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If I’m feeling sad during menopause, what can help me?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Depression is more serious than occasional sadness. And that is something no one should dismiss or ignore. During menopause, your plummeting estrogen levels affect your feel-good brain chemicals: serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. (As if hot flashes weren’t enough to deal with!) Not to mention, fluctuating hormones can also kick up testosterone (yup, women have some, too), which may also sour your mood. Luckily, most antidepressants (and lifestyle interventions) work by boosting these feel-good brain chemicals back to normal levels. So if you are feeling sad more days than not, tell your doctor. He can talk to you about antidepressant medication options as well as things like exercise, getting better sleep (by wearing loose clothing to bed and keeping a fan nearby), and stress reduction techniques. He may refer you to a therapist or psychiatrist who will be better equipped to talk to you about your symptoms and give you coping techniques. Bottom line, you have a lot of options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.