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Depression in Women Over 40

older woman with a headache in front of a stone wall

An often-overlooked factor of aging is increased anxiety and depression. As we age, significant life changes can cause uneasiness, stress, and sadness. Death of loved ones, retirement, becoming empty nesters, or serious injury can add immense stress to your life. In addition to these life changes, women will start experiencing symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause as they age. After a period of adjustment, some older women are able to regain emotional stability. Others may develop depression. 

Depression affects everyone differently. However, we’ve seen some commonalities over the years. Let’s talk about some symptoms and treatment options for women with depression.

Types of Depression

Depression stems from the lack of certain neurotransmitters in your brain. If you are depressed, one of these three neurotransmitters isn’t working properly: Serotonin, Norepinephrine, or Dopamine. 

Low Serotonin levels result in anger, OCD, or anxiety disorders. People with low Norepinephrine levels tend to experience fatigue and chronic pain. A lack of Dopamine results in addictive or thrill-seeking behaviors. If these issues sound familiar, you could be experiencing depression. 

Symptoms of Depression

As a result of depression, some women experience a lack of sleep. Whether you experience an inability to fall asleep or to sleep through the night, this symptom is not only frustrating but is also detrimental to your daily life. Sleep deprivation causes a myriad of issues from lackluster to a weaker immune system. If you are losing sleep for any reason, we’d like to work with you to secure a regular sleep schedule. 

Depression often leaves people feeling isolated or unworthy of love. This may result in an outer appearance of neglect or lack of care. A sudden inability to take care of loved ones, pets, or a home likely comes from an inability to care for oneself. If you notice that you are unable to care for others or yourself, please seek help. If you notice a loved one going through this experience, encourage them to see a doctor. 

Mood swings are commonly a symptom of menopause or perimenopause but can also be caused by depression. When you come to see us, we take a holistic healing approach. We know that women’s bodies are complicated systems, and there is not just one solution for everyone. Only when we understand why a symptom exists will we be able to prescribe the proper treatment.

Treatment Options

Depending on what you are experiencing, we will be able to prescribe specific medications for you. We also suggest that you take time for yourself and seek help in others. Meeting new people, reconnecting with your spouse, seeing a therapist, and exercising regularly can help your mindset while you adjust to your new medication.

Don’t Suffer Alone

Many women suffer silently with these issues. We’re here so you don’t have to.  We encourage you to keep an eye out for the prior symptoms in yourself or the women you care about. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression or have someone in your life who may be experiencing symptoms of depression, please give us a call at (530) 345-0064, extension 281.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Diagnosis, Diseases and Conditions, Symptoms Tagged with: , , ,

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