Before women begin menopause, they tend to experience perimenopause. This is the time in life when menstrual periods begin to slow down and eventually stop, usually affecting them between the ages of 45 and 55. Because of all the reproduction-related hormonal changes that happen, perimenopausal women have an increased risk of depression. This is true whether or not they have a history of depression.
The results of several recent studies have found that women in the menopausal transition were up to three times more likely than younger women to report depressive symptoms. Women with a history of postpartum depression have an even higher risk. And while Hormone Replacement Therapy is an option, this situational depression can also be treated with behavioral therapy and antidepressants if needed.
The worst things about depression at any stage in life is the feeling of isolation. If you’re experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, contact a local counseling center and see if they offer women’s group therapy along with individual sessions. Nurturing the body and mind during any time of transition is important.