Reproductive Postponement and Human Depression

by David B. Adams

Presented to the International Pavlov Symposium, Moscow, USSR, 1984

Title/Abstract page


Page 1 - 2


Methods and Results
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Pages 4


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It is proposed that depression is the human homologue of an adaptive mammalian behavioral system, the reproductive postponement state. As documented most extensively in rodents, this state is mediated by a hormonal condition consisting of elevated adreno-cortico-trophic levels and depressed gonadal hormone levels. As a result, the animal ceases to be reproductively active: females cease to conceive or raise a litter; and males cease to maintain a territory. The state is triggered by social stress. In humans, not only depression, but also certain types of amenorrhea and delayed puberty may be seen as manifestations of a reproductive postponement state. The adaptive significance of this state and its significance for therapy of depressed patients are considered,

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