Major Causes of Depression in Women
About two to three times more women than men suffer from depression. Many causes can raise a woman’s risk for depression. Depression can strike at any time. Depression is a long-term mood condition that causes an intense feeling of hopelessness and loss of interest in everyday activities.
Also known as clinical depression or major depression, it can result in a range of physical and emotional issues and can affect how you think, feel and act.
This type of mental health condition is extremely common, with one in ten adults in the United States having been diagnosed with it at some point in their lives. While most people who suffer from depression can bounce back from time to time, for some it never goes away.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, the following tips can help bring your depression to an end. Some common symptoms occur with more severe depression and mood changes.
The following is information on some of the common symptoms
Women are most susceptible to depression when they reach menopause. Menopause can be triggered by perimenopause, the regular monthly period that occurs during a woman’s life.
Some symptoms of perimenopause include irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, and emotional outbursts. Other symptoms of perimenopause include night sweats and vaginal dryness.
A major depressive disorder affects moods over long periods of time
Major depression is one of the most serious forms of depression and has high rates of recurrence after treatment. A major depressive disorder is linked to chemical imbalances in the brain.
There are many causes of major depression. Low levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain, are often the result of chronic illness, abuse of prescription medications, or the withdrawal of certain chemicals such as caffeine from the body.
Women are at a greater risk of postpartum depression after giving birth
Many women who have not given birth seek help for postpartum depression because their bodies often do not function as they did prior to the pregnancy.
Postpartum depression often occurs after the women have given birth. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery can all trigger postpartum depression in women.
In addition, some women change their minds about life after childbirth and have a tendency to evaluate their lives negatively. Work, relationships, and children all pose risks in a postpartum depression setting.
Women also have higher rates of depression than men after child birth due to their emotional needs rekindled at the onset of postpartum depression. This condition often presents itself as severe eating disorders and is more common in obese women.
A common myth surrounding postpartum depression is that it is caused by psychological problems. While many health experts believe that postpartum depression is often rooted in mental health issues, the actual causes are unknown and therefore the link between depression and eating disorders remains unclear.
Once depression has set in, the person may be reluctant to seek treatment. Some symptoms of depression in women include hopelessness, irritability, social isolation, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness and sadness/laziness.
Depression symptoms may also include
- An infatuation with food
- Self-destructive behavior
- Sleep disturbances
- Physical pain/discomfort
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek immediate help from a medical professional. Depression in women can be successfully treated with psychotherapy and/or medication.
However, it should be noted that if these symptoms are persisting for longer than two weeks, psychotherapy may be ineffective and psychotherapy is generally ineffective when dealing with prolonged depression in women.
Another common cause of depression in women is the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy
Pregnancy causes a wide array of mood changes in the body including mood changes that mimic those of depression. The progesterone and estrogen that are naturally produced by the ovaries become unbalanced during pregnancy.
As a result, the mother’s mood changes turn from typically relaxed to depressive and back again. Women with depression usually experience symptoms similar to menopause.
However, depression in women is actually a symptom of the different hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Women tend to have more intense mood swings, are less likely to seek treatment and their depression stems from inherited traits rather than stressors within the family.
When depression runs in families, there is more likelihood of the condition being misdiagnosed as bi-polar or osteoporosis. The first tip for dealing with depression is to make sure that you are aware of all of the symptoms of depression.
These steps of dealing with depression include
- Significantly lower energy levels
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Fatigue or lack of appetite
- A negative outlook on life and social relationships
- Sleep problems
It may be helpful to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis so that you can receive treatment. Your doctor may prescribe medication for your depression or refer you to an appropriate psychotherapy center.
In some cases, both medication and psychotherapy may be prescribed as separate treatments. Your doctor will be able to give you more information about depression and psychotherapy.
Another important step for combating depression is to find out what causes it in the first place. Depression is often a symptom of another illness or emotional issue. Understanding what is causing your depression can help you treat it and get on the path to recovery.
Some possibilities include genetics, stress, an unhealthy diet, an exercise routine that are out of balance, and hormone imbalance. Remaining aware of what is causing your depression can help you determine the best treatment for yourself.
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