menopause masterclass

Am I depressed or is it menopause?

March 21, 2024

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Hello, I'm Tamsen Fadal. In our informative Menopause Masterclass, we had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Judith Joseph, a renowned psychiatrist specializing in women's mental health. She provided valuable insights into differentiating between depression and the effects of menopause.

Identifying the Signs: Depression vs. Menopause

Dr. Joseph helps clarify the confusion many women face: Are the mood changes I'm experiencing due to menopause, or could it be depression?

The 3Ps: Differentiating Factors

Dr. Joseph introduces the '3Ps' to distinguish between menopausal symptoms and depression:

Physical Changes: Menopause can lead to symptoms like hot flashes and palpitations, not typical in depression.

Past History: A lack of personal or family history of depression might suggest that mood changes are more likely due to menopause.

Period Changes: Variations in menstrual cycles are often indicative of perimenopausal changes.

The TIES Framework: Understanding Menopause's Mental Impact

Dr. Joseph and I have talked extensively about the TIES acronym to elaborate on menopause's mental effects:

T (Thinking): Cognitive changes such as forgetfulness or difficulty in finding words are common during menopause.

I (Identity): Feelings of identity confusion or questioning self-identity often occur.

E (Emotions): Emotional dysregulation, including anxiety and mood swings, can result from hormonal fluctuations.

S (Sleep): Estrogen changes can disrupt sleep, affecting overall mental health.

Approaching Mood Changes in Menopause

Dr. Joseph advises women experiencing moodiness or anxiety to consult healthcare professionals familiar with menopausal mood changes. Not all doctors may have extensive training in this area, making specialized guidance important.

Therapy and Support for Mental Health

Therapies such as Organizational Skills Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) can be effective for addressing various menopausal mental health issues.

Empowering Women for Better Mental Health

Dr. Joseph emphasizes the importance of women taking an active role in managing their mental health during menopause, exploring options like therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and medication if necessary.

For more insights into mental health during menopause, explore our full Menopause Masterclass series.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult with a healthcare provider for personalized guidance.

For more on Dr. Joseph:



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