Unpredictable hormone fluctuations plus stress, body image, sexuality, infertility, or aging — any one or a combination of these causes emotional distress that may result in mood swings or, in more severe cases, depression. Determining the cause and extent of your “menopause blues” is very important.
“Depressed” and “depression” are words used to describe three distinctly different conditions:
A depressed mood — This is a normal, brief period of feeling blue or sad that is commonly experienced and rarely requires treatment. The medical term is dysphoria.
Depression as a symptom — Sometimes called an adjustment reaction, this type of depression may be due to a wide variety of medical or psychological problems, or to intense reactions to life events (such as divorce, losing a job, death of a loved one). It is usually short term and most often does not require treatment, although it can progress to clinical depression. The medical term for depression that occurs most of the day, more days than not, for at least 2 years is dysthymia.
Clinical depression — This is a disorder believed to result from a chemical imbalance in the brain. A clinical (major) depression requires treatment.