Menopause and Depression
Myths persist that there is an increased incidence of depression which accompanies
menopause. According to a study in the Archives of General Psychiatry
(Jan. 2004), there is an increased likelihood of depressive symptoms during
the transition to menopause, but a corresponding decreased likelihood
of depression after menopause. This was seen after statistical adjustments
were made to exclude other predictors of depression such as a history of depression,
severe premenstrual syndrome or PMDD, poor sleep, age, race and employment status.
This study was unique in that it was done prospectively, over four years, in
an equal number of premenopausal African American and white women (218 in each
group). These women were all aged 35 to 47 years, had regular menstrual cycles,were taking no hormonal or psychotropic medications, and had no serious
physicalor mental health problems at the beginning of the study.
This study supported previous hypotheses that depressive symptoms as are more
highly correlated with the changing hormonal status of perimenopause-or the
transition to menopause-than menopause itself. In many women, additional exacerbating
factors may confuse the diagnosis or the symptoms of mood swings or depressive
Click here for more information about depression or other
mental health issues.
Created: 3/18/2004  - Donnica Moore, M.D.