What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
While the symptoms of depression can vary depending on the severity, there are some standard symptoms to watch for. Depression not only affects your thought and feelings, it can also impact how you act, what you say, and your relationships with others. Common symptoms include:
- loss of interest in pleasurable or fun activities
- sleep issues
- no energy
- trouble thinking clearly or making decisions
- poor performance at work or school
- dropping out of activities
- pain, like headaches or muscle aches
- drug or alcohol abuse
Some people also show signs of mania, psychotic episodes, or changes in motor abilities. These can signify other conditions that can cause depression, like bipolar disorder.
If you think someone is at immediate risk of self-harm or hurting another person:
- · Call 911 or your local emergency number.
- · Stay with the person until help arrives.
- · Remove any guns, knives, medications, or other things that may cause harm.
- · Listen, but dont judge, argue, threaten, or yell.
If you think someone is considering suicide, get help from a crisis or suicide prevention hotline. Try the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Many factors can increase your risk of developing depression at some point in your life. Risk factors include:
- being a woman
- having low self-esteem
The Links Between Endometriosis And Mood
For many women, endometriosis means more than dealing with heavy or painful periods. Living with chronic abdominal and pelvic pain can increase your stress level and affect your ability to carry out responsibilities at work, at home, and in your personal relationships.
Along with the stress and uncertainty around an endometriosis diagnosis, hormone imbalance with endometriosis can increase the likelihood that youll experience mood swings.
Women with endometriosis generally have higher levels of estrogen than women without endometriosis. Estrogen is an important hormone that plays a role in regulating your menstrual cycle, but when estrogen levels are too high, hormone imbalance develops.
Hormones affect your mood, and shifting estrogen levels could trigger mood swings and feelings of anger, irritability, and frustration. One study reports that having endometriosis makes women more likely to suffer depression and anxiety.
Iuds And Depression: How Are They Related
Hormonal intrauterine devices, or IUDs, are a common form of hormonal birth control that have been used for decades. However, the synthetic progestin hormone that the IUD emits, levonorgestrel, may cause mood swings and other mental health changes for some women. Some women have reported being concerned about anxiety or depression as a side effect of their IUD. Read on to find out if you need to consult with your doctor about mental health side effects of your IUD.
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Adrenal Hormones Influence Teen Mental Health
Its normal for adolescents to experience stress and mood swings from time to time. However, chronic stress can increase the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, which affects how the body copes with stress over the long-term. Stress also causes elevated adrenaline levels, which can result in adrenaline anxiety.
Anxiety Depression And Hormones
Take a look at Lucy. Shes had depression most of her life. There have always been good days and bad days, but recently, Lucy found an unexpected link: her menstrual cycle. Her moods, it turned out, were much lower during certain parts of her cycle, and much higher during others.
With hormone treatment, however, Lucy found that she could have more good days than bad days. Even better, those treatments banished some of her depressive symptoms once and for all.
Hormonal imbalances often cause or contribute to womens anxiety and depression systems. Across the United States, as many as 18% of the adult population suffers from an anxiety-related disorder. Another 7% deals with a major depressive disorder on a regular basis.
That number goes up significantly for women, who are more than twice as likely to face mood disorders. Its not just a US problem, either. Around the world, women have a higher likelihood than men of suffering from anxiety or depression. Thats a huge difference! The difference suggests that sex hormones may have a huge impact on anxiety and depression.
Are you still on the fence about whether hormones could be to blame for your anxiety or depression?
Are you reluctant to assign the blame to hormones?
Consider this: studies show that women have more problems with a variety of issues during times when hormones swing more widely. These include:
- Perimenstrual periods
- Postpartum periods
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When Should You Seek Help
If you suspect that your birth control is causing depression or other side effects, speak with your doctor. In some cases, they might encourage you to change your method of birth control. They might also prescribe antidepressant medications, refer you to a mental health specialist for counseling, or recommend other treatment.
Potential signs and symptoms of depression include:
- frequent or lasting feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- frequent or lasting feelings of worry, anxiety, irritability, or frustration
- frequent or lasting feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or self-blame
- loss of interest in activities that used to intrigue or please you
- changes to your appetite or weight
- changes to your sleep habits
- lack of energy
- slowed movements, speech, or thought
- difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
If you develop signs or symptoms of depression, let your doctor know. If you experience suicidal thoughts or urges, seek help right away. Tell someone you trust or contact a free suicide prevention service for confidential support.
Hormone Imbalance And Anxiety: Causes And How You Can Find Relief
Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all your insecurities and uses them against you. It gets to the point when it’s the loudest voice in the room. The only one you can hear. -anonymous
Anxiety can lead one to feel secluded as insecurities and fears crowd out other thoughts. Anxiety is by no means a solitary struggle. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that approximately 18% of the population, over 40 million American adults, have reported some form of anxiety disorder. And women are more than twice as likely to get an anxiety disorder in their lives.
