The concept of a difficult spell preceding the menstrual period in some women is not new. Hippocrates was said to have noted it, and in 1847, Dr. Ernst von Feuchtersleben said, "The menses in sensitive women is almost always attended by mental uneasiness, irritability, and sadness."
Over the last few years, the concept of menopause has hit the national radar screen with a vengeance. One of the reasons for the onslaught of publicity was a nasty bit of research news released in 2002, when the initial results of the Women's Health Initiative Study were made public (JAMA. 2002; 288:321-333).
Dr. Aiken is the Editor in Chief of The Carlat Psychiatry Report; director of the Mood Treatment Center in North Carolina, where he maintains a private practice combining medication and therapy along with evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments; and Assistant Professor NYU Langone Department of Psychiatry. He has worked as a research assistant at the NIMH and a sub-investigator on clinical trials, and conducts research on a shoestring budget out of his private practice. Follow him on Twitter and find him on LinkedIn.