. Poor sleep can trigger and intensify these feelings. Aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep – sleep is where the magic happens..
Women aged 45-55 are four times more likely to have depression, than women who have yet to reach PeriMenopause and Menopause.
When oestrogen starts to decline and fluctuate during our hormonal changes our serotonin levels will drop, which can then contribute to depression. Serotonin causes feelings of happiness and also helps maintain a stable mood.
Use my MidLife Resilience Coaching Boost below or watch my Video to help manage your depression by focusing on Food, Movement, Sleep and SelfCare.
KEEPING WOMEN IN BUSINESS…
Are you a Woman in Business who wants to learn how to manage Depression, before it impacts You, Your Family and Your Business?
Do you want to understand how your Hormones Decline and Fluctuate through PeriMenopause, Menopause and PostMenopause, impacting your Body, Mind, Relationships and Business…
Then book a 45 minute Complimentary Consultation which includes My MidLife Resilience Assessment to help you understand the impact of your hormonal changes and what you can positively do to manage those consequences to “Keep Yourself in Business Through Your Hormonal Changes“…
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