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Understanding depression in women

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One in four women experiences depression at some point in time in their life. And women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression than men. Still wondering why the women in your life are crying most of the time, or feeling persistently sad, and has no interest in anything. Here is your answer: she may be going through depression. And she needs help (for depression in women).

Depression is persistent and a serious mood disorder. It causes feelings of misery, unhappiness, worthlessness, and helplessness. Depression is an important cause of sickness-related incapacity among women in humanity today.

It is normal to feel sad during the difficult times of life, but the feeling eventually fades away with time. With depression, that is different. Depression is a medical condition, which can affect the way you feel, think and go through your day to day activities. The symptoms of depression in women can last weeks, months, years and might occur once or intermittently.

Women are more likely to suffer from depression as compared to men, and that could be due to certain biological, hormonal and social factors that are unique to their life experiences. Some of the different forms of depression that women commonly go through are mentioned below.

Major Depression

Major depression can produce severe symptoms in women, where they tend to lose their ability to lose interest in activities that they once found enjoyable. It can also negatively affect her ability to work, sleep, eat as well as her interpersonal and social relationships. In major depression, women may stay in their depressed state for quite a long time, which is accompanied by low self-esteem.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Although the persistent depressive disorder is considered to be a milder form of depression, it can last for about two years or more. During this depressive state, major depressive episodes may occur as well.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder or PMDD

Premenstrual syndrome or PMS causes physical, emotional and behavioral changes in women during certain days of the menstrual cycle. The symptoms may start a few days earlier before menstruation and go away once menstruation begins.

The premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a more severe form of PMS. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder symptoms may include severe mood swings, anxiety, sadness, suicidal thoughts, appetite changes, bloating, and joint or muscle pain. PMDD can come with severe symptoms that affect interpersonal relationships and interfere with daily activities.

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Perinatal Depression

Pregnancy is tough. Women during their pregnancy have to deal with mood swings, weight gain, morning sickness, etc. Besides, caring for their new-born is challenging as well. Hence, many new mothers experience feelings of worry, fatigue, unhappiness and constant mood swings, which are also commonly known as the “baby blues”. Usually, such feelings are mild and go away as new mothers adjust to the situation of having and caring for their new-borns.

Perinatal depression happens during or after pregnancy (postpartum) and is a serious condition involving extreme feelings of sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. The symptoms of depression may also make it very difficult for the mother to daily care activities.

Perimenopausal Depression

Perimenopause or the transition into menopause is a normal phase in a woman’s life. Going through perimenopause can result in sleeping troubles, mood swings, abnormal periods and hot flashes. But, it’s not normal to feel depressed. Feelings of anxiety, sadness, irritability or loss of enjoyment during the menopause transition can be the signs and symptoms of perimenopausal depression.

Why do you think women more depressed?

If you look at the statistics, before adolescents depression is rare, and occurs at about the same rate in girls & boys. However, with the onset of puberty a girl’s risk of developing depression increases drastically to twice that of boys.

Some temperament changes and discouraged emotions happen with typical hormonal changes. Pregnancy, prenatal, postnatal, menstruation cycle, pre or post-menopause is involved with fluctuated hormonal changes in women. Be that as it may, hormonal changes alone don’t bring about depression.

Some of the factors that increase the chance to get the depression in women to consist of genetic, reproductive, or other interpersonal factors; biological factors and definite personality and psychological characteristics.

Also, a woman plays various roles in their lives like a mother, wife, employee, etc. and women who are reared by single parents suffer high stress that may start the symptoms of depression. Other factors such as,

  • The family history of depression or mood disorders.
  • Before the age of 10 may experience the loss of a parent.
  • Lack of social support or the threat of such loss.
  • Experience psychological and social stress, such as relationship stress, loss of a job, marital separation issues.
  • In childhood abuse either physically or sexually.
  • Some infertility treatments and the use of oral contraceptives.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Women

The symptoms of depression in women can differ from one woman to the other. Some of the common signs and symptoms of female depression are mentioned below.

  •        Feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, guilt
  •        Severe tiredness or exhaustion
  •        Loss of interest in activities once found pleasurable
  •        Lack of concentration
  •        Inability to remember details
  •        Suicidal thoughts
  •        Sleep troubles
  •        Changes in appetite
  •        Panic attacks

Moreover, physical signs of depression in women may include cramps, headaches, tenderness of breast, bloating, and digestive issues.

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Every woman who is depressed may not experience all of the symptoms mentioned above. Some of them experience only a few symptoms, and others have many.

The severity of symptoms depends on the stage of illness as well as on the individual. However, even the most severe cases of depression are treatable by medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. When these treatments don’t work effectively, electroconvulsive therapy and other brain stimulation techniques may be used.

Let’s look in more detail at the different treatment options to help cure depression in women are:

  • Medication – Your psychotherapist may suggest some medications to deal with your depression such as antidepressants, antianxiety, and antipsychotic medications. Each class of medicine has its own pros and cons and is dependent on the type of depression you have.
  • Psychotherapy – Mostly, a combination of medications and psychotherapy can be an effective cure for depression. There are different psychotherapy techniques to choose from such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), individual, family, and group therapies.
  • Light therapy – In this case, you’d be exposed to white light which can help you stabilize your mood and help relieve symptoms of depression. This especially helps if you have the seasonal affective disorder.
  • Alternative therapies – These can include techniques such as acupuncture and meditation. They are mostly taken as a supplement to prescription medicines.

While we do understand that women are twice as likely as men to have depression, then why don’t that many women get help? Do you think you may know someone who may be suffering from depression? You must do your bit. Get them help, professional help.

The light on the end of the tunnel is that depression is treatable and also in case of chronic depression, we can maintain it. There are various therapeutic options such as medication, psychotherapy like CBT, neurofeedback, group therapy sessions and may such.

Get help for your loved one, call us now on +919611194949.

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