Study says that 50,000 women in Yucatan suffer from menopause, and many of those affected seek refuge in compulsive gambling.
According to the specialist Fernanda Zaldívar, about 50 thousand women are menopausal in Yucatan, a circumstance that causes women over 40 years of age to seek refuge in compulsive gambling, a problem considered a major public health issue in Mexico and other countries.
“Depression, family affective problems characteristic of menopause and in many cases the couple’s misunderstanding cause women to” take refuge “in casinos and other bookmakers,” says Vanesa Fernández López, a psychologist at “Hospital 12 de Octubre”, in Madrid Spain, and author of an investigation that states that women are more susceptible to becoming compulsive gamblers as they start experiencing the first symptoms of the menopause.
Menopause is defined as the state of an absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. The menopausal transition starts with varying menstrual cycle length and ends with the final menstrual period. Among other things, it usually leads to changes in energy and motivation.
Major depression does not increase significantly during natural menopause; however, there is an increase in depressive symptoms isolated during perimenopause, (Perimenopause is a term sometimes used and means “the time around menopause.” It is often used to refer to the menopausal transitional period. It is not officially a medical term, but is sometimes used to explain certain aspects of the menopause transition in lay terms).
Experts say that mood disorders (depressive symptoms) are more common in women who have previously suffered from some form of anxiety disorder than in those who were not anxious before being menopausal.
In this regard, the director of the Youth Integration Center, Víctor Roa Muñoz, commented that there has been a greater number of people who frequently come to casinos, such as women over 50 or middle-aged housewives, and the same phenomenom (but at a different socioeconomic level) can be seen at the numerous slot machines around the San Benito market, where middle aged housewives or workers are regular customers.
Regarding this situation, Fernández López pointed out that more than 25 people have been treated for serious emotional distress, due to both gambling and menopause. “These women feel frustration and loneliness and try to replace that emptiness with gambling”, the expert said.
“It is believed that by winning the game, the reward system is activated and a substance called dopamine is secreted, which gives them a sense of well-being, which can lead to addictive behavior”, Fernández López concluded.
The symptoms of menopause, on the other hand, may begin years before the actual menopause occurs and may persist for some years afterward as well.
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