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4 - Depressive Disorders in Women

From Menarche to beyond the Menopause

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Wendy Somerset
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
D. Jeffrey Newport
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Kim Ragan
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Zachary N. Stowe
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Corey L. M. Keyes
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
Sherryl H. Goodman
Affiliation:
Emory University, Atlanta
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Summary

INTRODUCTION

In the United States, over 30 million people experience clinical depression each year (Kessler et al., 2003), with the majority of these patients being female. The rate of depression in women is typically twice that of men, with several studies reporting variability in the lifetime ratios in different countries, for example ratios ranging from 1.6 in Beirut and Taiwan to 3.1 in West Germany (Weissman et al., 1996). The identification and treatment of depression in women has garnered increasing attention over the past decade, particularly with respect to the impact of reproductive life events on mood disorders. The National Institutes of Health has issued several announcements requesting applications to investigate this understudied area.

A major impetus for this increased research focus is that distribution of major depression across the female reproductive life cycle is variable. Women are at greatest risk for the first episode of major depression during the childbearing years (Angold, Costello, & Worthman, 1998; Bebbington et al., 1998; Weissman, 1996). The overlap between the symptoms of depression and many complaints considered by clinicians to be the normal sequelae of reproductive life events, such as menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, and the transition to menopause, presents challenges to the accurate diagnosis as well as calls to question the validity of applying the same diagnostic criteria to women during these life events (Stowe & Newport, 1998).

Type
Chapter
Information
Women and Depression
A Handbook for the Social, Behavioral, and Biomedical Sciences
, pp. 62 - 88
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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  • Depressive Disorders in Women
    • By Wendy Somerset, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, D. Jeffrey Newport, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Kim Ragan, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Zachary N. Stowe, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Edited by Corey L. M. Keyes, Emory University, Atlanta, Sherryl H. Goodman, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: Women and Depression
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841262.006
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  • Depressive Disorders in Women
    • By Wendy Somerset, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, D. Jeffrey Newport, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Kim Ragan, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Zachary N. Stowe, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Edited by Corey L. M. Keyes, Emory University, Atlanta, Sherryl H. Goodman, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: Women and Depression
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841262.006
Available formats
×

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To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Depressive Disorders in Women
    • By Wendy Somerset, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, D. Jeffrey Newport, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Kim Ragan, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, Zachary N. Stowe, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Edited by Corey L. M. Keyes, Emory University, Atlanta, Sherryl H. Goodman, Emory University, Atlanta
  • Book: Women and Depression
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511841262.006
Available formats
×