Dear Christine, Depressed in Detroit

  • Posted on June 12, 2017 at 9:46 am

Dear Christine,

I’m a generally happy person so it confused me when for no apparent reason a couple months ago I started feeling sad, somewhat depressed and unmotivated to do things. I was due for my annual physical and told my physician but she wasn’t much help. Nothing physically wrong with me that she could find and she suggested I seek medication if it continues.I don’t want to be on meds so my question to you is, do you know of any reason why someone 45 could suddenly feel depressed for no real reason? Oh, and how do you feel about medication for depression?

Thanks, Depressed in Detroit

Dear Depressed,

I’m glad that there’s nothing physically wrong with you and that you first checked with your physician about your feeling blue these days. There are several things that could be affecting you: you are close to the age of perimenopause and mood changes can be connected with those hormonal changes. Menopause can really wreak havoc on the a woman’s body and well being. Also, several months includes important events in any one person’s life, but also the life of United States citizens. There’s been a lot of political changes in the country, and perhaps some of these changes are bothering you.

You don’t mention if you have changed any routines: eating: frequency and what you are eating, sleeping, exercise, activities for work and daily life, social activity. All of these things can affect your mood. I encourage all my friends and clients to exercise regularly, so that your heart rate is increased to the point you can’t carry on a conversation for at least 20 minutes several times a week. Also, eating healthy foods is important: leafy, green vegetables and other foods of a variety of colors, whole grains and avoiding processed foods and alcohol, but instead eat whole grains and lean proteins, and drink lots of water. Sleep is really important and can change for women in their mid 40s. Try to get 8 hours of sleep every night, and if you are short, using napping to bring up the total hours of rest. Your brain uses that time to reinforce whatever you have been learning and clear out the debris of life, so sleep is critical. Have you tried stress relieving activities like yoga, that also encourage deep breathing and centering? Those can be very helpful.

If there is anything bothering you that you’ve been putting off or ignoring, now is the time to deal with it. If you’ve had any upsetting events or interactions in the last several months, you might try journaling or writing. Not blogging where all the world can read your thoughts, but something private, either hand written or an on line journal. Somewhere that you can pour all your unfiltered thoughts and feelings and experiences. Reading over those entries may bring insight about patterns of behavior or thought that are sabotaging your good life.

Perhaps these suggestions will resolve this depression of the last several months. If you have tried all these things and you still feel down, try talk therapy. It will help you learn new coping techniques and ways of thinking that you may not have utilized before and that will change your brain functioning. Lastly, a consultation with an MD or DO for medication might be advised.

Lastly, a consultation with an MD or DO for medication might be advised.

So see medication as a last resort. Meanwhile, try the other suggestions and see if your life improves. I hope it will. Christine C. Cantrell, PhD,


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