Are Your Imbalanced Sex Hormones
Making You Depressed?

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Are Your Imbalanced Sex Hormones Making You Depressed?

One of the depression causes to be known is imbalance in the sex hormones.

It is probably well known that women are more prone to depression than men. However, as observed by Dr Ilardi, this difference is only during the prime reproductive years, when sex hormone levels are supposed to be at their highest [1].

Such a situation suggests that it is the sex hormones, rather than gender per se, that have large effect on mood and other depressive symptoms.

In turn, it has been found that a shortage of sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone or testosterone is one of the depression causes [2], in both men and women. This means that when your sex hormone(s) is in imbalance, you will be susceptible to depression whether you are a man or a woman.


Estrogen and Progesterone

Women are found to be more highly vulnerable to depression during the premenstrual period, right after childbirth and in the years leading up to menopause, when the levels of sex hormones in the body are rapidly changing. [1].

As Syd Baumel puts it, “the times of life when a woman’s hormones are most unsettled are the times when she is most vulnerable to mental disease”. [2]

In turn, the two sex hormones often considered to be depression causes in women are estrogen and progesterone.


Estrogen

According to psychiatrist Stephen Stahl of the University of California at San Diego, most of the effects of estrogen on major neurotransmitter systems resemble or complement that of antidepressant drugs. [2]

In fact, some depressed women appear to require estrogen in order to be responsive to antidepressant drugs [2]. In addition, it was also found in some studies that estrogen helped prevent the development of mood disorders (including depression) after delivery in women with a history of postpartum depression or psychosis [2].

Research on a weaker form of estrogen, i.e. Estriol, found that it was able to improve depressive moods and other menopausal symptoms, as well as provide all the anti-aging benefits of estrogen, without the risk of cancer that estrogen brings [3].

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