The Basic Signs of Depression in Women

What are the most common and basic signs of depression in women? Depression is a kind of mental disorder that can affect both women and men. It is pervasive and serious mood disorder. It can be mild to moderate or severe which then may significantly affect the quality of life of patient. It is relatively more common in women than in men.

Experts have confirmed that depression is twice more likely to occur in women than in men, and this statistic is found in most countries all around the world.

There is about 15 million individuals experience this mood disorder every year in the U.S – and as mentioned before, most of them is women. And did you know that about 2/3 of these people don’t get appropriate treatment that they need?

Causes and reasons of why depression is more common in women!

There are some different reasons. In general, we can divide these reasons into two major categories, (a) psychological causes and (b) biological causes!

This may include:

  1. Issues associated with body image! The gender difference in depression starts in adolescence. The emersion of sex differences during puberty probably plays a role. Some studies point to body dissatisfaction, which typically goes up in girls during puberty (sexual development).
  2. The level of stress! While men produce less stress hormone, women can produce it more. In other words, men are less likely than women to have depression under the same level of stress. Moreover, the male sex hormone doesn’t prevent the stress hormone system from turning itself off – while the female sex hormone progesterone does it!
  3. Did you know that women tend to ruminate when they are being depressed? On the other hand, men are more likely to distract themselves when being depressed, and this may help decrease the intensity of depression. Rumination may help maintain depression, but sometimes it also can increase the intensity of depression – according to an article published on Help Guide Org.

This may include:

  1. Peri-menopause and menopause! Women can experience a lot of hormonal changes in the end of their childbearing age. And these changes may affect the risk of developing depression.
  2. Postpartum depression (a condition of depression when it goes severe and last longer than usual). Many new moms experience ‘baby blues’ -- and it’s completely normal and should go away naturally within a few weeks. But there are also some women who experience postpartum depression. Some experts believe that the fluctuation of female hormones during and after pregnancy may play a role in causing postpartum depression. This kind of depression typically also occurs after stillbirth and miscarriage.
  3. Pregnancy! As well we know that pregnancy can bring a lot of changes both psychological and hormonal changes. These changes can increase the risk of depression, particularly in women who also have other many risk factors of depression. Other issues associated with pregnancy such as fertility problems, unwanted pregnancy, and pregnancy complications (like miscarriage) may also play a key role. Read also the use of antidepressant in a pregnant woman!
  4. Problems related to menstruation! Another thing that often associated with hormonal fluctuations in women is their menstrual period. It can cause a common symptom called PMS (premenstrual syndrome) which includes emotional reactivity, fatigue, irritability, and bloating. Most women experience mild PMS, but there are also some who experience severe PMS symptoms that can be serious enough to disrupt their daily activities. Sometimes severe symptoms of PMS may also point to PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

And according to NIH (the National Institute of Health), the following are some factors or conditions that may cause an increased risk of depression in women:

  1. The use of certain medicines /medications.
  2. Certain social and psychological stress, such as divorce, job loss, etc.
  3. Loss of lovely people (particularly such as mother or father) before the age of 10.
  4. Both either sexual or physical abuse as a child.
  5. Personal history of mental /mood disorders in the early years of childbearing age.
  6. And family history of certain mental /mood disorders.

Depression in women before and after adolescent

The risk of depression in girls and boys before adolescent is same. But once girls reach their puberty, their risk is higher than boys – according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). As noted before, the hormonal and biological changes may play a key role to the significantly increase in rates of depression among girls after puberty.

signs_of_depression_in_women_illustrationStill, depression is also more common in older women than in older men. But if compared to those who still at childbearing age, women after menopause (post-menopausal age) are less likely to have depression. Furthermore, this mental disorder is not a normal section of aging. And older women who experience depression generally also have prior histories of depression.

The basic symptoms and signs of depression in women

These may include (According to NIMH):