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Whats The Difference Between A Copper Iud And Hormonal Iuds
A copper IUD is wrapped in copper, a type of metal that kills sperm. It doesnt contain or release any reproductive hormones. In most cases, it can last for up to 12 years before it should be removed and replaced.
A hormonal IUD releases small amounts of progestin, a synthetic form of the hormone progesterone. This causes the lining of your cervix to thicken, which makes it harder for sperm to enter your uterus. This type of IUD can last for up to three years or longer, depending on the brand.
Depression Anxiety Irritability And Low Moods Can Hormonal Imbalances Be The Cause
Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate the processes and activities throughout the body including our moods, metabolism, energy levels, our periods, fertility, stress response, sugar cravings, weight and many others.
It is not surprising that for many women, hormonal imbalance is an overlooked cause of many symptoms, while for others it may unfortunately be brushed under the rug and even considered as normal.
Its important to understand that while hormonal changes are normal and in fact expected, there is no need to suffer through them.
If you are struggling with low moods, anxiety, depression or mood swings, any of these symptoms could be caused or triggered by underlying hormonal imbalances.
Inflammation Can Also Play A Role In Mental Health
Another possible culprit? Inflammation, according to Dr. Kelly Bay, DC, CNS, CDN. Dr. Bay says that autoimmune reactions against the thyroid and abnormal thyroid hormones could increase inflammation throughout the body, which could then lead to cognitive and emotional health issues as well.
We know this, she says, because markers of increased inflammation, particularly brain inflammation, are common among those diagnosed with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. For this reason, some doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory treatments for patients with depression.
Is It Okay To Have An Irregular Period
It is normal to have irregular periods for the first few years of menstruating and sometimes even longer. But the only way to know if everythings OK is to visit your doctor or nurse practitioner . The length of a menstrual cycle can vary from girl to girl, but on average theyre usually between 21 and 35 days.
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Addressing The Biochemistry Of The Brain
Most women experience some discomfort during their cycle or as they approach menopause. Some symptoms of hormone imbalance include depression, hot flashes, anxiety, irritability, and mood swings. Many women continue to suffer from these symptoms even after they have tried natural or synthetic hormone replacement therapy.
A non-invasive lab test can help determine your neurotransmitter and hormone levels. Testing will determine what products should be used to correct the imbalance that is disrupting your bodys hormone regulation. This program uses a specific combination of amino-acids, vitamins, and minerals that will increase your bodys production of neurotransmitters. This non-hormonal approach safely addresses many of the symptoms of decreased hormone levels. It can also be combined with other therapies if needed.
The right balance of these chemicals can set the stage for restoring your health. Your brain and nervous system will once again send strong signals to the rest of your body, resulting in:
- Appetite Control
Depression Symptoms In Women Due To Hormones
It is common for menopause to prompt emotions of sadness and depression in women. It is estimated that between 8% and 15% in menopause experience depression in women of some form, often beginning in perimenopause.
The onset of perimenopause and menopause result in a variety of physical and emotional symptoms which can cause stress, frustration, and ultimately depression. These symptoms, added to an already full load of responsibilities with your family, work, finances, etc., can be just too much to deal with. It doesnt help that most women dread menopause all of their lives due to the horror stories that are passed along by friends and family members.
Beyond that, depression, like stress, may be another symptom of menopause. The hormone imbalance associated with perimenopause and menopause inhibits your body from managing stress and experiencing positive moods. Hormones and depression in women are closely related.
Hormonal Imbalanced Brains Work Differently
Hormonal imbalances can affect brain function in numerous ways. For example, hypothyroidism decreases brain activity, chronic stress produces more white matter and fewer neurons , estrogen imbalances negatively impact activity in the hippocampus , and progesterone issues can affect production of the neurotransmitter GABA.
Do Iuds Cause Depression
Some studies suggest that hormonal IUDs and other hormonal methods of birth control for example, birth control pills may raise the risk of depression. Other studies have found no link at all.
One of the largest studies on birth control and depression was completed in Denmark in 2016. The researchers studied 14 years worth of data from more than 1 million women, aged 15 to 34 years old. They excluded women with a past history of depression or antidepressant use.
They found that 2.2 percent of women who used hormonal birth control methods were prescribed antidepressants in a year, compared to 1.7 percent of women who didnt use hormonal birth control.
Women who used a hormonal IUD were 1.4 times more likely than women who didnt use hormonal birth control to be prescribed antidepressants. They also had a slightly higher chance of being diagnosed with depression in a psychiatric hospital. The risk was greater for younger women, between the ages of 15 and 19 years old.
Other studies have found no link between hormonal birth control and depression. In a review published in 2018, researchers looked at 26 studies on progestin-only contraceptives, including five studies on hormonal IUDs. Only one study linked hormonal IUDs to higher risk of depression. The other four studies found no link between hormonal IUDs and depression.
Unlike hormonal IUDs, copper IUDs dont contain any progestin or other hormones. They havent been linked to higher risk of depression.
