Hormones do not cause pre-menstrual tension and post-natal depression; it is society that is at fault, according to a leading women's health expert , Prof.Jane Ussher, from the University of Western Sydney. She wants to bring about a change in the way women understand their bodies. "I would argue that PMS and post-natal depression are essentially a form of repressed rage women feel rather than a medical illness. Post-natal depression and menopause have become catch-all diagnostic categories that attribute women's unhappiness to their reproductive bodies and legitimize medical management of their condition." she says and adds that the problem lies with ignoring the fact that a female's unhappiness is often a reaction to the realities of her life.
Basing her claims on findings from a large-scale PMS study and other ongoing research in the area of women's health, Prof Ussher said that, the medical world contributed to the creation of the 'myth' that menopausal women required hormone replacement therapy to check their 'psychological turmoil'.
"The rates of depression in women actually fall with age, with only seven per cent of women aged 45-54 experiencing depression," Prof Ussher said.