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  1. #1
    Senior Member Nomenclature's Avatar
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    Default Early Menstruation and Teen Depression

    Okay, so the link between early menarche (before age 12-ish... I just left it as menstruation in the thread topic because "menarche" was a new word for me) and breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and, depending on the case, ovarian cancer, wasn't really new to me at all. I had never heard of the psychopathology part, though, at least not in this context.

    Timing of menarche and depressive symptoms in adolescent girls from a UK cohort -- Joinson et al. 198 (1): 17 -- The British Journal of Psychiatry
    A recent study from the British Journal of Psychiatry found a correlation between early onset of menstruation in girls and higher depression symptoms throughout adolescence. Using data from a longitudinal parent and child study, the researchers took into account age at onset of menstruation and depressive symptoms at ages 10.5, 13, and 14 years in 2,184 girls. Girls with an early onset of menstruation (<11.5 years of age) had higher levels of depression at ages 13 (P=.007) and 14 (P<.001) years compared to girls with a normal onset of menstruation, at age 13.5 years. These findings could support selective early intervention for depressive symptoms, the authors say. First published in Psychiatry Weekly, Volume 6, Issue 2, January 31, 2011
    Relation of early menarche to depression, eating d... [Dev Psychol. 2001] - PubMed result This one talks about before 12.
    Although there was significant comorbidity across all three classes of pathology, early menarche was associated only with comorbid depression and substance abuse. Results provide partial support for the assertion that early menarche is a general risk factor for psychopathology among adolescent girls but suggest that this risk may not apply to certain disorders and that the effects are modest in size.
    Thoughts and side notes:
    I just found it really interesting because I started between 10 and 11.

    I kind of figured that the association of early menarche with early sexual activity, substance abuse, and otherwise risky behavior was... well, kind of obvious. At least the sexual activity, anyway.

    Epstein and Dumas, who are for the "adolescence is obsolete" stance, have pointed out that there is a link between "infantilization" and behavioral problems in teens.

    I'm not saying that early menstruation is automatically mental maturity (HELL, no... especially with children going through puberty sooner and sooner and becoming more and more exposed to the emphasis on sex in the media), but I'm sure that in many cases in the studies, invalidation when mental maturity didn't quite coincide with chronological age had something to do with the depression.

    Certain studies (don't remember the actual sources) have shown that teens with more developed brain structures (I don't remember which brain structures, so don't quote me on this) than their peers are more inclined to experiment.

    Correlation doesn't imply causation, so let's look at the flip side of this... I've heard of stress-induced menarche to bring about reproductive age sooner, to be more likely to pass on genes before death, so there's one possible reason. Likewise, maybe genes for early menarche evolved into co-morbidity with mental disorders.

    Soooooo yeah, I'm pretty sure it's both biological and environmental.

    Oh, and also, what do you think of this tidbit right here?

    I got a thread reply on PerC from an Aspie who started at 15. Did a Google search and found this: Autism: Current Theories and Evidence - Google Books
    "Delayed menarche has also been observed in females with Asperger syndrome" on page 134.

    More on brain development page 98.
    Discuss. I don't know what to add other than that this is really interesting!
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  2. #2
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    i remember when i was 10 years old, this 9 year old told me i was a freak because i didn't have my period yet. i started when i was 12, i feel like that's pretty average so i don't fall into the early or late categories.

  3. #3
    Senior Member You's Avatar
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    Another...

    Sidenote: When my older sister began menstruation, a 8 year old Idris teased her endlessly, concluding from the blood and visits to the toilet that she was bleeding from her anus. She is 4 years older than me. When I found out the source, I continued to tease - thus depression. If I was bleeding to bleed from any of penis (or my ass) every month, I wouldn't be too happy neither.
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  4. #4
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    I started at 9. I was still in primary school. Primary school teachers are not equipped to with that tactfully. I still remember the day I was humiliated in class, by teachers, because there is no where in a primary school to dispose of sanitary products, so I did what any clueless 9 year old would do and flushed them down the toilet. It blocked.
    They dealt with in such a way the whole school knew I had gotten my period.
    I don't think I ever got over that mortification. I could probably sue nowadays.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
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  5. #5
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nomenclature View Post

    "Delayed menarche has also been observed in females with Asperger syndrome" on page 134.

    I started my period at 11 *and* I most likely had Asperger syndrome.
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  6. #6
    Warflower Nijntje's Avatar
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    I started at 11, it was on the day of my step-grandfather's funeral, about half an hour before we had to leave. i had to use my mum's super tampons. I was also the only girl in school with boobs. The whole thing sucked.

    Incidentally i am bipolar.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    I started my period at 11 *and* I most likely had Asperger syndrome.
    And I know a girl who started her periods at 18 and does not have any hint of autism.

    That's mostly because they find correlation and put them into statistics but we aren't statistics.
    I think some people on an Aspie forum tried to show correlation between being a late bloomer and having Asperger Syndrome, it seemed to be common but was not an absolute rule as there were many exceptions.
    The fact that girls are less likely to be diagnosed does not help either.

    I started my periods at 11, suffer from dyspraxia, may have Asperger (however, I can see the link with high levels of masculine hormones because I still have this problem while being normally menstruated) and had severe social anxiety during secondary school due to being beaten by pupils and socially inept but I'm now quite the optimistic and happy girl (though I am not smiling all the time which make people think I am unhappy). I most definitely never suffered from any depression but it was surely difficult to live with at first since most kids aren't very nice when you develop earlier.

    (Also, I am a virgin at 21 and only had one boyfriend during my life - I think I'm probably pretty much immature when it comes to sex when it's not theory, not matter how early my hormones started to kick in. I don't like alcohol, am not interested in drugs or nicotine.)

    A friend of mine, though, started her period at 9 and has had severe depression since she was 13. She also has hormonal imbalance.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Nomenclature's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inconnue View Post
    And I know a girl who started her periods at 18 and does not have any hint of autism.

    That's mostly because they find correlation and put them into statistics but we aren't statistics.

    I think some people on an Aspie forum tried to show correlation between being a late bloomer and having Asperger Syndrome, it seemed to be common but was not an absolute rule as there were many exceptions.
    The fact that girls are less likely to be diagnosed does not help either.
    Well yeah, that's what I'm getting at-- there's still variation within the sample. I don't know what the p-value was for the Asperger Syndrome study, but the sample size of 2,184 and p-value of .001 for the first study that I linked was enough to warrant a few notes.

    I was depressed since primary school, and am possibly schizoid/schizotypal (though some would argue that I'm something from the DSM-IV Cluster B... the point is that I'm a strange, strange child). I don't doubt that I have high levels of masculine hormones though-- I'm genetically female but my mentality is pretty masculine.
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  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    people start that early?!?!? holy shit... I actually had no idea!

    I held off until the ripe old age of 13... though I also ran distances, played soccer and softball, so that could have something to do with it... I've never been accused of having asperger's for some reason!
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  10. #10
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    Started at the age of 9, almost 10. The only one in my grade. Very embarrassing at that age. The only one in a bra as well.
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