Depression in Women-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

According to a study, approximately 15 million people face depression every year, and a vast majority of them are women. Out of the 2 third people don’t receive any treatment. However, depression is twice as common in females as males. Every 1 in 4 women faces a major episode of depression at any point in her lifetime. Today, we’ll discuss what is depression in women; its symptoms, causes, and how to treat it. 

What is Depression? 

Depression is a severe mood disorder and it makes you feel worthless, helpless, hopeless, and sad. The symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe like little fatigue, low self-esteem, difficulty sleeping, little appetite, and it could get worse. 

Symptoms of Depression in Women 

Some of the top symptoms of depression in women are as follows; 

  • Persistent physical issues that are not responding to the treatment like chronic pain, digestive disorder, and headaches 
  • Find it difficult to make a decision, remember things, or focus your mind at one point 
  • Suicidal and death thoughts and even try to attempt it 
  • Feeling of slow down, mental/physical fatigue, and low energy 
  • Gaining or losing weight and appetite, and overreacting to it 
  • Sleep disturbance, either too much or too little 
  • Feelings of pessimism, hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, and guilty 
  • Excessive crying, crankiness, or restlessness 
  • Losing interest in joyful activities like physical intimacy 
  • Persistent empty mood, anxiety, or sadness 

Symptoms of Mania in Women 

Mania is a very energetic state that lifts your mood, and it could arise bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder causes mood swings ranging from a few days, weeks, and months depending on the depression and mania level. However, when mania lifts your mood, then it requires serious medical treatment. Some of the main symptoms of mania are; 

  • Doing inappropriate social behaviors
  • Poor judgment would lead you to take risks 
  • Having high energy 
  • Increment in any activity like physical intercourse 
  • Thoughts of race 
  • Talking more 
  • Having grand ideas 
  • Sleeping less 
  • Crankiness 
  • Abnormally lifted mood 

Why is Depression in Women more common?

The symptoms of depression are rare among young boys and girls. After reaching the age of puberty, girls face twice as many chances of getting depression as boys. Many medical professionals and experts suggest that it’s because of the hormonal changes that happen throughout their lives. The changes start to appear after having a miscarriage, giving birth, menopause, pregnancy, or puberty. 

It’s important to keep in mind that the fluctuation in hormone level appears in the monthly menstrual cycle, and it could result in;

  • PMS (Premenstrual syndrome)
  • PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder)

They both are severe disorders and they cause mood swings, stress, anxiety, and depression. They start to appear a week before the menstrual cycle and disrupt your life routine. 

What causes it?

National Institute of Health reports that the reason women are more vulnerable to the risk of depression is because of many factors. Like genetic, reproductive, personality and psychological traits, interpersonal, and biological factors. Additionally, single mothers, being single, and raising kids to increase the chances of stress and depression. Some of the other causes are; 

  • Usage of a certain type of medication 
  • Sexual or physical abuse while growing up 
  • Social and psychological issues like divorce, separation, stressful relationship, or losing a job 
  • Losing support group or the threat of losing something 
  • Loss of parents before the age of 10
  • Mood disorder history in the early years of reproductive 
  • Mood disorders and family history 

Is it hereditary?

Depression runs in certain families. Usually, it starts between the ages of 15 to 30 years. It’s common among women to have depression due to family links. There is no sufficient evidence to prove that depression could be genetic or hereditary. 

Depression in Men vs. Women 

Depression in men and women differ because of many ways; 

  • Depression in women has links with an eating disorder, phobic and panic symptoms, and anxiety disorder 
  • Women have suicidal thoughts, guilt feelings, and they try to commit suicide 
  • Women are more sensitive to seasonal changes, or links with stressful life events, and it tends to last longer and is likely to come back. 

Relevance of PMS and PMDD to Depression in Females 

Every three out of four menstruating women face PMS (premenstrual syndrome). The intensity of its physical and emotional symptoms depends on the menstrual cycle. However, it impacts women in their 20s and 30s. 

Approximately 3 to 5% of menstruating women face PMDD (it’s an aggravated form of PMS). Some of its symptoms are losing interest, crankiness, mood swing, anxiety, stress, and sadness. 

Women having PMDD or PMS, exhibit symptoms roundabout seven to ten days before the menstrual cycle. They feel a dramatic relief during or after the menstrual flow. 

Recent studies have found significant causes like behavioral changes or discomfort in the life of women. There is no evidence to link depression with PMS or PMDD. 

Are PMS and PMDD curable?

Meditation and exercise are said to have helped women facing depression along with PMS and PMDD. Stress management, psychotherapy, and medication are for severe symptoms. You should consult your therapist or doctor for better treatment and medication. 

Depression in Pregnancy 

Depression has become common among pregnant women than among those that aren’t. Some of the main elements that could increase depression during pregnancy are as follows; 

  • Uncertainty about pregnancy 
  • Conflict in the relationship/marriage
  • Limited social support groups 
  • Living alone 
  • Pregnancy in the younger years increase the risk 
  • History of PMDD or depression 

Impact of Depression on Pregnancy 

  • It makes it difficult for the mom to connect with the baby 
  • It compels them to use illegal drugs, consume alcohol, and smoke tobacco, and that would ultimately affect the baby 
  • They won’t follow the recommendations of the doctor like eating an imbalanced diet or lack of sleep 

Treatment of Depression in Women 

You can treat depression among women in various ways like psychotherapy, TMS, ECT, brain stimulation techniques, antidepressants, or medication. Your doctor or therapist would best decide the treatment for you depending on your condition. If you aren’t sure, then consult from following sources; 

  • Medical school or university-affiliated programs
  • State hospitals 
  • Private facilities and hospitals 
  • Mental health specialists like counselors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists
  • Psychiatric or medical societies 
  • Psychiatry or hospital department 
  • Health maintenance organization 
  • Social/family service agencies 
  • Family doctors 

Conclusion: Depression in Women-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of depression in women; its symptoms, causes, and treatment, we’ve realized that persistent depression could have severe impacts. If you’re facing depression, then you should keep in mind the abovementioned symptoms and causes, and deal with it accordingly.