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    Response about mom?s depression
    Cynthia A Stuenkel, MD, NCMP posted:
    What a lucky mom to have a child who cares so much about her. While I cannot respond specifically to your mother's situation because I have not seen her as a patient, I can discuss how other women and their clinicians approach such issues.

    First of all, many women have a tough time during the menopause transition. If a woman isn't sleeping well for some time, the sleep deprivation alone can make a person more vulnerable to life's ups and downs. So it would probably be helpful to ask a healthcare provider about options to relieve hot flashes (with or without hormone therapy) and allow the woman to catch up on her rest.

    But more urgent is severe depression during the midlife years. Depression is a dark cloud that casts a shadow on every aspect of life. People lose interest in daily activities they once enjoyed, feel sad most of the time, can't sleep or sleep all the time, can't eat or eat all the time, lose energy, can't think clearly or concentrate anymore, and can compromise their self-care and hygiene.

    We don't think menopause causes depression, although it's common for some women to have the blues at this time of life. A woman who has already experienced an episode of depression, who has a long and difficult menopause transition, or who suffered from severe premenstrual syndrome can be more susceptible to full-blown depression later on. There is no question that the loss of a parent can be a devastating experience. Adding this loss to the depression and menopausal symptoms, a woman would benefit from the counseling of a healthcare professional or a mental health practitioner, and her family, to get back to her old self.

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    For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website