While it is completely normal that everyone has moments that they feel low or down, especially if they are dealing with difficult circumstances or events, it is important to make the distinction between this and depression. The latter is a condition which requires appropriate treatment and is a state of ongoing low mood irrespective of circumstances that can lead to feelings of pessimism, despair and an inability to cope. Those who suffer from depression find that it often affects many areas of their lives, interfering with their ability to work, sleep, eat well and enjoy activities which they would otherwise find fun or pleasurable.
What Are The Symptoms of Depression?
Symptoms of depression are often hard to spot but it is important to look out for these in yourself or anyone you feel might be struggling to cope. Symptoms include:
- Depressed mood lasting longer than two weeks
- Diminished interest or pleasure in favorite activities
- Loss of appetite or increased appetite
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Feeling restless or agitated
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feeling worthless
- Reduced concentration
- Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
How Are Hormones Related To Depression?
Hormonal imbalance is a major contributor to mood disorders and therefore balancing hormone levels can be used to help treat these too. Human beings go through a huge number of hormonal fluctuations throughout our lives, for instance during puberty, pregnancy or menopause. It is easy to understand that these fluctuations, possibly leading to imbalances, may contribute to ‘low mood’ or depression.
Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and cortisol play a significant role in mood behavior. Estrogen can improve your mood by supporting serotonin levels in the brain. Progesterone can alleviate mood swings, irritability, and depression, having an overall calming effect on a person. DHEA is an uplifting hormone and helps with a person’s sense of well-being and confidence.
Hormonal imbalances leading to mood swings may also be caused by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric syndrome (PMDD).
How are Depression and Depressive Moods Treated with BHRT?
Hormonal imbalance is a major contributor to mood disorders. We go through many hormonal fluctuations in our lives, especially during puberty, pregnancy, the postnatal period and the menopause. It is easy to understand that these fluctuations, possibly leading to imbalances, may contribute to ‘low mood’ or depression.