Middle-aged women experience the highest rates of depression, most prevalent among women age 40 to 59 years old.

Many women experience mood shifts in their prime - their 40’s & 50’s - that can detract significantly from their quality of life. 

It’s important to monitor your heart health during midlife, a critical window for implementing early intervention strategies to reduce CVD risk.


Things suddenly bother you, possibly enrage you, you’re a short fuse and you feel out of control as if you could “lose it” at anytime.

Generalized or specific anxiety:

Suddenly, you feel overwhelmed and you’re fighting a flight or fight response all too often. You feel uneasy about your abilities in a way you haven’t before and question whether you’re able to upkeep the “act” of having it together that much longer. 


This can range from being in a “blah” mood constantly to not being able to get out of bed or off the couch. You feel deeply unmotivated and wonder “what the point is, anyway”.

Women are hit by several forces at once in midlife, some are situational while many are hormonal. Many women don’t account for the latter to the extent they should. 


Hormonal changes can disrupt sleep or cause night sweats, which in turn disrupt sleep patterns. Chronic lack of sleep causes stress, which can foster depression. 

Decreased energy, increased appetite symptoms of depression may overlap with and compound subjective complaints of fatigue as well as weight increases are commonly reported during and after the menopause transition.

Subjective complaints of cognitive changes are common during the menopause transition. Some researchers have shown that post menopause, women’s cognitive function can return to normal. 

Concurrent depressive and anxiety symptoms were associated with slower processing speed and anxiety was also associated with worse memory.

Midlife women with depression may also present with co-occurring cognitive slowing, perhaps amplifying existing cognitive changes during the menopause transition.

Decreased libido also may be a symptom of depression. The dual effect of depression and the menopause transition on sexual desire and performance may be additive,menopause may represent a uniquely challenging time for women. 

Women face a series of stressors including but not exclusive to caring for aging parents, death of parents, medical illness in self and family, children, and changes in marital status. These multiple demands are often faced without support in place to identify or address the ensuing distress placed on a woman during this stage.

Supplemental Research 


Menopause, Vol. 25, No. 10, 2018 The North American Menopause Society