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Is menopause linked to depression?

Q: My 49 year old mother has been suffering from depression. She has spent her entire life bringing up her two kids. The depression started after my marriage and worsened over the last one year when my brother passed away unexpectedly. He had a substance abuse problem for which she blames herself at not getting him the help he needed. She does not share an ideal relationship with my father as they are both extremely different individuals. Right now she feels as though there is nothing left in life worth living for and does not socialise. She has become so reclusive after my brother's death that some might even consider her rude. We have tried to bring her out of the whole phase but have not tried medication for fear that she could become too dependent. Does she require medication? Could she be addicted to the medication? Could menopause be further worsening the situation? How can depression be managed?

A:Is this query regarding your mother? 1.She seems to be suffering from Depression, along with talking therapies from a psychologist, she would benefit with antidepressant prescribed under supervision of a psychiatrist. Not all medication have addictive potential, specially newer anti-depressants are not addictive, but one has to gradually start and stop, to avoid side-effects. 2. As a family, you can plan activities, gradually increasing her exposure to world, and her family. May be relationship counseling is needed, if there is marital problems. 3. Menopause is known to worsen depression. Adequate fluid intake, balance diet, physical and mental exercise would certainly help.

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