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What Causes Hormonal Imbalances
There are many potential causes of hormonal imbalances in both men and women. The most common causes are imbalances due to diet, life stressors, environment, age, or lifestyle. Women are more likely to experience imbalances in estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid. In men, low testosterone levels are common. Both women and men can have imbalances in other neurohormones, such as insulin , cortisol , and DHEA .
Consequences of untreated hormone imbalances:
Dry Eyes And Testosterone
Dry eye syndrome is defined as a decrease in the production of tears or poor quality of the tears, e.g., tears that break down too quickly to be of benefit. It can also be excessive tear evaporation. When tears are lacking or of poor quality, the cornea becomes dry and vision is distorted. This condition can prevent you from wearing contacts and cause you to have difficulty preventing corneal abrasions. This is not a minor symptom of testosterone deficiency.
There are other causes for dry eyes, but the one cause that is most prevalent is the loss of testosterone that occurs after 45 y.o in women. Every gland that produces wetness, like lacrimal ducts , salivary glands , sweat glands , among others dry up when the level of testosterone becomes critical. This is a recent finding in the literature and has been discussed and evaluated mostly by opthamologists. Because they dont replace hormones, and it is kind of tricky, they have used topical drops with testosterone, but they were only mildly successful.
If you think this is a minor problem compared to lost libido and memory loss, then think again. The statistics about dry eyes might surprise you. Did you know that 3.2 million American women over 50 suffer from dry eyes? One point six million American men over 50 do, as well. Hispanic and Asian women are at higher risk than other ethnic groups.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome:
- Red, scratchy eyes
¹ All from Evans, Jeff, Study shows dry eyes a problem in pregnancy, AMA News,
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How Your Hormones Can Impact Your Mental Health
More research is needed around how hormones and mental health are connected, but experts say there is definitely an interaction between hormones and well-being. Heres what we know: Your endocrine system works in tandem with your nervous system known as the hypothalamic-pituitary system to maintain a sense of homeostasis, or physiological equilibrium. This equilibrium is what the body wants, but when its not achieved, a lot can go wrong.
When something is out of balance with your hormones it has an effect on the whole system, which means youre going to feel it manifest both in your body and your mind.
Ready for a deeper dive? According to Dr. Cory Rice, internist and certified BioTE practitioner, The major endocrine glands in humans are the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands. If this chemical messaging system or the hormone feedback loops are negatively compromised in any way, this can have profound effects on someones health, particularly as it relates to their mental health.
For example, he says, the thyroid gland is the master gland of our endocrine system. Its responsible for producing the hormones T3 and T4, and its T3 that has a major role in ones mental health. Many of the T3 receptors in our body are concentrated in our brain. So if we have a thyroid gland that is underperforming , there is not enough thyroid hormone getting to the brain. This can, and oftentimes will, lead to increased rates of depression or anxiety or other mental health issues.
The Hormones That Affect Depression
There are several hormones that play a part in depression. The relationships between hormones and depression in women include:
Estrogen: Boosts serotonin, which helps fight depression and promotes sleep. It also increases GABA, the calming neurotransmitter and raises endorphins, which help you feel good. Low estrogen levels often found in menopause can cause feelings of sadness and hopelessness.
Progesterone: This hormone helps to balance estrogen, helps promote sleep and has a natural calming effect. It also normalizes libido, is a natural diuretic and a natural antidepressant. Abnormal levels of progesterone cause insomnia and contribute to bad moods.
Cortisol: This stress hormone can cause depression if levels rise too high or fall to far below average. High levels of cortisol can create agitation, increased belly fat, insomnia and sugar cravings. Low levels can be associated with inability to handle stress, extreme fatigue, low libido and mood instability.
Q: Can Hormone Therapy Ease My Emotional Problems During Menopause
A: While theres growing evidence that hormone therapy can help with emotional symptoms, it alone is not effective in treating more severe mental health conditions. Your doctor my prescribe medication for anxiety or depression. Counseling also helps treat the psychological symptoms.
You may feel better after menopause ends and your hormoneslevel out. But talk to your doctor as soon as possible to start the righttreatments.
Hormones And Anxiety: Understanding The Relationship And Tips For Relief
For many adults, anxious feelings can turn up at any corner. It can be caused by excess caffeine, local or global events, or even an ex-partner. So, it shouldnât be too hard to believe that anxiety is a possible symptom of certain hormone imbalances.
Hormones are your bodyâs chemical messengers that send signals to different parts of your body. Theyâre responsible for regulating many different processes like growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, and mood. If your hormones become imbalanced , they can interfere with a variety of your bodyâs normal processesâcausing a variety of complications, including anxiety.
While there could be a number of reasons why a person experiences anxiety, symptoms unrelated to trauma, loss, a major life event, or a mental health condition may be attributed to a hormonal imbalance. Read on or skip to our infographic as we go into more detail on the relationship between hormones and anxiety, and provide tips that can help manage or relieve these feelings.