Why Do I Feel So Hopeless?
Our busy and demanding lives can lead many of us to feel overwhelmed and sad. However, sometimes these feelings are more than just a short-lived response to a frustrating experience or difficulty.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people across the globe suffer from depression. It’s also more common in women than men.
So, why are so many individuals feeling hopeless?
Keep reading to learn the symptoms of depression and how hormonal imbalances can impact depression in women.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a medical condition that goes beyond feeling down or disappointed. It is often characterized by sadness and loss of interest in people and activities to the extent that it impacts daily functioning.
What’s more, depression can negatively affect how we think, feel, and behave, and cases may range from mild to severe.
What Are Some Common Symptoms of Depression?
When a person experiences depression, she may wonder “Why do I feel so hopeless?” It’s also common to be in a state of despair and sense a disconnection to the outside world.
Other symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Feelings of guilt, shame, or worthlessness
- Difficulty with concentration and decision making
- Thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts
Having four or more of these symptoms for two weeks are longer signifies depression that should be evaluated by your physician.
What Is the Connection Between Hormones and Feeling Hopeless?
Whether or not we realize it, hormones have a far-reaching effect on our mood, and researchers believe that hormonal fluctuations can impact neurotransmitter pathways. Here’s how.
1. Estrogen and Progesterone
These female reproductive hormones are able to act on the parts of the brain that regulate mood and behavior.
More specifically, estrogen helps form serotonin, which plays a key role in mood. While progesterone has the ability to impact GABA receptors and promote a sense of calm and quality sleep.
That being said, imbalance in these hormones and their ratios can certainly play a role in depression.
2. Thyroid Hormones
Many individuals are aware that a thyroid imbalance can cause lethargy and weight gain. However, increased or decreased levels of thyroid hormones can also influence mood.
When we are under stress the adrenal glands release cortisol. But when stress becomes chronic, it can cause adrenal fatigue and subsequent depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
Low levels of DHEA, which is often referred to as a “feel good hormone,” can also contribute to changes in how we think, feel, and act.
If you are experiencing depression and wondering “Why do I feel so hopeless?” please call The Menopause Center in Tysons, VA today to schedule a comprehensive consultation with Dr. Melinda Hall.
We can work with you to thoroughly understand your concerns and develop a customized treatment plan that works for you.