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Here's Why You Feel Depressed During the Menopausal Years

May 26, 2017

Did you catch the ‘Lorraine’ show on ITV a few days back where Carol Vorderman opened up about her struggles with depression during the menopause? (video is at the end of this post)

Describing her experience with depression as a ‘horrible, horrible thing’ and saying that it ‘totally floored’ her, she showed such bravery in her appearance and brought the menopausal depression issue out into the light. You can see how emotional it makes her feel to discuss it.

She did such an important thing by appearing on national TV like that. Because both the menopause and depression remain relatively taboo whilst continuing to destroy the lives of so many women’s life during this very vulnerable time.

You might be nodding your head at this point and quietly saying ‘Yes…that’s how I feel’.

So it’s important that you know that there is hope- you don’t have to sit back and let depression extinguish all light from your life.

In this article, I’ll walk you some essential background information on what is happening with your hormones during the menopause and explain why this leaves you so vulnerable to depression.

Then I’ll share with you a depression checklist that will help you beat your menopausal depression and get that joy back!

If you’re ready, let’s have a look.

 

Why depression often hits during the menopausal years

Depression is by no means a straightforward issue so the reason why it occurs more often during the peri-menopause and menopause can be very complex.

We can lay most of the blame on the shoulders of our hormones. Again!

As you probably know, once we hit our mid 30s, our oestrogen and progesterone levels start to decline, leaving our bodies to wonder what on earth is going on and attempt to adjust to the changes happening.

In itself, these hormonal changes can leave us feeling as if we have permanent PMT, as if the wind has been taken out of our sails and like a massive black cloud has just come over and blocked out the sun.

But not just that- these changes also bring with them a whole host of other changes, including those hot flushes that seem to strike at the most inopportune moments, those nights of broken sleep which leave you feeling like a zombie and all of the other symptoms like excess belly fat, problems in the bedroom, and so on.

Coping with all of these changes isn’t easy. Because it’s not just about the physical symptoms, is it?

If we’re honest, what causes the greatest emotional pain is the thought that we’re not as young as we used to be.

We break our hearts believing that we’re ‘past our sell-by date’, that we’re ‘infertile and unwanted’. We’re scared, and we feel sad, and all we can see is old age staring at us back in the face.

When you consider that the menopause often happens when your kids have just flown the nest, when work gets stressful, or when your elderly parents need more help from you, it’s not surprising that depression can often be the result.

What Carol Vorderman Did to Beat Her Depression

If you watched the clip I posted below, you’ll notice that Carol said that she went straight to a doctor who specialised in bio-identical hormones from yams and felt much better soon afterwards.
However, this can be quite costly and won’t necessarily be the best option for everyone.

But there are a number of powerful natural treatments that you can do to boost your hormone levels, lift your happy hormones and help you overcome your menopausal depression so you can feel like your old self again.

I’ve created the following checklist to help guide you through your options:

 

Your Depression Checklist

[click here to download your printable version]

 

Get to know your hormones and your cycle

No two women are the same- we all have different length cycles, different monthly symptoms and sensations and different experiences of what it means to have a menstrual cycle.

Tracking when everything happens and how it feels for you will help you understand yourself, spot any changes early on and also notice any improvements when you take action!

This is the most important and most empowering thing you can do as a woman, regardless of whether you’re experiencing the peri-menopause, menopause or you’re much earlier on in your reproductive life.

Here’s a wonderful tracker that will help you record everything you need to know.

 

Balance your blood sugar

Our hormones are the mafia bosses of the body- basically they run the entire show, so if they’re not happy, they won’t let you be happy either.

One of the main ways we can control their ‘mood’ by making better food choices, especially when it comes to sugars. Eat too much processed sugar and processed white carbs and our blood sugar levels will shoot up, triggering a massive release of insulin and disrupting the rest of our hormones (including our reproductive hormones.)

Can you guess what all of this spells? Yep, further hormonal imbalances and yet more symptoms of depression and the menopause.

Make better food choices by eating regularly, cutting back on cakes, cookies and other sweet treats, always eating unrefined carbs and ensuring you’re eating a small amount of protein at every meal.



Get outside

Want to get an instant boost of feel-good serotonin, regulate your hormonal balance and boost hormonal production? Get outside into the fresh air!

Just being out there will really make you feel better (if only for a second), you can find a certain amount of peace in the natural world and all that natural light will work wonders for your menopausal symptoms. Did I mention that it will also help you sleep better too?


Start singing!
Beat your depression by singing! Singing helps to calm the vagus nerve which is when overstimulated can often cause anxiety and depression.

It’s this nerve which is linked to that sensation of butterflies in your tummy, or that gut feeling you get about someone or something.

So pop your favourite song onto the stereo and get singing at the top of your voice!

Give your gut some TLC

Stress and depression has a profound impact on your entire body so it’s vital you take extra care of yourself, primarily focusing on your gut.

You see, stress triggers a release of cortisol, one of the main stress hormones. If this stress is short-lived, it is soon metabolised in the body. But if the stress is more prolonged, it can cause your stomach acid to become much weaker and impair your ability to absorb all of the nutrients you’re getting in your diet, including vitamins, minerals, fats and protein.

Without sufficient quantities of these nutrients, our bodies just can’t operate as they should- our sleep quality declines, we take longer to heal, suffer from more infections, struggle with poor digestion and leaky gut, and also find it hard to make the right neurotransmitters we need to feel good.

I’d recommend you supplement with digestive enzymes and HCL for better digestive health, as well as taking B-complex, and making sure you’re getting enough healthy fats and protein to build healthy neurotransmitters.

Get moving!
Yes, I know! No one likes to hear they should be getting more exercise. But it’s actually one of the best ways to stay looking and feeling younger and keep depression at bay.

You get all of the health-boosting effects of the exercise itself such as a healthier heart, improved circulation and stronger muscles plus you’ll look younger, those feel-good endorphins will get flowing and you’ll be full of energy and raring to go.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of exercise you choose, but it MUST make you get out of breath and stay that way for at least 15 minutes, three times per week. HITT is perfect for this.


Carol Vorderman beat her depression during the menopause and so can you. You’re now empowered with a lot of knowledge that will help you declare war with how you’re feeling and win!


Make sure you print out that depression checklist and work through them.

Focus on one, start making it a part of your life and notice how much better you feel.

And when you’ve done that, why not come over to the Facebook page and let me know how much better you feel? I’d love to hear from you! 

 

Here's the video clip, in case you missed it...

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