02 Oct Hormones and Mental Health: How Hormones Affect Mental Health
How Hormones Affect Mental Health.
Over recent years, there has been a steep rise in mental health awareness. We recognise that a significant percentage of the UK population have – or have had – a mental health condition. However, there is still little understanding of the link between hormones and mental health.
Menopause and Mental Health
In menopause and other hormone-related conditions, we discuss physical symptoms such as fatigue, night sweats, and hot flushes widely. However, in my experience as a psychiatrist and hormone specialist, mental health symptoms are often more debilitating. Symptoms often include low mood, self-esteem and confidence, anxiety, irritability, poor concentration, memory, and brain fog. They impact men and women affecting their quality of life, including work and relationships with friends and family.
Psychiatry and Hormones – the missing link
Through seeing patients, the missing link between the field of psychiatry and hormonal health has become clear. Many symptoms that psychiatric patients typically present with may be hormone related. However, due to lack of awareness, we do not consider Hormone Replacement Therapy and hormone balance as a course of treatment. That needs to change.
Antidepressants are not the only option
There has been a steady rise in awareness of hormone related conditions and mental health. However, GPs and psychiatrists continue to prescribe antidepressants for patients with low mood and anxiety. HRT or hormone balance may be more appropriate and it requires patients and practitioners to be aware of alternative treatment options.
Compounded BHRT for Mental Health Conditions & Symptoms
I have observed that symptoms of Anxiety and Depressive Disorders can be identical to those of hormone imbalances in men and women. In my experience, patients are happier to be prescribed Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) than antidepressants. They view it as more natural approach and has fewer side effects. It can also negate the need for antidepressants.
In the field of psychiatry, no individual is the same and every patient responds differently to treatment. In my experience, the same applies to hormone related conditions and which is why compounded BHRT (cBHRT) is my preferred treatment option. The nature of cBHRT means that I can treat the patient with doses that are bespoke, tailored to their needs and what they feel comfortable with. Starting with a low dose allows me to see how the patient responds over time and then I adjust the dose accordingly.