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Estudos de Psicologia (Natal)

On-line version ISSN 1678-4669


CARVALHO, Isalena Santos  and  COELHO, Vera Lúcia Decnop. Mature women: life histories and depressive complaints. Estud. psicol. (Natal) [online]. 2005, vol.10, n.2, pp.231-238. ISSN 1678-4669.

The present study investigated depressive symptoms in mature women, based on significant events in their life history. Clinical interviews were carried out with nine women diagnosed with depression. The data analysis showed that participants had experienced parents' loss or abandonment, humiliations, ill-treatment, and were financially deprived during their childhood. Such events had a profound impact on their physical and mental health. As adults, some women have lost their children prematurely. There are also cases of marital violence. Depressive complaints seem to be related to low self-esteem images concerning their role as mothers and wives, with feelings of guilt and failure. The study, points out the need of clinical care related to the history of mature women facing depressive symptoms. It is also suggested a discussion of gender category in the field of Mental Health, in order to review historical and cultural concepts of women's life cycle.

Keywords : women; maturity; depression; life's history.

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