What Is Depression?
A serious and prevalent mood disorder is known as clinical depression. Sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and a sense of worthlessness are the results. Apathy, poor appetite, trouble sleeping, low self-esteem, and mild weariness are some mild to moderate depression symptoms. Or it might be worse.
What Signs of Depression Do Women Display?
Female depression symptoms include:
An ongoing state of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
loss of enthusiasm or interest in activities
Anger, irritability, or excessive sobbing
guilty, unworthy, powerless, hopeless, and pessimistic emotions
excessive or little sleep, early morning awakening
appetite/weight loss, or weight gain due to overeating
lessening energy, feeling “slowed down,” and weariness
Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or death thoughts
difficulty paying attention, remembering things, or making decisions
persistent physical complaints that don’t go away despite treatment, like migraines, digestive problems, and chronic aches
Why Are Women More Likely to Have Depression Than Men?
Depression before adolescence is uncommon and affects both males and girls at roughly the same rates. But as puberty progresses, a girl’s risk of depression rises sharply to double that of a male.
Some researchers think that changes in hormone levels that take place during a woman’s life may be responsible for the higher risk of depression in women. These shifts become noticeable during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as following childbirth or a miscarriage. Additionally, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a severe syndrome marked particularly by depression, anxiety, and mood swings that occurs the week before menstruation and interferes with daily life, are likely influenced by the hormonal changes that occur with each month’s menstrual cycle.
What Increases the Risk of Depression in Women?
According to the National Institutes of Health, interpersonal variables, particular psychological traits, and biochemical, genetic, or other biological factors can all raise a woman’s risk of developing depression. Also, women who are single parents or who balance jobs and raising children have additional stress, which can lead to depressive symptoms. Other factors include:
A family history of anxiety and depression
a history of mood disorders throughout the early years of reproduction
losing a parent before turning ten
A social support system being lost or in danger of being lost
ongoing psychological and social stress, including separation or divorce, relationship stress, losing a job, and other similar events
Childhood physical or sexual abuse
use of specific drugs
After giving birth, post-partum depression can also affect women. In the winter, some people get seasonal affective disorder. One aspect of bipolar disorder is depression.
Depression: Is it Hereditary?
A family history of depression may exist. It typically begins between the ages of 15 and 30 when it does. Depression runs in families far more frequently among women. Yet, not every case of clinical depression can be explained by a clear genetic or inherited factor.
How Can PMS and PMDD Affect Women’s Depression?
Premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, affects up to 3 out of every 4 menstruating women and is characterized by mental and physical symptoms that vary in severity from one menstrual cycle to the next. Typically, women in their 20s or 30s are afflicted.
PMDD, a severe form of PMS characterized by emotional symptoms like sadness, anxiety, mood fluctuations, crankiness, and loss of interest in activities, affects between 3% to 5% of menstrual women.
Women who have PMS or PMDD typically experience symptoms seven to ten days prior to menstruation, followed by a remarkable improvement after the menstrual flow has begun.
These problems have gained attention in the last ten years as significant contributors to women’s discomfort and alterations in behavior. Although the specific relationship between PMS, PMDD, and depression is still not apparent, it is believed that these conditions are influenced by irregularities in the way the brain’s mood-regulating circuits function as well as by changes in hormone levels.
How Are PMDD and PMS Managed?
Exercise and meditation are effective treatments for many PMS or PMDD patients who also suffer from depression. Medication, individual or group psychotherapy, or stress reduction may be helpful for those with severe symptoms. A smart place to start is with your OB/GYN or primary care physician. Your doctor can do a depression screening on you and treat your symptoms.
Can Pregnancy Lead to Depression in Women?
It used to be believed that being pregnant was a time of health and protection from psychological illnesses for women. Yet, depression is almost as prevalent in pregnant women as it is in non-pregnant people
What is the treatment for postpartum depression in women?
Depression following childbirth, often known as postpartum depression, can occasionally be treated like other types of depression. It entails the use of medication and counseling. The choice to take an antidepressant while nursing should be taken after discussing the risks and benefits with the woman’s own physician and the pediatrician. The majority of antidepressants are expressed in breast milk in incredibly minute doses, and it is unclear if they have any effects on nursing infants.
Does Women’s Depression Rise in Midlife?
Perimenopause is a phase of a woman’s reproductive life that normally starts in her 40s (or earlier) and lasts until her periods have been irregular for a year. The rate of estrogen declines quickens in the latter one to two years of perimenopause. Many women have menopausal symptoms at this time.
When a woman ceases menstruating on a monthly basis, she enters menopause, which is characterized by symptoms brought on by the absence of estrogen production. A woman is considered to be in menopause when her periods have been absent for a full year. Women often experience menopause in their late 40s to early 50s. Yet, “sudden” menopause occurs in women whose ovaries have been surgically removed.
During perimenopause and menopause, the estrogen levels fall, resulting in physical and psychological disturbances like depression or anxiety. The same as it is at any other time in a woman’s life, there is a connection between hormonal changes and both emotional and physical problems. Uneven or missing periods, heavier or lighter cycles, and hot flashes are a few examples of bodily alterations.
How Can I Manage Menopause Symptoms?
You may preserve your health and reduce the symptoms of menopause in a variety of ways. This advice includes techniques for overcoming sadness, anxiety, and mood swings:
Consume a balanced diet and exercise frequently.
Take part in a creative activity or a hobby that makes you feel accomplished.
Try practicing a self-calming technique like yoga, meditation, or slow, deep breathing.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom cool to avoid night sweats and restless sleep.
When necessary, seek out emotional assistance from friends, family, or a trained counselor.
Remain connected with your family and community, and develop your friendships.
As directed by your doctor, take all medications, vitamins, and minerals.
Take precautions, such as wearing loose clothing, to stay cool during hot flashes.
How Is Depression Treated in Women?
Depression can be treated in a variety of ways, including with prescription drugs like antidepressants, brain stimulation methods like ECT or TMS, and individual psychotherapy.
If you suffer from depression and family stress, family counseling may be helpful. The most effective course of treatment for you will be decided by your primary care physician or mental health professional.