Depression is a mental disorder that can hamper everything in a person’s life, right from relationships to family life to career. Depression is a serious problem nowadays. The increasing work pressures and the daily stress levels can have negative impacts on human beings. Women are in most cases more prone to depression than men. According to studies, about 20% of women versus 12% of men will suffer from a major depression during their lifetime.
There can be various causes of depression amongst women which differ from the causes of depression for men and thus also have a different pattern of symptoms. The causes of depression among women can be diverse. Depression can be caused by certain natural causes such as the reproductive hormones or even social pressure and increased stress levels. The reason for depression amongst women can also be as trivial as weight gain. Different women react differently to stress factors and if one is well aware of these factors, dealing with depression becomes much easier.
The following are symptoms of depression in women:
• Mood swings and a sad mood
• Lack of interest or enjoyment in activities that once gave you pleasure
• A sense of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Negative thoughts
• Suicidal thoughts
• Lack of sleep, over sleeping, or complete insomnia
• Loss of appetite or drastic changes in one’s weight
• Lack of concentration
• Energy loss and fatigue
• Lack of sexual interest
• No interest in socializing
• Difficulty in remembering things, or even while making decisions
• Constant physical symptoms which fail to respond to any kind of treatment. These include frequent headaches, digestive disorders, or even chronic pain
• Irritability or a bad temper
A number of theories have been put forward by various people in order to explain why the frequency of depression is greater in women than in men. Biological changes are one of the major reasons. Women go through a number of biological changes. These include the beginning of the menstruation cycles, pregnancy and postpartum as well as menopause. During their menses, they have a hormonal metamorphosis on a monthly basis which brings mood swings. The menstruation cycle can play a monumental part in the problems of depression among women.
Girls who enter puberty go through a lot of hormonal changes and thus are more prone to the problems of depression than boys. The menses are a period in which girls are susceptible to internal as well as external conflicts and pressures.
Postpartum depression usually affects a lot of women. The ratio is as much as one woman amongst at least four first time mothers. Menopause also brings with it bouts of depression episodes. The menopausal phase makes women more susceptible to depression compared to men.
The premenstrual syndrome also leaves women open to depression. This syndrome can actually itself be a form of depression amongst women. And it is interesting to know that the symptoms of this syndrome are quite similar to the symptoms of depression. But however, in some cases, it needs to be kept in mind that some women who might be under the impression that they are suffering from the premenstrual syndrome, might actually be suffering from depression. If the symptoms that have been mentioned above are seen on a regular basis every month, it is always advisable that the woman consults a psychiatrist in order to eliminate the possibility of experiencing depression.
Studies have also shown that because of social pressure, women may have a degraded sense of their self-worth compared to their male counterparts. The workplace may be full of discrimination in different ways such as lower pay, hiring or also promotion. All this added to household responsibilities and taking care of the children elevates stress to very high levels. Women usually need to adjust at each and every step in their life in order to make everything work smoothly.
These are possibly the major factors that add up to the prevalence of depression amongst women. As soon as the symptoms of depression are spotted it is always better to start some kind of therapy before the problems increase. The most common and effective treatments for depression include psychotherapy as well as antidepressant medications.