Depression and Menopause: How to Cope the Natural Way

by Laura Ramirez on March 10, 2011

Depression and menopause, sadly, oftentimes go hand in hand once you hit middle age (late 40s to early 50s). It’s a tricky symptom because depression can strike at any age and time (around 1 out of 4 Americans suffer from clinical depression or mood disorder at some point in their lives), making it hard to determine if its exact cause is indeed menopause-related (and consequently, what kind of remedy is needed).

Stop depression and menopause with herbs, good food and exercise.

Fluctuating hormone levels in menopausal women are largely responsible for the phenomenon of depression and menopause, causing mood changes in pretty much the same way as when adolescence strikes. However, other issues can factor in depression during this time. Symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irritability and mood swings, nightly sweats, and all other signs caused by natural bodily changes can leave any woman bewildered, and even depressed.

Before resorting to expensive psychotherapy and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) which is risky, consider these five suggestions for treating the problem of depression and menopause the natural and safe way.

  1. Go for prepared natural remedies.
  2. Prescribed antidepressants can cause a pretty penny and bring unwanted side effects like dry mouth, lethargy, weight gain and loss of appetite. Prepared natural remedies are better and safer alternatives when dealing with depression and menopause. Look for ones already in tincture or pill form that help maintain healthy serotonin levels (your body’s natural mood enhancer), and containing ingredients that simulate progesterone which has the capacity to calm and soothe mind and body.

    Some effective herbal components you should be on the look-out for in the package: black cohosh which supports both your nervous system and gynaecological health; pasque flower for a tonic effect on your nervous system as well as to support reproductive organs; St. John’s wort, an herb widely accepted as a natural mood enhancer and antidepressant; and passion flower, which is clinically tested and proven to ease anxiety attacks. Finding these ingredients in one formulation makes for an effective treatment for depression and menopause.

  3. Eat more good-mood food.
  4. A healthy lifestyle and diet can aid greatly in having emotional wellness, balanced mood, and alert mental functions. You can encourage healthy serotonin levels by eating what nutritionists refer to as good-mood food: colourful fresh fruit, green leafy vegetables, whole-grains, cereals, and lean meat like turkey. Milk, cheese, meat, and fish are rich in essential amino acids which can aid memory, mental alertness, and stabilize mood.

    Studies on depression and menopause also reveal that estrogen-deficient menopausal women have low levels of Vitamin B6, so it’s best to add food and supplements with this vitamin to your daily diet. Cut down on caffeine, alcohol, processed food, and refined sugar. If you have certain childhood comfort food that help to calm you (the most common ones are ice cream, mac ‘n cheese, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), you can reward yourself with them once a week.

  5. Do calming exercises regularly.
  6. Yoga, Pilates, and meditation aren’t just for the fashionably-fit set anymore. Nowadays, middle-aged women can reap the benefits of these calming and centering exercises in order to combat depression and menopause. These kinds of exercise help you focus on your breathing and how to control it (resulting in healthier blood circulation and blood flow to your brain), as well as keep a tranquil frame of mind through meditation.

    For a more relaxing experience, listen to music that’s serene and not distracting while exercising or during meditative sessions. You can opt to join a yoga, Pilates, or meditation group, or else do the exercises by yourself in the comfort of your own home.

  7. Take a break once in a while.
  8. Stress and a hectic daily schedule can take their toll on your already-frazzled mind and body, so to beat depression and menopause issues concerning mental serenity, go on a break. You deserve it. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one that requires plenty of planning (the cost and effort of a grand vacation can wreak further havoc on your mood).

    A mere change of scenery, a few hours’ drive away, being alone or with someone you can talk to easily, and leaving your cares and worries behind for a couple of days or so can work wonders. Just make sure to leave behind everything that’s potentially stress-inducing, and you’ll soon be refreshed and recharged.

  9. Give fruit and herbal cures a try.
  10. Gingko biloba is a popular herbal tea ingredient because it helps improve memory and mood by stimulating healthy blood flow to the brain.

    Certain fruits like apples are not only rich in Vitamin B and C, but also in phosphorus and potassium which strengthen nerve cells. You can eat apples with honey and oatmeal, or turn them into smoothies. As well, cardamom, rose petals, and lemon balm can be strained to make aromatic teas that soothe frazzled nerves, calm your mind, and treat mild depression and menopause symptoms affecting mood.

Copyright © 2011 by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved.

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