Menopause & Depression

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Experiencing mood changes with menopause

June 2009

I've been experiencing some unpleasant mood changes now that my periods have stopped. I am consumed by anger and sadness with very little respite. There is lots of stress in my life. I have a history of depression - most recently am trying out an Emsam patch. Any positive results with HRT for depression? Other tips to share? Thanks anon

Hi, Need to make this quick, but wanted to empathize and offer you Sara Gottfried 's info. She is at the Center For Integrative Medicine on Lake Merritt in Oakland, and she is wonderful. She is a Harvard-trained MD but is very into natural and alternative means of treating hormonal imbalance, primarily perimenopause/menopause. When I first saw her a couple of years ago I was CONSTANTLY exhausted, pissed off, hagard, had low-grade depression and did I say pissed off? PLUS chronic insomnia. It felt like bad PMS that was becoming more and more my natural state.

She put me on bioidentical hormones and supplements, and I now sleep through the night MOST nights, am not depressed, have very good energy, and **LOVE** my life again.

It may take awhile to get an appt., and after that it may take a few months to get yourself ''balanced'' (she does blood/saliva testing and bases treatment on that) but it is SO WORTH IT!

Her website is Phone is 510.893.3907 Best of luck to you! Anonymous

My gynecologist says she is finding that a low dose of antidepressant helps women making the transition. I am trying Wellbutrin, and it does seem to be smoothing out the edges on my mood and making me feel generally less tired and ponderous. Hope this helps you. --Also there

Psychiatrist for pre-menopausal depression?

March 2008

My partner, already treating for long-term depression, is having a really hard time with a new job and now is pre-menopausal as well. It's become pretty bad, and we're thinking she might get a fresh look at an old problem with a different psychiatrist. She'd like to try a female doc this time - maybe one who deals a lot with these issues, so she'd have a more invested grasp of current meds or ideas that might help get us through this. Any suggestions? -anon

I usually prefer female practitioners myself, but I have to recommend Randy Bloch in Walnut Creek. He's worth the drive. Google him & check out his website & credentials. Suzanne

Hi, I do realize that your question specifically asked about a psychiatrist for your partner, and I'm afraid I can't help there, but since you also mentioned medical issues and depression associated with pre-menopause, I wanted to wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Sara Gottfried . Her Oakland practice is called Integrative Medicine for Women. She is a Harvard-trained, board certified Gyn who specializes in bioidentical hormone balancing in perimenopausal and menopausal women. She provides a great balance between western/allopathic and alternative/holistic medicine, and REALLY knows her stuff. At 46 with a 3-year-old (yikes), I was having a horrendous time with insomnia, exhaustion, depression, terrible mood swings, heart palpitations, zero libido, ETC. when I found Dr. Gottfried, and she has truly been a Godsend for me (and my family!). All of my symptoms are now at least 90% better, and I love my life again! I am a Kaiser fan, but their solution for me was to offer me the Pill, which makes me nuts and severely depressed. Dr. Gottfried's website is Best wishes to you and your partner. Feeling SO much better!