Unique Perspectives on Depression in Women
Women are more prone to depression than men.
According to statistics released by Mental Health America, females are 70% more prone to depression than men and 1 in 8 American women suffer from clinical depression.
This discrepancy might be caused by the fact that women are more likely to report their symptoms than men, but that does not really give the complete picture.
The hormonal make-up of a woman is different from that of a man, so they’re more prone to bouts of depression at certain points in their life.
Starting from puberty, to when they start seeing their menses, to pregnancy and childbirth, including menopause and pre-menopause, women experience so many hormonal fluctuations that can easily trigger bouts of depression.
There are several other factors that can lead to depression in women.
Childhood trauma induced low self-esteem, low level of education, poor socio-economic status, are some of the factors that can cause a person, male or female, to experience depression.
Depression in Women
Depression in women is quite different from depression in men. Below are some of the signs of depression in women:
Uncontrollable bouts of tears
Feeling down for up to two weeks or more.
Feeling hopeless, worthless and sad
Feeling isolated and cut off from friends and family
Lack of interest in those things that formerly excited you
Sudden unexplainable change in appetite causing either weight loss or gain
Disruption in sleep pattern.
The significant moments of change in a woman’s life
Menstruation: This transitional period in the life of young women comes with a lot of hormonal changes, which continues every month through her adult life till she reaches menopause. These changes can cause a lot of havoc on her physiological and emotional stability.
Pregnancy: The psychological and hormonal adjustments associated with bringing forth new life, including the changes in dynamic between partners, or the struggle associated with having a baby on your own if you’re alone, can cause a lot of emotional imbalance, which can lead to depression.
Childbirth: The period after childbirth can be quite critical. 1 in 5 women suffer from Post-partum depression (PPD). People suffering from this condition are advised to seek professional help. If left unaddressed, it can lead to psychological imbalances such as psychotic episodes; worst case scenario, it can put your child at risk of harm from you. Please get help, if you ever have thoughts of hurting your baby.
Menopause: Women go through so many hormonal changes in their lifetime and peri-menopause is another example. Any of these changes can lead to depression.
What to do when you experience any symptom of depression:
Visit your doctor.
Talk to a counselor.
Talking with someone you trust can be quite beneficial. It is important for you to get support, either by asking for the requisite help or talking to someone. There’s no shame in asking for help. A lot of people truly feel fulfilled when they provide help, so you both win in this situation.
Take care of yourself: for instance, herbalists’ belief that menstruation symptoms like cramps can be treated with raspberry leaf tea. Yoga can also help alleviate physiology symptoms while boosting your mood.
Do some laughter yoga, watch some comedy. Activities like these release happiness endorphins.
Take your mind off negative thoughts. Negative thoughts can fuel depression. You need to tell yourself that they’re just thoughts not facts, and detach yourself from them. You need a lot of mindfulness to achieve this. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Combating depression is not easy, but with persistence and commitment, you can overcome it. Remember that there’s always hope when there’s life, and seeking medical help is actually the first step of your journey to recovery.