Mood and Menstrual Cycles
Today, Brett talks about the clinical definition of Depression. He explains how a diagnosis of clinical depression is made. Together, we speak of the reality that everyone at some time experiences depressive situations and feels depressed. We explain the difference between being what is called socially depressed, and what is meant by clinical depression. How are those distinctions made and why it is hard for sufferers of depression to get support and sympathy from others.
As our conversation develops we focus on the issue of estrogen, a female hormone that is suppressed by most birth control pills. The most recent edition of Obgyn News has an article which claims that if a woman has less than an optimal amount of estrogen during her fertile years, she is 15% more likely to be depressed clinically when she is post menopausal. I make the point that not only estrogen in less than optimal amounts, but also testosterone in less than optimal amounts will lead to depression and decreased libido among other things. When women age and lose these two critical hormones (and yes both of them are critical to women) then they will experience the loss of their libido and their general sense of well being, and are greatly at risk for being diagnosed with clinical depression.
In my practice, I have thirty years of real life experience treating women who have had too little estrogen throughout their lives in part because of the way the chemicals of the birth control pill work. We discuss how this happens, and what women can do when they reach menopause to prevent the disappearance of their sex drives and to avoid becoming clinically depressed. I think you will find this discussion to be stimulating at the very least. I hope you will find that it explains why so many women are diagnosed as depressed and that you will see that there are alternatives which will help you not be in that group!