Monday, August 15, 2011

Psychotherapy and Antidepressants Benefit Women in Midlife

Psychotherapy and antidepressants can benefit midlife women in several crucial ways. They can be vital interventions for a range of difficulties such as sexual problems, substance abuse, chronic illness, or depression, the August Harvard Women's Health Watch points out.

For example, psychotherapy has proved to be a key adjunct to treatments for diabetes and arthritis, the authors say, and benefits midlife women who have eating disorders. Though eating disorders are mostly associated with adolescent girls, there is increasing awareness that midlife women can also face anorexia, bulimia, or other problems with food or body image in response to their changing bodies and life circumstances.

Antidepressants can help midlife women who are experiencing a major depression during the menopausal transition, Deborah Cowley, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the University of Washington, commented in the March 21 Journal Watch Psychiatry. The menopausal transition and early post-menopause are a high-risk time for major depressive episodes. To read about the findings of a study on this topic, see Psychiatric News at

American Psychiatric Publishing has several books on issues concerning the mental health of women in midlife. Among them are Menopause--A Mental Health Practitioner's Guide; A Woman's Guide to Menopause and Hormone Replacement Therapy; and the Clinical Manual of Women's Mental Health. Purchasing information is available at

(Image: Shutterstock)


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