The Basic Signs of Depression in Women

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What are the most common, 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, moderate or severe. Depending on how severe it is, it may significantly affect the quality of life of the patient. And it is relatively more common in women!

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 are about 15 million individuals affected by this mood disorder every year in the U.S! Unfortunately, most of them don’t get appropriate treatment.

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Why depression is more common in women?

There are some different reasons, some are as follows:

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 HelpGuide 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 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 and conditions that increase the risk:

  1. The use of certain medicines /medications.
  2. Social events and psychological stress, such as divorce, job loss, etc.
  3. Loss of lovely people, especially during childhood (before the age of 10).
  4. Sexual or physical abuse.
  5. Personal history of mental /mood disorders in the early years of childbearing age.
  6. And family history of certain mental 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). The hormonal and biological changes may play a key role.

Still, depression is also common in older women. But if compared to those who are still at childbearing age, women after menopause (post-menopausal age) are less likely to have depression.

Signs and symptoms of depression in women

These may include (According to NIMH):

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