DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) –  More than 6,000 women in the United States reach menopause every day, but the years before can be filled with anxiety and depression.

“Perimenopause are the years prior to when you actually stop having a period,” said Dr. Anessa Alappatt with Fairborn Medical Center. “Usually we’re talking about 45 to 54, but that can be different depending on the person.”

She said depression is higher among that group transitioning into menopause. “There are a lot of hormone changes,” said Dr. Alappatt. “Plus, the changes in your life.”

She talked about stressors with children, aging parents, and dealing with weight gain and not getting enough sleep because of the hot flashes. “So, between all the life changes that are happening, and the physical changes on top of that… it becomes ripe for having problems with depression,”  she said.

She encouraged women to be open and talk about the struggles with friends, and said if you’re having too tough of a time, talk with your physician.