Topics: Menopause, Major depressive disorder, Bipolar disorder Pages: 14 (4241 words) Published: March 5, 2013
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The Intensity of Menopausal Symptoms and the Level of Depression among Imprisoned Women

3NUR3 – RLE 2A

Cloa, Joanna Mari T.
Cocos, Sabino Joshua IV B.
Concepcion, Gian Lois L.
Coronia, Andrea Louise D.G.
Corpuz, Marina Angeleenn V.
Corpuz, Melissa Lalaine O.

Most women have experienced intermittent psychological manifestations brought about by a physiological condition caused by the onset of menstruation. Women have been dealing with the physiologic and psychologic effects of menstruation ever since their menarch. However, women would not have to deal with menstruation forever since there will become an inevitable stage which every female must face; a process of gradual decline of ovarian function and estrogen level termed as menopause (Ying Li, Qi Yu et al, 2008).

According to The North American Menopause Society (2001), menopause is the permanent cessation of menstruation due to the loss of ovarian follicular activity. This is confirmed by a record of 12 consecutive months of amenorrhea with no known pathological or other physiological cause. Menopause has three distinct phases: the perimenopause (the period of time prior to menopause during which a woman moves from normal ovulatory cycles to cessation of menses), menopause (the time when menses cease) and post menopause (the period of time after a woman has experienced 12 consecutive months without menstruation) (Ladewig, London, and Johnson, 2006). Menopause usually occurs between 45 and 52 years of age, however, the current median age of menopause is 51.3 years (Ladewig, London, and Johnson, 2006). In developed countries the age of menopause is commonly 51 years old (Ozmedir et al, 2004) or 51.1 years old (Boulet MJ, Oddens BJ, and Lehert P, 1994). In India and the Philippines, the median age of natural menopause is considerably earlier, at 44 years. (Ringa, V., 2000)

Since there is an increasing population of post menopausal women who will spend one third of their lives during the post menopausal period, the social and physiological problems during this stage is of great importance (Chompootweep S. et al, 1993). The common symptoms of menopausal onset are hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, moodiness, tension, anxiety, and emotional instability (Elavsky&McAuley, 2009). Palacios, et al. (2010) found that the incidence of symptoms also varies within an ethnic group, depending on their country. In most surveys within Asians, hot flashes was seen to be the most reported symptom but only with varying rates of occurrence among different ethnic groups (Boulet MJ, Oddens BJ, Lehert P, et al, 1994; Tan D, Haines CJ, Limpaphayom KK, et al. 2005). The occurence of hot flushes is one of the most stressful problems and increases with the development of the menopausal transition, from 6 to 13% in the premenopause, and to 79% in the postmenopause (Woods & Mitchell, 2005).

Women present exceptional vulnerability to symptoms of depression and anxiety, mainly associated with their reproductive period (Lopez & Murray, 1998), and as they transition to menopause, they will also begin to experience other biological and social changes (Bauld, 2009). As a matter of fact psychotic manifestations such as depression, anger, somatization, and anxiety are more prevalent during the menopausal period (Maartens et al, 2002). A study by Kessler (1993) states that women between the age of 45-55 are at the peak of depression. In Taiwan, Lee and Kuo (2002) did a study with regards to depression on middle aged women and found out that 12%-13.9% women experienced depression with a reported prevalence of depression during menopause ranging from 16.3% to 20%. Taiwan reported that 35.4% of women age 65 or older are depressed. Freeman EW (2004), have similarly found that women in the menopausal transition were...
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