Depression and hormones

by Dr. Pranjal on July 10, 2023 , 4 min read

What is depression?

A disorder that affects mood, thinking, and attitude is a mental health condition called Major Depressive Disorder, or more commonly just Depression. Even while most people only experience brief spells of sadness or despair, clinical depression is more than just feeling down in the dumps.



When depression is treated, many people go on to lead long and better lives. However, some people may struggle with depression their entire lives and need long-term care. 

If you notice symptoms of depression, consult your doctor. Depression can affect people of any age and in every condition in life so it's best to treat it early and get your life on track. At kindly we have experts who can guide you through this difficult phase of life. Click here to talk to an expert. 


What causes depression?

There is no simple treatment to “cure” depression. While some people are more prone to depressive episodes than others, Talking to your doctor about your symptoms can go a long way. 


Genetic factors



It's possible that mental health conditions like depression run in families. If you have a family member who suffers from depression, your chances of developing a depressive condition at some point in your life may be increased. It is unknown which specific genes are at play even though numerous genes are thought to have a role.


Biochemical factors



Depression begins with brain function, although the reason behind it is not yet fully known. Serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are three neurotransmitters that have an impact on sensations of happiness and pleasure that are out of balance in depressed individuals. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter, that is balanced by antidepressants. 


Hormonal factors

Depression may start as a result of changes in hormone levels or action. Mental health problems may result from hormonal changes, such as those brought on by the menstrual cycle, menopause, pregnancy, or other diseases.

Mothers experience depressive symptoms after giving birth when they have postpartum depression. Read more about postpartum depression in women here.





A case of depression can be brought on by trauma, a significant life change, or a constant struggle. People can be greatly affected by the loss of a loved one, being fired, facing financial difficulties, or going through a significant transition.


What are the symptoms of depression?

Although the signs and symptoms of depression might change depending on their severity, there are certain common signs to look out for. 



Common symptoms include

  • Sadness
  • Trouble focusing or concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, frustration
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable or fun activities
  • Sleep issues (too much or too little)
  • Feeling lethargic 
  • Craving unhealthy foods
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble thinking or making decisions
  • Dropping out of activities
  • Guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
  • Pain, like headaches or muscle aches
  • Drug or alcohol abuse


Some people exhibit psychotic episodes or alterations in their motor skills. These might be symptoms of illnesses like bipolar disorder that can lead to depression.

How Hormone Imbalances Can Impact Depression

More research is needed on how hormones and depression are connected, but there is definitely an interaction between hormones and depression. It can severely affect all aspects of your life from social to intimate relationships. Read all about how depression affects your performance in bed here.



Common Hormonal Imbalances That Can Cause Depressive Symptoms

These four hormones, when out of balance, are known to exacerbate depressive disorder symptoms. 




Your body's and brain's health are significantly influenced by the thyroid, a little gland. Its participation results in the production of numerous neurotransmitters, including dopamine, and serotonin, which is all associated with mood disorders. Problems occur when the gland produces either too little (hypothyroidism) or too much (hyperthyroidism) hormone. In reality, thyroid disease directly contributes to one-third of all occurrences of depression.



Estrogen has an impact on a number of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, dopamine, and GABA. It is possible for estrogen abnormalities to impact neurotransmitter levels and result in depressive symptoms.



Also referred to as the "relaxation hormone," has a soothing effect when produced in the proper quantities. Hormonal imbalances or low levels of the hormone that encourages relaxation can cause a variety of psychological conditions, including irritability, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and brain fog.




In both men and women, testosterone guards against mental illnesses like depression. An increase in depression and anxiety symptoms, such as fatigue, has been associated with low testosterone levels.


Incidence of depressive symptoms and the events in a woman's reproductive life

Postpartum depression


The levels of circulating estrogen and progesterone drop suddenly during the postpartum period, that is, after a woman gives birth. The sudden hormonal changes that come with giving birth and the immediate postpartum period may play a significant role in the increased risk for depression during this time.


There are an estimated 4.4% to 9% rates of depression in postpartum women worldwide.


How is depression diagnosed?



A thorough examination can be done by your medical reviewer in order to diagnose depression. They might suggest that you see a psychiatrist for more assessment. 


Your doctor will elicit information from you regarding your thoughts and feelings because depression cannot be diagnosed through blood testing. Based on your symptoms and responses, your doctor will be able to make a diagnosis.

How is depression treated?

Your doctor might suggest medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two improve depression. Finding a treatment that is effective for you can take some time. Since depression can have a wide range of causes and symptoms, treatment options will be customised for your unique situation.



Maintaining a schedule, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, and exercising can help keep depression under control. With the help of your doctor, identify an effective treatment strategy for your symptoms.


Adopt Healthy Habits

  • Invest in healthy lifestyle practices in addition to discussing your physical and mental health. 
  • Talk to your doctor and get their professional input. 
  • Join a therapy group or phone a friend. Remember that communication is key to survival for humans. 
  • Talk to individuals who have been in your shoes and learn from their experiences, ask them how they dealt with their situations and overcame depression. 
  • Understand that you are never alone! 
  • Get more exercise, sleep and consume healthy foods.
  • Find time for yourself, participate in self-care activities. 
  • Avoid harmful habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking, etc. 


Other ways to work on your depression are

  • Deep breathing exercises or meditation
  • Ensuring that you engage in daily movement
  • Simple outdoor activities like strolling or meditating
  • Keeping a journal or just making a list of your fears and anxieties
  • Just a few minutes of stillness while concentrating on your breath
  • Including yoga before bed or in the morning


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by Dr. Pranjal on July 10, 2023 , 4 min read

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