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Depression in Women: From PMS to Post-partum Blues

Depression in Women: From PMS to Post-partum Blues

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Depression in Women: From PMS to Post-partum Blues

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  1. Depression in Women: From PMS to Post-partum Blues Kimberley Guida, MD Pullman Family Medicine

  2. Julie is a 25 year old female who just delivered her second child 3 weeks ago. She breaks down in tears for no reason and is irritable with her 3 year old. She is having trouble sleeping, and has no appetite. She admits that she feels guilty for not feeling happy about the new infant in her life. She feels she is not an effective parent to either child. She is returning to work next week and wonders how she will be able to cope. Case Presentation

  3. Statistics • Depression is twice as common in women as in men • 20% of women will experience depression at some point during their life • One out of 10 childbearing women will experience post-partum depression • 40% of women have premenstrual symptoms, 5% of these experience premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

  4. Risk Factors For Depression • Family history of mood disorder • Loss of a parent before age 10 • History of sexual or physical abuse • Use of hormones (contraception/HRT/fertility treatments) • Persistent life stressors (i.e. loss of job) • Loss of social support system

  5. Psychological Depressed mood Decreased interest in activities Feelings of guilt, hopelessness Suicidal thoughts Physical symptoms Sleep disturbance Appetite/weight changes Difficulty concentrating Fatigue Decreased energy What Is Depression?

  6. Women have earlier onset of depression Episodes may last longer and recur more often More atypical symptoms Suicide attempts more frequent but less successful Less substance abuse than men More anxiety symptoms than men More associated eating disorders More associated migraine headaches More feelings of guilt More seasonal depression Gender Differences

  7. Treatment For Depression • Psychosocial (counseling)- cognitive behavioral therapy • Medications- used with counseling in cases of moderate to severe depression • Alter chemical balance in the body to enhance mood (norepinephrine, serotonin levels) • Many different types- SSRI’s, tricyclics, others • St. John’s wort- some studies suggest a benefit • Need a minimum of 2 weeks to see an effect • Treatment for minimum of 6 months

  8. SSRI’s- Often the First Choice • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors- allow more serotonin to be available in the body, enhancing mood • Examples: Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox, Celexa • Once daily dosing • Side effects: nausea, headaches, nervousness, insomnia/fatigue, sexual dysfunction, weight gain with prolonged use

  9. What’s That About Sexual Dysfunction? • Up to 70% of depressed patients experience a loss of sexual interest • If we treat the underlying depression, the libido often improves • SSRI’s may cause problems with libido and difficulty attaining orgasm • Other medications may enhance libido- ie Wellbutrin, Effexor

  10. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder • Mood and anxiety symptoms that occur only during the premenstrual period, or worsen significantly during that time • Can be very debilitating, with a negative impact on the quality of life and relationships • Symptoms usually disappear within a few days after the period starts • There are 11 identified symptoms, of which 5 must be present

  11. Depressed mood Feelings of personal rejection Decreased interest in usual activities Fatigue, no energy Marked appetite changes/cravings Insomnia or increased sleep Anxiety- feeling “on edge” Irritability, anger Feeling overwhelmed Difficulty concentrating Physical symptoms- breast tenderness, headaches, “bloated”, muscle pain Symptoms of PMDD

  12. Cause of PMDD? • Unknown, but felt by many researchers to result from an abnormal response to normal cycle of hormonal changes in the body • Likely a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors • Women with PMDD have greater risk of future depression during pregnancy, post-partum period, and perimenopause

  13. Treatment For PMDD • Choice of treatment is aimed at the most troubling symptoms • Lifestyle modification • Dietary approach • Vitamin supplementation • Medications • Cognitive/behavioral approach

  14. Lifestyle/diet Modification • Women who engage in moderate aerobic exercise 3 times weekly have fewer premenstrual symptoms than sedentary women • Low-fat, vegetarian diet has been shown to decrease duration and intensity of menstrual pain • Women with a high caffeine intake have more premenstrual irritability symptoms • Excess of simple carbohydrates (sugar) is associated with mood disturbances

  15. Vitamin Supplementation • Controversial- data is conflicting • Vitamin B6 100mg/day • Magnesium 400 mg/day • Manganese 6 mg/day • Vitamin E 400 iu/day • Calcium 1000 mg/day

  16. Medications for PMDD • Anti-inflammatories- effective for pain relief • Oral contraceptives- suppress ovulation • Diuretics– when salt restriction not helpful in reducing significant fluid retention • SSRI’s are often first choice- daily versus premenstrual week only

  17. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy • Attempts to reduce negative feelings in the premenstrual period • Improve feelings of self-esteem and problem solving skills • Relaxation therapy may also be helpful

  18. Post-partum Depression • 1 of 10 women experience post-partum depression, but the condition is under-diagnosed • May have significant impact on both mother and child • Societal pressures to be “good mother” may prevent woman from admitting symptoms

  19. “Baby Blues” • Occurs in 70-85% of women • Onset within the first few days after delivery • Resolves by 2 weeks • Symptoms include: mild depression, irritability, tearfulness, fatigue, anxiety • May have increased risk of post-partum major depression later on

  20. Post-partum Major Depression • Symptoms of depression that last longer than 2 weeks • Usually begins 2-3 weeks after delivery • May last up to one year • High risk of recurrence in future pregnancies

  21. Post Partum Psychosis • Rare disorder (Andrea Yates?)- 0.2% women • Onset within the first month after delivery • Symptoms include mania, agitation, expansive or irritable mood, avoidance of the infant • May have delusions or hallucinations that involve the infant- possessed by demon, etc. • This is a medical emergency- needs hospitalization

  22. Treatment for Post Partum Depression • Same as for major depression • SSRI’s work well • All antidepressants are to some degree, excreted in the breast milk, but usually undetectable levels in the infant’s blood • Avoid Prozac due to long half life- may accumulate in the infant

  23. To Summarize…. • Depression is very common in women • May be more likely around times of hormonal flux- premenstrual, post-partum, perimenopause • There is effective treatment available • Don’t hesitate to discuss symptoms with your doctor

  24. This Presentation Is Available Online At: Thank You