How Hormones Affect Depression

How Hormones Affect DepressionThe impact of hormones affects people of all ages, from teens to menopausal women.

Hormones and Teen Depression

It may seem that one day you wake-up and your cheery, sweet child has transformed into an aggressive and irritable person that you hardly recognize. Much of these new behaviors can be associated with the influx of hormones, which occurs at the onset of puberty. Fluctuating mood swings, becoming withdrawn and unresponsive, and excessive fatigue are common, but a teen may also experience more severe emotional and behavioral changes.

Hormones Impact on Teens’ Emotions

You will notice the tearfulness, anger, and lack of energy; however, beneath those emotions, your teen may also be experiencing extreme sadness, feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and in some extreme cases, thoughts of suicide. This is a very difficult time for teens because they often do not understand why they feel this way, so they may become fearful and distrustful.

Hormones Impact on Teens’ Behaviors

If you see that your teen is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, they may be experiencing the onset of depression:

  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Decreasing interest in activities that he previously enjoyed
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Difficulty concentrating

Frequently parents and friends are confused about how to reestablish a relationship with their teen and often reinforce the distance, which may unfortunately only fuel of fire of depression.

Potential Risk of Teen Depression

This is a very vulnerable age and for a teen who is also suffering with depression, the risks increase for any of the following:

  • Problems at school
  • Threats of running away
  • Exploration with drugs or alcohol abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Self injury
  • Reckless behavior
  • Violence
  • Suicide

Before a teen reaches the point where they are at risk, it is important for parents to step in, seek professional help, and learn how to help their child during this time.

Hormones and Menopause

According to the Mayo Clinic, 8% and 15% of women in menopause experience depression of some form. The physical and emotional symptoms that often occur with menopause can cause stress, frustration, and ultimately depression.
The primary culprit of menopausal depression is the imbalance of hormones including estrogen, which boosts the serotonin and endorphins that makes you feel good, promotes good sleep, and helps fight depression. Progesterone is another hormone that provides a calming effect and acts as a natural antidepressant. Cortisol is a hormone that helps you manage stress. When these hormones are out of balance, a woman is susceptible to depression.

Treating Depression

The best way to treat depression is to get professional assistance and take care of yourself. While it sounds simple, it is often a difficult step for many people suffering from depression to take. In addition to speaking with your doctor, you can do any of the following:

  • Talk about your feelings, ask for help
  • Maintain social activities
  • Exercise daily, even a stroll around the neighborhood
  • Aim for 8 hours of sleep
  • Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day
  • Practice relaxation techniques

The sooner you can get support the greater your chance of overcoming depression.

Get Help for Depression

The sooner you can get help, the greater the likelihood that you can recover. To be assured of confidentiality as well as to receive answers to any questions you might have, call our toll-free number any time; we are available 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right treatment program to handle depression and can provide you with options, information about insurance, and resources.