Explanation why melancholy strikes in your 40s


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Low testosterone levels

A low production of testosterone (sex hormone) affects more than libido, according to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. Low testosterone stores, which tend to decline with age, can lead to erectile dysfunction in men, as well as low energy, decreased libido, weight gain, bone weakness, hair loss and ultimately depression in both sexes. However, hormone replacement therapy can help alleviate these symptoms.

Retirement

Retiring from work can be a positive new chapter in your life if you fill it with hobbies, travel, and bonding with your spouse. However, many older people become depressed soon after retirement, according to a research study co-led by the UK-based Institute of Economic Affairs and the Age Endeavor Fellowship. The study found that upon retirement, approximately 40% of people become clinically depressed, while 60% develop a physical disorder.

Beginning of menopause

Perimenopause (the transition to menopause) is marked by hot flashes, irregular periods, decreased sex drive, mood imbalances, and loss of sleep. It’s no wonder this hormonal roller coaster leaves women feeling uneasy. A 2006 study of mood cycles by Harvard researchers found that one in six women without a medical history of depression had symptoms of depression during perimenopause.

Not enough « me » time

If you are suffocating under the many obligations of work life, social life, family, parenthood, and finances, you are likely to become clinically depressed. In fact, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research study found that Americans today are more likely to commit suicide than die in traffic accidents.

The data indicated that suicide rates among middle-aged men increased by 50% while suicide rates among women increased by 60% over the past decade and attributed this depression to the overwhelming demands of caring for their children, spouses and aging parents. (Here are 10 “Me Time” tips from medical professionals).


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