The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

All new attenders at the Menopause Clinic in Edinburgh over six months were interviewed to detect current depressive disorder (MADRS) and past psychiatric disorders (SADS-L), to find out whether women who were depressed at the time of clinic attendance had a history of depression. Of the 95 subjects who entered the study, 78 had gone through a natural menopause and 17 had undergone hysterectomy with or without oophorectomy. Of the 78 who had experienced a natural menopause, 35 were found to be depressed at the time of clinic attendance and 43 were not. A strong association was found between current and past depressive illness, 29 of the patients depressed at the time of clinic attendance having had depression previously. However, a clear peak of illness was seen in the perimenopausal period (four years either side of the last menstrual period): 35% of all patients with past or current depressive illness experienced their first episode of illness in this period.