Depression is a widespread psychological problem that is often ignored by many. Based on figures from the 2003 National Healthcare Quality Report, about 80% of people who are suffering from depression are not taking any treatment. The main causes of this problem include stressors, history of depression in the family, and sudden changes in roles.

Majority of those who are suffering from depression are actually women, particularly those that are in the age of menopause or nearing the menopausal stage. Many experts believe that the declining levels of estrogen in women during and a few years before menopause may also cause the blues.

Symptoms of Depression

Everybody can experience depression at least once in a lifetime. Usually, the bouts of depression only last for a day or two. In menopausal or premenopausal women, however, symptoms of depression last for more than two weeks. Aside from feeling down and miserable, other indications of depression in women may also include feelings of guilt and worthlessness, lack of desire to do anything, severe irritability and restlessness, loss of energy, chronic fatigue and even the desire to commit suicide.

The thing that makes matters worse for menopausal women is that their depression is sometimes either masked or exacerbated by other menopausal symptoms, such as sleeping problems, anxiety, hot flashes, night sweating, and many others. Furthermore, they suffer in silence thinking that the depression and all the other things that they experience during menopause are just consequences of aging.

It is important to note that depression which remains untreated for weeks may lead to more serious matters, such as suicide. Studies show that depression can lead to higher risk of bone loss, heart attack, and stroke.

Managing Depression

There are many synthetic drugs available in the market to treat depression. However, they may cause side effects, so many people are not really confident about taking them. If you are one of those who do not want to take synthetic medications, you do not have to worry. There are many alternative ways to manage, and even treat, depression in women.


One effective way to cope with depression is to seek help of others. Taking therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist can help you deal with your feelings and other causes of your problem.

When you are suffering from depression, and even from other signs of menopause, you need to let your children, partner and family know what you are experiencing. If they are aware of what you are going through, they will be more understanding and quarrels and arguments will be greatly prevented.

You can also join an organization that is geared towards managing depression or helping women cope with menopausal symptoms. Joining such groups will help you realize that you are not alone in battling with these problems. Furthermore, you can also get tips from other women on how to deal with your woes.


According to various studies, exercise helps elevate serotonin levels while reducing depression-causing hormone cortisol. Experts believe that a dip in the serotonin levels increases the risk of developing depression. Thus, if you want to minimize your depression-causing hormone and maintain normal levels of serotonin, be sure to exercise regularly.

Dietary Changes

Eating a balanced diet will not only help you deal with depression and other symptoms of menopause, but will also help you maintain a strong and healthy body. Increasing the intake of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6, and calcium can also help minimize your symptoms of depression.


For women in their menopause or premenopausal stage, another way to address depression is by taking supplements that have phyto-estrogens, plant substances that mimic estrogen in the body. Such products will not only help balance hormone levels, but they will also help in reducing the annoying symptoms of menopause. One supplement that is ideal for menopausal women is Zalestra. For more information about this product, visit

Author's Bio: 

Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine