Depression and Menopause in Women over 50
Menopause. The big “M” word. Each of us has our own journey with it. The average age of menopause is 48-55 and I fit right in that age range, with the ‘absence of menses’ at 49. My view of menopause is a little different than average.
I suffered from chronic PMS for 37 years.
From the time I was 12 until 49, I had extreme mood swings and irritability for 3 weeks out of every single month. That’s 1,332 weeks! No surprise that it affected my relationships, self-esteem and health.
Here is how I lived life on the inside and outside off and on:
- Mood swings
- Intense irritability and conflict with other people
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feeling out of control
- Tension, anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Cramps and bloating
- Sleep problems
- Joint or muscle pain
The one thing I vividly remember is the depression that would hang on during some of those weeks.
I didn’t want to get out of bed and with two children, a husband, job, and house to run, that just wasn’t an option so I would push through the days.
I tried to eat right, exercise, think positively, and those things helped, but nothing worked 100%. I finally decided I couldn’t live like that anymore so a doctor prescribed anti-depressants. I was on one prescription for over 2 years until my body became used to it and the depression returned, so the doctor switched to a different one.
Then 20 years ago, due to health issues that my 8 year-old daughter was experiencing at the time, I started down a path to natural healing. It wasn’t until many years later that I actually considered that natural health practices could also help with depression. A homeopath was able to begin balancing my hormone levels and I found relief from the extreme ups and downs.
Menopause is the best thing that ever happened to me.
The hormones leveled out and my nutritionist helped me with herbs and supplements to stop the hot flashes. I no longer had mood swings. No one around me could brush me off and say it’s just ‘that time of the month’.
Now I feel like I’m just starting to live a full life. I didn’t know that this is what life is supposed to be like; not waking up with a black cloud over me. Every day is pretty much emotionally even, and I use deep breathing to calm and reduce stress.
The reason I share my story is because I know this is not every women’s journey as they reach menopause.
Menopause can bring on depression
When I heard Chonda Pierce speak about her journey of depression, it really hit home for me. Her description of how she felt and how much better she is now after finding what works for her, I wanted to share it with any women over 50 who is experiencing depression.
Whether you’re a Christian or not, please watch the video below as Chonda shares the honesty of her personal story. If you’re not suffering from depression, please watch the video as it will help you respond to someone who just needs to be heard.
You can’t wish depression away. Don’t be pushed into shame or guilt by family or friends telling you how you should just ‘snap out of it’, because you would if you could.
Everyone’s path out of depression will be different. If you are suffering from depression, please reach out to a doctor, counselor or someone who loves you and wants to help you.
Comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Disclaimer: Information found on this website or links to other websites are for informational purposes only and not intended for medical advice. You know your body and your physical, emotional and mental situation. Consult your physician before making any changes.
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Kristy Klenk has reached the 55 (and counting) birthday and finds this stage of life and aging an interesting adventure. For over 20 years she has been on a journey of living a holistic lifestyle and continues to research its positive effects on aging.