Hormone imbalance can cause depression

Can Hormones Make You Depressed?

The Answer is a Big Yes!

As women, we go through significant changes throughout our lives and these changes can impact negatively for some of us.

Lets take a look at some of these changes.

1. The Onset of Menstruation.

Girls do you remember that very first period.?

For most of us we would have been prepared but it still comes as a bit of a shock when we begin to bleed and soil our clothing. Prior to this momentous event our hormones have been working away in the background to make the necessary adjustments within our female bodies’. Menarche generally starts somewhere between the ages of 9- 15 . For a very young girl this might be extremely alarming and cause some anxiety, equally if a teenager fails to commence her “menarche by 15 she too could become anxious as she will begin to question her sexual status and worry that she is not becoming a woman as her friends are.

There are four different hormones at work in a young woman s body at this stage of life.

They are estrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone.

Looking at each of these in turn:

Estrogen -­ A key female sex hormone, often referred to as the ³growing hormone² because of its function in the body. Estrogen is responsible for growing and maturing the uterine lining (this is shed during menstruation) and also matures the egg prior to ovulation. Estrogen is produced mostly by the ovaries but also in smaller amounts by the adrenal glands and in fat tissue. There is a significant increase in the first half of the menstrual cycle.

Progesterone -­ Another key female sex hormone. This works in the body to balance the effects of estrogen and is sometimes referred to as the relaxing hormone. Progesterone¹s main task is to control the build up of the uterine lining and help mature and maintain the uterine lining if there is a pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, our progesterone levels fall and the lining of the uterus is shed, thus commencing the menstrual cycle.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH) -­ released from the pituitary gland in the brain at ovulation, causing the rupture of the mature ovarian follicle and releasing the egg.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) -­ is also released from the pituitary gland in the brain, and stimulates the ovarian follicles to mature.

Each of these hormones have a significant role to play to ensure all goes according to the natural order. However, an imbalance in one or more of these hormones can have a negative impact on the emotional well-being of the woman. She may experience very heavy and painful periods which may in turn restrict how she interacts with family and friends and will tend to withdraw.

Too much or too little of any of these hormones can be the trigger for depression and may need to be checked to establish if they are the reason for menstrual mood swings. People sometimes joke about women being moody or irritable around that time of the month but is no laughing matter for them. Many women suffer extreme pain and even depression if their hormones are out of balance.

So guys give them a break, try to be understanding and girls I have some help for you.

Happy Hormones

2. Birth Of a Baby:

This is another significant event in a woman s life.

During pregnancy the body begins to change dramatically. The waistline increases and so do the breasts. These factors alone can be sufficient for some women to become depressed.

Pregnancy is thought to be one of the best times of a woman s life when she is anticipating the birth of a baby but for many women this is a time of confusion, fear, stress, and even depression.

However depression at any time is an illness that can be treated and managed;therefore, it is important to seek out help and support first. If a woman suffers depression during her pregnancy she is also more likely to be a candidate for post-natal depression. This is a very debilitating illness as it can detrimentally affect a woman s ability to be an effective and nurturing mother for her new baby. I knew of a young mother who suffered severe depression after the birth of her baby and as a consequence had no recollection of giving birth and did not want the child. Her mother had to step in and raise her grandchild.

Depression during pregnancy, is a mood malfunction just like clinical depression. These mood disorders are actually biological disturbances that result in changes to the brain chemistry. When these changes to the brain chemistry happen they can trigger depression and anxiety. There are ways to reduce the impact of these chemical changes and even set them back in balance so that the pregnancy can proceed without causing a woman to fall into the grip of depression.


Baby Blues

3. Menopause

. This is another significant period in a woman s life when hormonal changes are taking place and other problems can arise. It generally starts after age 45 and may continue for 5 – 10 years.

Power surges

Those of us who have managed to pass through this stage unscathed will know exactly what it is like. One of the first signs will be power surges or as some call them hot flushes. These sudden rises in the body temperature can result in poor sleep and consequent fatigue. It’s as if the bodies’ thermostat has packed it in and women try to compensate by kicking the covers off and wearing very light clothing. If the symptoms are severe it might even pay to sleep in separate beds for a while until everything settles down again and it will.

