Prevalence of depression during menopausal transition

Prevalence of depression during menopausal transition

Numerous women across the world experience menopausal transition, which is manifested in the form of inconvenient symptoms, including vasomotor ailments, joint disorders, reduced libido, dry vagina, sluggishness and insomnia. During their mid-life, many women experience changes in the menstrual cycles, in terms of regularity, flow, duration of cycle, etc. In addition, some of them experience hot flashes, poor quality of sleep, irritability and mood disorders.

Depressive disorders are prevalent in almost all the age groups, however, these are relatively more profound among middle-aged women. Since an ongoing hormonal disturbance is already taking place in the bodies of menopausal women, depression can exacerbate the symptoms and can lead to other health issues such as osteoporosis, as well as cardiac and neuro disorders. This further complicates the treatment protocol and puts a high burden on healthcare expenses.

Risk factors for depression during menopause transition

Although a history of depression predisposes a woman to experience depressive symptoms during the transition phase, those with no prior exposure to depression are 2-4 times more susceptible to the mental. Other factors responsible for depression in women are:

  • poor quality of sleep
  • traumatic life events
  • unemployment
  • obesity or higher body mass index (BMI)
  • smoking
  • ethnicity (African Americans are twice more prone develop depressive symptoms)

Consequences of untreated depression during menopausal transition

To develop an ideal treatment strategy for depression during menopausal transition, the superiority of pharmacological intervention (antidepressant medication and hormone replacement therapy) must be weighed against the risks accompanying the untreated symptoms. If depression is left untreated, other complications may also arise, such as:

  • risk of atherosclerosis
  • susceptibility to osteoporosis and fracture
  • increased predisposition to stroke, heart attack, urinary continence, diabetes , etc


Two types of psychotherapy are highly recommended for depression related to menopause. Interpersonal therapy focuses on understanding how changing human relationships may contribute to, or relieve, depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, focuses on identifying and changing the pessimistic thoughts and beliefs that accompany depression.  Psychotherapy can exert a profound effect if used alone but based on the severity of the symptoms, it is usually used alongside medication for faster mitigation of the depressive symptoms. The right kind of psychotherapies can help an individual deal with the symptoms and better manage the situation.

While many interventions are suggested to ameliorate mental health conditions, the scientists suggested that genetic interventions mediated by judicious cognitive biases would go a long way in increasing sensitivity of the patient towards a better or worse way of thinking or living. It is important to understand the impact of depression as it is more than just a temporary phase of sadness. An early diagnosis can help overcome the problem.

Leading a depression-free life

One must remember that just as puberty and childbirth, menopause is also a temporary phase in the life of a woman.  Most women reaching menopause experience some discomfort, in the form of physical and mental issues, including depression. Seeking treatment for depression is similar to opening up your heart and ward off the negative thought processes. However, if this is not achievable then one must seek support from the professional rehab centers. One-on-one counseling sessions, group therapies and other medications can help an individual on the road to recovery.

If you or someone near you is suffering from depression and is looking for depression rehab centers in Arizona, contact the Arizona Depression Helpline. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-233-3895 or chat online to know the complete details about the best depression rehab centers in Arizona. Don’t let depression overtake your life. Seek medical assistance and live a fulfilling life.