Although sleep disturbance is an important feature in bipolar disorder, the relationship between mood symptoms, sleep disturbances, and hot flash symptom severity during menopause for women with bipolar disorder is largely unknown.
Women with bipolar disorder (n = 100) who were categorized as perimenopausal using the STRAW and Monash criteria took part in an international online survey. The survey contained questions on history of reproductive health; the clinical course of bipolar disorder; menopausal symptoms (Menopause Rating Scale [MRS]); depression, anxiety, and stress (Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale-21) and the Altman Mania Rating Scale.
MRS sleep problems and hot flash severity were positively correlated with each other and with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms. Mania scores were not significantly correlated with sleep or hot flash severity scores. A stepwise regression analysis on depression symptoms, using MRS sleep disturbance and MRS hot flash severity scores as predictors with anxiety and stress symptoms in the model, found that stress alone predicted 40% of the variance in total depression scores.
Stress plays an important role in the experience of depression for women living with bipolar disorder during the perimenopausal phase. More research is needed to determine if stress management programs may be helpful for women living with bipolar disorder during this time of life and if these in turn, may improve depressive symptoms.

Copyright © 2021 by The North American Menopause Society.