Loss of Libido and or a dry vagina.

These will make intercourse less exciting and may have dire consequences on the marriage relationship. Couples may find sexual intercourse difficult and engage much less frequently. The male partner may struggle with this and his eyes may begin to wander. This will not always be the case but it can and does happen and if the relationship breaks down that can be a further case for depression to set in.

The end of Periods or Menstruation.

This is the redeeming aspect of menopause. O happy day. No more bleeding each month, no more sanitary napkins or tampons, no more soiled clothes. This for many is a real cause for celebration. The other benefit is there is no longer any need for contraception.

With the end of menopause comes the onset of an aging body which can bring on other issues such as joint pains, overweight, loss of energy and an overactive bladder.

The female body has gone through a series of hormonal changes over a lifetime. For many this will progress smoothly and without issue. For others the hormonal imbalances which may arise can be the cause of some form of anxiety or depression and may need to be addressed.

Power Surges


For the fellas.

If you are a bloke be educated and understanding of all the hormonal changes taking place in your partners body. Support her through them and love her even if at times she seems impossible to love. If her symptoms are severe encourage her to get some help. After all she has sacrificed a great deal for you over her lifetime and she cannot control everything that is taking place in her body.

For the gals.

Girls do not despair, there is plenty of help available if and when you need it. Reach out to accept it. Surround yourself with positive friends and help each other through the tough times. Ensure you have a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Find a quiet place to withdraw to if you feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. Go for a walk and allow time for the feelings of sadness to leave. If they refuse then get some help.

It is not THE END

Complete the quiz below to check your hormone profile. Maybe they are to blame.

Happy Hormones

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    • Dave Sweney
    • April 27, 2019

    You have made a compelling case that hormones play a key role in depression that women have to deal with. There are periods (no pun intended) when this phenomenon hits women particularly hard, and you have laid them out in this article. Of course, I am a man, so I can only talk about this subject as someone who has been a participant as a husband and a father (and a grandfather now).

    Here is my question for you, as a woman and as someone who obviously has drilled deep down on this subject. Do you think that hormonal replacement is a partial solution for this? I have heard arguments on both sides of the issue over the years. In fact, my own father and mother went through a lot of discussion on this very subject 45 years ago.

    At that time, research was not anywhere as far along as it was back then, and it was considered an unproven therapy, at least in Northern Minnesota, where I grew up. It makes sense to me though, that replacement of deficits may help even out some of the swings in moods, etc.

    Great post that does raise awareness, and I think especially men need to read this. It might make things a little easier for all if they could be a little more understanding…

      • admin
      • April 27, 2019

      Thank you for your comments Dave. I think sometimes it must be hard for the blokes to really understand what their wives, mothers or daughters are going through.  That is why I also think they need to be informed so that they are in a position to show some empathy and understanding.  The guys themselves have it fairly easy in comparison so they should be able to go easy on their female friends and family. 

      HRT’s are supposed to help, I tried them for a while but they also have some negative side effects so I just allowed nature to take its course. If you know someone who is struggling with hormonal issues perhaps you could refer them to this site and tell them to hit on the links. 

      Once again, thank you for reading. 

    • 1deveraux
    • April 28, 2019

    Hi this is such an interesting an very relevant article. I’ve learnt a lot over the years about menopause as I get a lot of clients asking me about it and now recommend and prescribe bio identical hormone therapy. So many doctors are quick to prescribe anti depressants to women of a certain age rather than check out their hormone levels as like you quite rightly say they certainly affect our moods and if unbalanced definitely lead to depression and anxiety, further sleep problems and poor self image. 

    This is so good to read as it just shows the work you are doing to get the information out there well done and thanks.

      • admin
      • April 28, 2019

      Thank you for your interest and comments.  I have no medical experience but I have loads of experience in the school of life.  Outside of teaching I help run two farms with my hubby and we are well aware of the problems that can arise from a nutritional imbalance and this must translate into an imbalance in other ways. If our animals are not getting optimum feed requirements they will not  ovulate and consequently will not conceive.  .  

      We have seen depression in animals too. This we treat again with hi protein foods and mineral additives.  I sometimes think we pay more attention to the welfare of our animals than ourselves.  I have never been tested for mineral health but we do test our animals. 

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