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March 1971

PseudocyesisA Paradigm for Psychophysiological Interactions

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago. Dr. Brown is now with the Department of Psychiatry, New Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto, Toronto. Dr. Barglow is now with the departments of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology, Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1971;24(3):221-229. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1971.01750090027004

Pseudocyesis probably represents only one position along a spectrum of aberrations of psychoneuroendocrine control of the gonads. Amenorrhea is often mentioned as a symptom of depression. Other menstrual disturbances of unknown etiology which are usually classified as hypothalamic amenorrhea might also be a part of this spectrum. The connection between depression and alterations in gonadal function may have further psychophysiological implications. This could, in part, be due to the sequence of neuroendocrine events associated with depression, leading to decreased FSH and LH secretion from the anterior pituitary. Future studies using these constructs will be of use in further clarifying psychological and neuroendocrinological relationships.