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Depression Triggers continued...

Depression Trigger: Loss

Losing a loved one is never easy. Some people may be able to get past the loss after a certain amount of grieving time. Others may spiral into a deep depression.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Don’t go it alone, says Bea. “Join a support group.” Individual or group counseling can also help you come to terms with your loss. Medication may play a role too. If you are already on medication, it is possible that your doctor may want to adjust your dose or add another drug to help you get through a rough patch. “Help is available,” he says. Talk to your doctor about your depression to find the best treatment plan for you.

Depression Trigger: Marriage Problems/Divorce

It can be stressful and upsetting to be in a toxic relationship, but change and starting over can be scary -- even if you know it’s for the best, Saltz says.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Some couples can benefit from marriage counseling, and it may even help save their relationship. If you are divorced or separated, support groups and individual therapy can help you get through the adjustment period and remember who you were before the split. “Give yourself some slack and seek support,” Saltz says.

Depression Trigger: Retirement

Yes, retirement is often idealized and even fantasized about. You and your spouse can take long leisurely walks on the beach, maybe take that dream vacation you always talked about, or even relocate to a warmer climate. “It is supposed to be joyful, but many retirees find themselves at loose ends and searching for an identity,” says Saltz. “When both spouses are together all day long, it can also it cause marital strife.”

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Don’t let yourself get bored, she says. Take classes, make plans with friends, and look for volunteer opportunities.

Depression Trigger: Hormonal Ups and Downs

Some women feel sad and irritable before their monthly period. Others have more severe mood symptoms during their time of the month. Older women may also experience some ups and downs as they approach menopause, and levels of the female sex hormone estrogen decline. Having a baby can also be a trigger. This can be a fleeting case of the baby blues or the more severe postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis. One common culprit in all of these scenarios are your hormones.

Mood-Boosting Strategy

Keep a journal to see if you can identify any patterns, Saltz says. “If your mood changes and symptoms are impacting your life, treatments can help,” she says. “This may include therapy, self-talk, and deep breathing. “For women with severe premenstrual syndrome, medication may also be an option,” Saltz says. Postpartum depression is also treatable. If you are feeling sad, hopeless, and or having trouble caring for and bonding with your baby, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional right away.