One of the more unpleasant aspects of entering menopause is the emotional roller coaster I have been on. I have always been a very sensitive person, but now it has intensified to the point of my having days when I feel like crying, over the smallest things or for no particular reason at all. This is a normal symptom of this transition in life, I have been told, but I have started to seek out things that will help counter them. Some suggestions I have been given or am currently trying are:
ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES TO ALLEVIATE DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
If you are anything like me, you may not want to take a lot of allopathic/conventional medications, due to all the possible side-effects. Also, there is always the danger of getting too dependent on such prescription drugs.
If your depression is extremely serious, then you might have to go on a prescription antidepressant, but if you want other options, there are a number of effective herbal and homeopathic remedies you can take to help reduce or even eliminate menopausal depression.
No, I am not a healthcare professional, but I have used alternative remedies for years and they have worked pretty well for me.
Helpful herbs for relieving depression/anxiety include black cohosh, St. John’s wort and valerian.
Homeopathic remedies include aconite napellus, argentum nitricum, belladonna, cimicifuga racemosa, folliculinum, ignatia imara, kali carbonicum, lachesis, pulsatilla, and sepia. Homeopathic remedies, unlike herbal remedies, are not all general, in that certain personalities and symptoms may better fit one particular homeopatihc remedy over another. To decide which of these is the best choice for you, you need to research each remedy to decide which of them matches your individual set of symptoms. I have used some of them for my own menopausal issues and started to find relief. If you live in an area where a homeopathic practitioner is available, make an appointment.
Although I have not personally tried it, I’ve heard people who swear by acupuncture as a helpful way to address depression concerns. The Chinese art of acupuncture declares that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which can be stimulated by inserting needles in strategic areas of the body for specific conditions, such as depression. I’ve never heard of anyone who suffered any ill effects from it.
If you want to purchase alternative medicine products that address your depression and anxiety, make sure you do your research first. There are a number of online sites with information as well as books and magazines on alternative remedies.
The most important thing you have to do is to let your primary care physician know of any alternative medicines you plan on considering, so that he or she can make certain there will be no dangerous interactions with allopathic or conventional prescription medications you are taking.
If you’re not currently on a regular exercise regimen, now is as good a time as any to start one. It’s not only good for you physically, but even moderate exercise helps you to get rid of stress. Walking, swimming, working out on cardio machines, even exercising to a fitness video every day can make a difference in your mood. It may even help you to lose weight and we all know that when we look better, we feel a lot better, too.
DIET AND NUTRITION
Nope, ladies, we can’t eat like we did when we were in our 20’s anymore. What we eat can often affect our moods. Some healthy things to include in your diet include whole grains, egg yolks, leafy dark green vegetables like kale and spinach, herring and trout. All contribute to lifting depression. Cut back on fats salt and refined sugar and keep fast food eating to a bare minumum. It’s unrealistic to think that we won’t occasionally be tempted by that Wendy’s hamburger or Aunt Georgine’s fried chicken, but it’s imperative to eat for our health now, so make wise choices.
DO NOT DISCOUNT THE VALUE OF A NICE, HOT BATH
A nice, hot bath is a calmer for me. If you can, purchase some aromatherapy products that are geared towards helping you become more relaxed. Follow the directions as specified for pouring just the right amount in your bath, then sit down in that tub and soak away the tension. Works for me!
GET A NEW INTEREST OR HOBBY GOING
You’d be surprised how throwing yourself into a new activity can help you. For me, it was pursuing my love for writing, something I’ve always desired to do, but seldom made the time for. It’s been very cathartic for me, in that I have a positive outlet where I can channel my creativity. For you, it may be something different, like taking salsa lessons, joining a book club, volunteering, signing up for a class, doing anything that gets your focus off yourself for awhile.
TURN OFF THE BOOB TUBE
Watching hour upon hour of negative television shows can be a downer and, if you are prone to depression because of menopause, you may need to turn off the set more often. 24/7 of the world’s worst news and shows filled with violence and moral ambiguity depress me personally. I am not saying that you ought to stick your head in the sand and not keep abreast of what’s going on in the world, but don’t oversaturate yourself with the madness presented on television. Turn off the set for a few hours and read a good book or better yet, go out somewhere and treat yourself to something fun and enjoyable.
The old saying about misery loving company still rings true. If they have any support groups in your area for women going through menopause, consider joining. It always helps to know there are other people experiencing similar concerns. I’ve found that I have to fight the urge to alienate myself during this time, because I feel so odd and out of sorts. However, like Barbra Streisand sang, people need people and we need to reach out to others.
If you don’t have a support group, then make sure there are friends or family members you can regularly talk to. If your family is one of those kinds that adds to your problems, don’t feel bad about getting counseling. Going through menopause is a major event in life, so get all the support you can now. Fortunately, I have a female pastor and a number of friends who have all gone through the same thing, so I know how just talking to somebody can be a big relief.
Depression and anxiety are an expected part of menopause, but they don’t have to sideline you. I recommend you give the suggestions in this article some serious consideration by doing further research on your own and then applying what works best for you.