Depression is classified as a mood disorder, a medical condition that strikes your mood and capability to function correctly. It generates feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. Depression is usual around the world. Healthcare providers find that nearly 7% of American adults suffer from depression yearly. About 15 million people in the US have depression every year. Most of them are women. Unluckily, nearly two-thirds don’t receive the help they require. Depression can be mild to moderate, with symptoms of apathy, little appetite, difficulty sleeping, low self-esteem, and low-grade fatigue.
However, depression and grief contribute some features; depression is distinct from the distress felt after losing a loved one or sorrow after a traumatic life event. Depression typically involves self-hate or a loss of self-esteem.
- Types of Depression:
Men do have many roles in their lives. Mother, wife, employee, friend, caregiver, and the list continues. The twist in these roles can cause ups and downs throughout life. Some of these mood changes could be due to life events or changes in hormones. Generally, your emotions tend to level out after a while, and you don’t feel down anymore. But if you are dealing with depression, your “downs” don’t let you go, and sometimes they may interfere with your regular activities and relationships.
- Major Depression:
Major depression is an extreme type of depression where a woman loses her capability to observe pleasure in the activities that were once considered enjoyable. Furthermore, it affects a woman’s potential to sleep, work, and eat normally and negatively impacts interpersonal and social relationships.
Major depression, also known as major depressive disorder, can result in your depressed state continuing for an extended duration, often leading to low self-esteem.
- Postpartum Depression:
It is a unique form of depression that occurs after the baby’s birth and is often called “baby blues.” Typical symptoms happen in the months following birth, while in some women, they can occur during pregnancy.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder:
It is considered a lenient form of depression, an extended depressed mood lasting for about two years or more. Major depressive episodes (i.e., more severe forms of depression) may still occur during persistent depressive disorder.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder:
Depression is related to the woman’s menstrual cycle. In this kind of depression, severe mood swings, anxiety, and negative thoughts present themselves a week before the start of menstruation and disappear once the menstrual period starts. Depressive symptoms are fierce enough to impact interpersonal relationships and interfere with regular activities negatively.
- Depression symptoms in woman:
Woman depression symptoms may include:
- Continuous sad, anxious, or empty mood.
- The drop of interest or pleasure in activities.
- Restlessness, upset, or excessive crying.
- Sleep patterns, such as having difficulty in sleeping, waking early, or sleeping too much.
- Cognitive abilities, like thinking or talking more slowly.
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
- Difficulty in concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
- Panic attacks
- I am feeling out of control.
- Physical symptoms include aches and pains, cramps, headaches, and digestive issues.
Not every woman facing depression will experience the exact symptoms. Symptoms can be distinct in brutality. Depression in women is usual; however, women are twice as likely to begin in men. About 1 in 4 women will likely experience significant depression at some stage.
- Causes of Depression in Women:
Several genetic, hormonal, psychological, and social aspects come into play when mentioning the cause of depression in women.
- Biology and Hormones:
Biologically speaking, depression runs in families – with scientific authentification that some genetic make-ups are more at risk of depression, while some genetic make-ups are more against it. However, environmental factors are linked to interact with genetic weakness.
Other biological and environmental elements are also likely to increase the possibility of suffering from depression. Complications with pregnancy, fertility, perimenopause, menopause, and menstrual cycle increase women’s risk of developing depression. Most of these are because of hormonal imbalances and rapid fluctuations in reproductive hormones.
- Psychological causes:
Women are more at risk of psychological causes of depression than men. As they are more emotional, women are more likely to discuss negative thoughts repeatedly during a spell of depression. At the same time, crying and talking with friends are usual reactions.
Research has revealed that thinking deeply about depression can cause it to stay longer and make it pathetic. In reverse, men tend to distract themselves from their depressive state to reduce symptoms.
- Social Causes:
Copying skills, choices of relationships, and lifestyle influenced women differently than men. Women are more likely to develop depression from marital or relationship issues, financial problems, work-life balancing issues, and frustrating life issues, including losing a loved one.
- Why is Depression in Women More Common Than in Men?
