Factors Contributing to Depression during Peri Menopause:
Findings of a Pakistani Sample
Published online: 22 October 2016
Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016
Abstract The present study aimed to identify the role of dif-
ferent factors in menopausal depression in Pakistani women.
We hypothesized that physical activity, regular exercise, social
support, and attitudes towards aging and menopause
would predict menopausal depression in women going
through perimenopause. The sample consisted of 110 women
= 47.93 years) going through natural perimenopause.
The Menopausal Symptoms Scale (Nadeem and Khalid
2012) and Social Support Questionnaire (Sarason et al.
1987) were administered along with a demographic question-
naire. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to analyze
the data. The results showed that higher physical activity level,
satisfactory relationships with husband, and availability of
social support significantly predicted lower menopause-
related depression. However, satisfaction with social support
did not significantly predict menopausal depression. We also
observed that positive attitude towards aging and menopause
was significantly correlated with decreased menopausal de-
pression. The implications for the need to promote awareness
among health professionals and the general population about
menopausal symptoms in Pakistani women to improve their
quality of life are discussed.
Keywords Menopausal depression
towards aging and menopause
Menopause is a natural biological phenomenon and a period
of transition that every woman has to go through in her mid-
years. This phenomenon is characterized by cessation of men-
struation in women who have intact ovaries and uterus.
However, this particular period of a woman’s life is not always
smooth; rather it can include various negative emotional, psy-
chological, physical, and behavioral symptoms that differ in
their occurrence and frequency in each woman (Garcia-
Portilla 2009). Depression is one of the common symptoms
presented at menopause. It is reflected in many ways like
gloomy mood, tearfulness, loss of interest in usual activities,
weariness, sleep disturbance, and difficulty concentrating, and
it affects a woman’s ability to experience normal mood states.
This kind of depression is more likely if a woman has a history
of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) or postpartum depression
(Coyne et al. 1999).
Depression has been studied extensively within the context
of menopause and has been recurrently linked to the perimen-
opausal stage, which is also known as late menopausal stage
(Avis et al. 2004; Deeks 2003; Hardy and Kuh 2005).
Menopausal depression is a particularly debilitating syn-
drome, accounting for high incidence rates particularly in the
perimenopausal phase. Avis et al. (1994) conducted a longi-
tudinal follow-up survey with a cohort of 2565 U.S. women
from the Massachusetts Women’s Health Study. They con-
cluded that longer menopausal transition was associated with
increased risk of depression. Similarly, Freeman et al. (2006)
explored association of hormones and menopausal status with
depressed mood in an 8-year longitudinal study. Their data
were derived from Penn Ovarian Aging Study and their
* Farhat Jamil
Department of Psychology, University of the Punjab,
Present address: Institute of Psychology, Beaconhouse National
University, 13km off Raiwind Road Near Jati Umrah,
Sex Roles (2016) 75:612–622