Could Mood Disorders be Caused by Hormonal Decline?

Posted on

20% of women are affected by depression as they advance through menopause.

The focus of this conversation is on a topic that was presented in November 2019 by Dr. Jill Stocker at the AMMG conference in Tucson, Az.

Dr. Stocker presented research and discussed the history of misdiagnosis of women who were experiencing hormonal decline. This is something I see every day in my practice and have noted that antidepressants and Xanax are still used for hormonal deficiencies, and after I replace women’s hormones, I find that most of these “psychiatric diagnoses” go away.

Dr Stocker reviewed the various mis diagnosis of hormone deficiencies as anxiety disorder, depression, and bipolar disorder. Her research related the many mistakes made by doctors over the last Century in diagnosing women as “crazy” instead of searching for the real reason for their symptoms.  Sadly, this kind of male chauvinism didn’t stop after women’s lib in the 1970s.  Scientific data now supports the proposition that these disorders are often caused by or adversely impacted by hormonal decline as women age. The treatment is hormones, not psychiatric drugs.

Today we want to share some of her research findings and talk about how her presentation is a reflection of the messages that doctor Maupin has been delivering for years.

It is gratifying to attend these conferences where hundreds or thousands of doctors are searching for new paradigms in medicine and new treatments that will address symptoms by finding the real cause of the symptoms and not just throwing medication at the medical complaint.   Most traditional doctors focus primarily on obtaining a set of lab numbers reflecting a “normal” range, but who are they getting their numbers from?  The American aging population is obese and unwell, so when you see a “normal” you are looking at the average for unwell obese people and usually only men.    Lab numbers have been based on only men for years.  In the area of female hormones, they make the mistake of comparing women to those of the same age, which means they consider menopausal women “normal” if they have NO HORMONES!  We are healthy when we are young, and we should have our hormones compared to “young healthy” levels.

Dr. Stocker states that 20% of women are affected by depression as they advance through menopause. And that the lifetime designation of depression among women is twice that of men.  Why is that?  Well one reason is that “depression” is a wastebasket term given to women who complain a lot, or are irritating to the doctor, as well as women who are deficient in hormones and going through menopause.  Why is it so hard for the current group of doctors to see that everything gets worse and mood changes with menopause?  It’s obvious to me that the cause is loss of hormones.

What is interesting about this 20% number is that a third of men experience depression in their lifetime, yet are not labeled depressed, and the suicide rate among men is four times higher than among women.  So, we over diagnose women and under diagnose men.  That fact is unfair to both sexes.

Doctors don’t escape depression either in fact the frustration of working in our current medical system has caused a large number of doctors to commit suicide.   Dr. Stocker says that 1 doctor a day commits suicide in the USA. The highest suicide rate of any profession and more than twice that of the general population.

She quotes medscapes 2019 report on physician burnout, depression and suicide (a survey of over 15 thousand doctors)

44% burned out

11% colloquially depressed

4% clinically depressed

Dr. Stocker goes on to evaluate the extent of depression worldwide and concludes that perhaps we are approaching the diagnosis and treatment of depression in the wrong way. Her argument is that we need a new paradigm in medicine, one which is based on listening and attending to our patients rather than comparing the client in front of us to lab normal and check list boxes.

This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author.

Related Post: