In a recent study, researchers pointed out the many depression risk factors that could be present during the transition period to menopause: recent separation, alcohol consumption, and mental illness suffered in the past.
As menopause approaches, many women suffer from a form of blues or even depression. The decrease in hormone production leads to various symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, loss of libido, etc. According to research published in The journal Menopause by The North American Menopause Society, these factors increase the risk of depression, but other factors also contribute, such as fear of death or a woman’s medical history.
Age-related risk of depression
Researchers estimate that 70% of women suffer from depression during menopause. In this new study, however, only 41% of women said they suffered from some form of depression. This lower rate could be explained by the relatively low average age of 56.3 years in this sample. A total of 485 Turkish women participated in the survey. The researchers asked them to complete questionnaires on their general mental state to identify risk factors, including their level of anxiety.
Many risk factors
These analyses revealed the following risk factors: widowhood or separation from a partner, physical disability, alcohol consumption, constant medication, having more than 4 children, or having had previous psychological problems. According to the researchers, all these factors contribute to an increased risk of depression in menopausal women. “Women and their caregivers need to be aware that the transition to menopause is a vulnerable phase of mood change,” says Stéphanie Faubion, Medical Director of the North American Menopause Society.
Supporting Women in Menopause
This study reminds us that menopause symptoms are numerous and varied. This decline in hormone production not only has physical consequences for health, even if they are numerous. Half of the menopausal women suffer from hot flashes, night sweats, and sometimes sleep disorders. Others are afflicted by a variety of pains, and some feel particularly tired. These various disorders can be relieved either by hormone replacement therapy or by alternative medicines such as phytotherapy.