How Can I Fight Depression?
"Looking for something natural that might help with depression . Not severe and not all the time, but I have days where I can't stop crying. I heard St John's Wort is good. Thanks for any recommendations!! "
Mood changes are really common during menopause. We often underestimate how much of an impact our hormone levels have on our mood, digestion, sleep, etc. However, once things move into an unbalanced state it becomes very clear just how crucial this is!
Each woman’s menopause journey is unique. Did you know there are actually 10 different menopause types? Knowing which MenoType you are can help you determine the most effective ways to treat your symptoms. Take the quiz to discover which MenoType you are now.
Considering how you’ve described your experience so far I think there are some fantastic natural options that you can think about! So let’s look at a few in more detail:
St. John’s Wort : this herb is commonly used to support mild/moderate depression as research has continued to show that in these cases it’s as effective as prescription antidepressants and has less side-effects. In menopause, not only can it help with depression and mood changes, but it seems to have a significant impact on helping women manage hot flashes and insomnia. However, all the research is done on women who take it consistently for 2.5 years so this is a long-term support option. Also, St. John’s Wort has a lot of interaction with medications and supplements so ensure your health care provider has approved this for use.
Red Clover: What this herb has been shown to be helpful for is actually mood changes related to menopause. While it has shown some benefit for hot flashes, it’s often only a treatment I recommend if a woman is struggling with depression and anxiety during menopause. If you are noticing you have more anxiety, this is a great treatment to consider. This is a gentle herbal option, making it a great addition to other treatments you may already be using
Maca : this option is what I think of a whole body support. If you are finding that your energy is lower than it used to be this is a great option to consider. Maca has been shown to improve overall quality of life in menopausal women as it not only helps to support mood and energy, but it can also help with low libido. The gentle, supportive nature of maca makes it a fantastic herb to help you transition through menopause smoothly.
Yoga: I realize that most of the herbs I listed above take a few weeks before you start to see improvements in your symptoms so I think this is a perfect time to add in a wonderful lifestyle treatment! Hatha yoga (done 1-2 times per week) has been researched for menopause and it has shown to not only help with vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes, night sweats, etc), but it also helps with mood support.
The great thing about an exercise-based treatment is that you will see improvements within days of starting a regular physical activity schedule so it can be a great addition to your overall support plan.
If you notice that your depression symptoms worsen, even after you’ve implemented some other supportive treatments, don’t be afraid to talk with your healthcare provider about getting additional support. There are a lot of great options to help support your mood safely and effectively and knowing what options may be available to you is a big step in the right direction.
In support of your health, Dr. Clarence, ND
DR. HAYHLEE CLARENCE ND
Dr. Clarence has a Doctorate of Naturopathy degree from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is a strong advocate for conventional care, recognizing that when possible, naturopathic medicine functions best alongside medical treatment.