Understanding mood changes triggered by menopause

DepressionBecause hormones influence mood, perimenopause, or the transition period prior to menopause, can be an emotional time for women, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Britta Ostermeyer, associate professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at BCM, said that perimenopause occurs at the same time as other life changes, such as children moving away for college, leaving behind an “empty nest.”

It’s important to encourage someone with menopausal mood changes to stay involved, whether it’s through work, social activities or exercise. Scheduling an appointment with a primary care physician or OB/GYN can also be helpful.

Know the symptoms

The most common type of mood disorder that can occur during perimenopause or menopause is depression. The symptoms include:

  • A depressed mood that occurs most of the day, nearly every day
  • A decrease in interest or pleasure from daily activities
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Feeling restless or fatigued
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Thoughts of suicide

Ostermeyer recommends seeking help from a healthcare provider as soon as possible if symptoms of depression occur.

Read more posts on mental health from Momentum.

-By Dipali Pathak

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