Depression is a condition that impacts every area of the life severely. It affects your relationships, sense of self esteem, career and social life. When it comes to womens health, depression is very common. As a matter of fact, according to National Mental Health Association, around 1 in every 8 women would develop the depression problem at some point or the other during her lifetime. If you are feeling guilty, tired, sad or just ‘down in the dump’, you might be suffering from serious depression. The good news for you is that depression is completely treatable. The rates of depression differ in the genders and it is found in almost all the countries in the world. Women are usually more likely to suffer from the depression as compared to men. This difference persists across the ethnic, economic and racial divides. According to various surveys, one-third of the alcoholics suffer from severe depression.
Symptoms And Signs Of DepressionThe common symptoms and complaints of depression when it comes to women include:
- Depressed mood
- Recurrent thoughts or suicidal thoughts of death
- Feeling of hopelessness, worthlessness and guilt
- Lack of fatigue and energy
- Loss of pleasure or interest in the activities you enjoyed before
- Weight and appetite changes
- Sleep disturbances (sleeping less or sleeping more)
- Difficulty in concentrating
Hormonal And Biological Causes Of Depression
- Premenstrual problems- The hormonal fluctuations during menstrual cycle may cause the common symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) like irritability, fatigue, emotional reactivity, and bloating. PMS is mild for most of the women but for some, the symptoms are severe. The symptoms disrupt the lives of the women and finally the diagnosis is made for the Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD).
- Infertility and pregnancy- The hormonal changes that usually occur during the pregnancy can directly contribute to depression, especially in women who already are at high risk. Issues relating to the pregnancy such as unwanted pregnancy, infertility, and miscarriage can also play an important role in depression.
- Menopause and perimenopause- Women may face an increased risk for the depression during perimenopause. This is a stage that leads to menopause when the reproductive hormones fluctuate rapidly.
- Health problems- Injury, disability, or a chronic illness can lead to severe depression in the women. Also if a woman is trying to quit smoking or on a crash diet, she may also go into depression.
- Postpartum depression- ‘Baby blues’ are experienced by many new mothers. This is a very normal reaction that subsides within just a few weeks. Some women, however, experience severe depression.
Psychological Causes Of Depression
- Rehashing and focusing on negative feelings- Women often ruminate while depressed. This includes trying to think why they are depressed, crying to relieve the emotional tension, and talking to the friends about it.
- Overwhelming stress at home, school, or work- Studies show that a woman is more likely to develop depression than a man from stress. As a matter of fact, women produce stress hormones more than men do. So they tend to take the everyday stressful situations at work, home or school more severely.
- Body image issues- Gender difference in the depression starts in adolescence and puberty plays a vital role in the emergence of the sexual differences.
Social Causes Of Depression
- Relationship or marital problems; balancing pressures of home life and career.
- Family responsibilities like caring for spouse, aging parents, or children.
- Persistent money problems.
- Experiencing discrimination at the work places or not reaching the important goals, retirement, changing or losing a job, or embarking on a military service.
- Stressful events in life or death of a beloved also affect womens health.