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Exploring the Link Between Hormones and Mental Health in Women: What You Need to Know

Updated: Apr 27

Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health conditions across the globe. There are so many factors to consider regarding what causes it. For some, it’s situational. For others, it can be brought on by past trauma, stress, or even burnout. For women, in particular, hormones can play a role when it comes to depression or anxiety. Stress hormones and reproductive hormones often cause changes when it comes to mental health. It’s important to understand what those hormones could be doing, how they could impact you, and how you can manage your depression in healthy, effective ways.

Let’s take a closer look at how hormones affect mental health in women, so you can make sure they’re balanced, working with your mental health, not against it.

The Estrogen Issue

Depression doesn’t discriminate. It impacts men and women fairly evenly. However, there are some disruptions only women can experience, thanks to estrogen. During a woman’s estrogen-producing years, she can experience mood disruptions, anxiety, and depression more often and more severely than women who are post-menopausal. Low estrogen levels, for example, can cause mood swings and make you more anxious. It can also disturb your sleep patterns, which may eventually lead to depression and start a vicious cycle of poor sleep and poor mental health. That’s one reason why postpartum depression is so prominent. The sudden drop in estrogen can make a woman feel extremely depressed, helpless, and hopeless.

Hormonal Imbalances

In addition to estrogen causing problems, you can also become anxious or depressed if you experience hormonal imbalances. For women, those imbalances can be caused by things like menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. Lifestyle choices, including poor sleep, poor eating habits, and not exercising, can also cause hormonal fluctuations.

Women going through menopause commonly experience symptoms like fatigue, memory loss, and aches and pains. If you already deal with depression or anxiety, this dysregulation can worsen your symptoms. It can also contribute to feelings of sadness, mood swings, and sleep disturbances. Obviously, those unpleasant side effects can take a toll on your mental health, as well.

How to Balance Your Hormones

If you’re struggling with low estrogen levels, one of the best things you can do is to talk with your doctor or gynecologist. You might need a specific type of treatment, or you may need to start taking estrogen to get your levels up. It’s always a good rule of thumb to reach out to a medical professional before making any changes or even before you take an over-the-counter medication. Low estrogen could be a sign of an underlying health issue, and getting yourself checked out is essential.

If you’re experiencing hormonal dysregulation, there are plenty of things you can do to find a balance. In many cases, simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Try some of the following natural solutions:

  • Eating protein with every meal

  • Exercising every day

  • Prioritizing sleep

  • Using stress reduction exercises

  • Taking care of your gut health

Again, it’s important to work with a medical professional, even when you’re going a natural route. They can help you make the best choices to fit your physical and mental needs.

Dealing With Mental Health Issues from Hormones

Fighting depression or anxiety can cause a lot of extra stress. That contributes to a vicious cycle that can keep throwing your hormones out of whack.

Don’t feel like you have to manage the symptoms of depression or anxiety on your own. Feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment. Together, we’ll work on healthy and effective ways to manage your mental health—including lifestyle changes that can also help to balance your hormones at the same time.

Woman sitting on couch looking sad


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