Before adolescence, depression is unusual and develops at about the same time in boys and girls. But with the beginning of puberty, girls’ insecurity of having depression rises dramatically to twice that of boys. According to some experts, higher chances of depression in women connect to changes in hormone levels that arrive throughout a woman’s life. These chances are noticeable during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and after giving birth or having a miscarriage.
- What Increases the Chances of Depression in Women?
According to the National Institute of Health (NHS), the risk of depression in women includes reproductive, genetic, or other biological factors, interpersonal factors, and specific psychological and personality characteristics. In addition to this, women juggling work with raising kids and women who are living as single parent experience more stress; this may trigger symptoms depression nhs further added.
Other factors that may raise the risk include:
- Family history of mood disorders.
- Losing parent before 10.
- Physical or sexual abuse as a child.
- The threat of loss of a social support system.
- Relationship problems, divorce.
- Does Depression in Women Differ From Men?
It may be different in several ways.
- Depression in women may occur earlier, last longer, and is likely to come back.
- They excessively feel guilty and think of suicidal attempts.
- Depression in women is more likely to connect with anxiety disorders, panic and phobic symptoms, and eating disorders.
- Women blame themselves, while men blame others.
- Women opt for food and friends to self-medicate, and men select alcohol, TV, or sports to self-medicate.
- Depression in Women During Pregnancy:
Pregnancy was once considered a duration of well-being that protected women against psychiatric disorders. But depression in women during pregnancy is quite normal. The factors that raise the risk of depression in women during pregnancy.
- Time of pregnancy (i.e., age)
- Living alone
- Marital conflict
- Uncertainty about pregnancy.
- Insufficient social support
- Impact of Depression on Pregnancy:
The possible impact of depression on a pregnancy includes:
- Affecting a woman’s capability to take care of herself; she may not be able to follow medical recommendations. Not eating properly or having sufficient sleep.
- Using substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or any other illegal drug by a woman suffering from depression may harm the body.
- Depression makes it hard for the woman to bond with her baby.
In addition to this, pregnancy may have an impact on depression in women:
- The pregnancy stress may lead to o the start of depression, regularity of depression systems, or worsening symptoms.
- Depression during pregnancy can lift the risk of depression after the delivery, called postpartum depression.
- Treatment for Depression:
If you are a woman suffering from depression, you can seek treatment immediately to improve your quality of life. It would be best if you visit a doctor or mental health professional. Your doctor will ask you a series of questions and let you perform a test to determine any central medical condition causing depression or identify certain medications that might be to blame for your depressed mental health. You have to answer several questions regarding your symptoms – how long they have lasted, when they started, the severity of the signs, and the family history regarding depression.
The most standard options for the treatment for depression in women include medications and therapy. It is crucial to tell your doctor if you are expecting because, during treatment, certain medications may affect your growing baby. Your doctor may prescribe you antidepressants to assist you in coping with and reducing the symptoms of your depression.
If you are using antidepressants for a depressed mood, you must observe your symptoms and note your side effects. Specific side effects of antidepressants can increase depression in a small percentage of individuals. Specifically, the use of antidepressants links to an increased risk of suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, and irritability in some individuals. Other more common side effects are:
- Sleep disturbances
- Sexual problems
However, these problems usually reduce over time.
Therapy has also been found to be a very efficient method for the depression severe treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common kinds of talk therapy or psychotherapy in the treatment for depression. This therapy technique focuses on training new ways of thinking and coping mechanisms when feelings of depression hit.
In addition, therapy helps women recognize complex relationships, how to enhance them, and how to vary habits that might promote their depression. Group therapy or family therapy is a valuable method for the treatment for depression and anxiety if family stress is a leading factor in your depressed state.
Unfortunately, depression in women can have wrongly diagnosed rates as high as 50%, and only half of those suffering from depression will ever get treatment. Likely, depression has proven to have excellent treatment success rates. More than 80% of women with depression are treated successfully through antidepressant therapy or a combination.
Mental health is crucial for us because it refers to the brain, and our daily activities including relationships will be affected by a disturbed mind. We must take this seriously as it is a matter of our well-being, which is essential as physical health. All those women suffering from any form of depression should seek treatment; it is the males’ responsibility.