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A new study has confirmed that almost 70 percent of women going through menopause show signs of depression. It explains that anything to do with anxiety and fear of death are the greatest risk factors triggering depression in postmenopausal women.
Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), has published the result of the study today.
During menopause, there is a substantial decrease in the secretion of hormones. This makes women more prone to a number of psychological problems, including depression, anxiety, irritability, nervousness, sadness, restlessness, memory problems, lack of confidence and concentration, and even a loss of libido. These issues are mostly induced by the idea of aging and the fear of death.
Researches in this new study involved 485 postmenopausal Turkish women aged between 35 and 78 years. The aim was to determine the frequency of depressive symptoms in postmenopausal women and to figure out the factors behind it such as anxiety as well as the fear of death. Upon evaluating the relationship between these variables and postmenopausal depression, they found that depression in postmenopausal women is a common but important health problem.
41 per cent of the participants were found to be experiencing some or the other form of depression. Although this rate seems to be lower than the previously conducted studies, it could be a result of the lower age of the participants, the average age being 56.3 years.
Being a widow or being separated from one’s spouse, alcohol consumption, continuous and prolonged medication, presence of a physical disability, or having four or more living children are some of the cases that are identified as risk factors for causing depression in most postmenopausal women.
However the study hasn’t been able to establish a relationship between depression and the fear of death.
“The findings of this study involving postmenopausal Turkish women are consistent with existing literature and emphasize the high prevalence of depressive symptoms in midlife women, particularly those with a history of depression or anxiety, chronic health conditions, and psychosocial factors such as major stressful life events,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. He further adds, “Women and the clinicians who care for them need to be aware that the menopause transition is a period of vulnerability in terms of mood.”
(With inputs from ANI)