Causes of Depression in Women: Treatment, Self-Help Tips for Handling It

The reasons for depression differ from person to person, especially when it is about the genders. It is a fact that women are more prone to depression in comparison to men. Moreover, the causes of depression and the pattern of symptoms are dissimilar in women. There are several factors that contribute to the distinctive depiction of female depression. The social pressure on the women or even the reproductive hormones causes stress. One can minimize the risk of depression by knowing about the factors resulting to it and can treat it efficiently.

Causes of Depression in Women

Depression is Very Common Among Women

Every aspect of your life can have an adverse effect due to depression. The effects are clearly visible on the relationships, social and professional life. Depression is very common among the women. For a matter of fact, according to the statistics of National Mental Health Association one in ten women will be suffering from depression at some point in life.

You might be tormenting from major depression if you often feel sad, tired, guilty and down. But you need not worry as depression can be treated. The more you comprehend about the impact of depression in women, the more prepared you will be to deal with it.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Women

The signs of major depression and depression in women are quite similar. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Miserable mood
  • Lack of interest in the activities you felt delighted
  • Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and irrelevance
  • Persistent thoughts of death or Suicidal tendencies
  • Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep
  • Changes in weight and food habits
  • Lack of concentration
  • Exhaustion and Low Energy.

Distinction Between Depression in Men and Women

Certain symptoms are most often experienced by women than men while there are few symptoms of depression are similar for men and women. Such as the seasonal affective disorder- depression during winter due to the low intensity of sunlight. In addition to it women are more likely to experience the signs of atypical depression.

In atypical depression the opposite to the regular symptoms of sleeping less, losing weight, eating less can be seen: excessive eating, excessive sleeping, and gaining weight. Feelings of guilt linked with depression are more common and prominent in women. Also, thyroid problems are higher in occurrence in women. Hypothyroidism can result in depression. Hence, it should be ruled out the practitioner in the depressed women.

What Are The Causes of Depression in Women?

There are multiple causes of depression in women. Women are two times more likely to suffer from depression in comparison to men. The difference endures across ethnic, racial and economic divides. For a matter of fact, the rate of depression in terms of gender can be found in most of the parts around the globe. Several theories exist that explains the higher prevalence of depression in females. A number of factors are concerned with it that, involves the social, psychological and biological aspects.

Hormonal and Biological Causes of Depression in Females

Hormonal and biological causes of depression in females include PMS, infertility, postpartum depression, peri-menopause and menopause etc…

  • Health Problems: Women with Injury, chronic illness or disability can have a tendency to depression. So can quitting smoking or crash dieting.
  • Peri-Menopause and Menopause: The risk of depression is very high at the time of peri-menopause, the phase that leads to menopause when rapid fluctuations in hormones occur. The risk of depression would be at an increased rate during menopause if the women were suffering from depression in their past.
  • Premenstrual Problems: Fluctuations in hormones during the menstrual cycle are reasons for the development of symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as emotional reactivity, tiredness, swelling and irritability. For many women, PMS is easygoing while for few women severe symptoms can be noticed that could disturb their lives and can be diagnosed with the premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
  • Infertility and Pregnancy: The occurrence of changes in hormones at the time of pregnancy can contribute to depression, specifically in the women who have a complication with their pregnancy. Also related issues to pregnancy like infertility, unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage can also lead to depression.
  • Postpartum Depression: Several new mothers undergo the baby blues. This kind of reaction is typical, and it tends to settle down in a few weeks. While few women undergo rigorous long-term depression. Such state is known as postpartum depression. Postpartum depression affects due fluctuations in hormones at least in portions.

Psychological Causes of Depression in Females

Psychological causes of depression in women include body dissatisfaction, pondering, stress overdose:

  • Self Image Concerns: The depression due to gender begins in teenage. The appearance of sex differences at the time of puberty probably plays a role. According to studies the body dissatisfaction causes depression that increases in girls during puberty.
  • Mulling Over the Negative Feelings: When in depression women are more likely to ponder. It involves crying to relieve emotional stress, conversing with friends about the depression, trying to figure out the reason for being depressed. However, pondering can either help to maintain depression or make it worse. Whereas men tend to distract themselves while they are depressed. Distraction can decrease depression, unlike pondering.
  • Crushing Stress at Home, College or Office: In accordance with studies women are more likely to develop depression due to stress. Moreover, the physiological response to stress is different from males. In comparison to men, women are likely to produce more stress hormones. The female sex hormone progesterone thwarts the system of stress hormone from turning off as it acts with men.

Social Causes of Depression in Females

Unlike men, social factors can play a major role in the occurrence of depression in women, along with relationships, lifestyle choices, and coping skills. These include:

  • Balancing the stress of home life and profession, Relationship or Marital problems.
  • Responsibilities of families such as being concerned for spouse, children or elderly parents.
  • Discrimination at Workplace or inability in pursuing the goals, losing or change in the job, retiring, or boarding on military service.
  • Constant monetary troubles.
  • Demise of loved one or other events that leave you feeling hopeless, alone, helpless, or intensely sad.

Treatment for Depression in Women

Women suffering from depression are treated in a similar way as everyone as the procedure of treatment is similar. The antidepressants and psychotherapy are the foremost approach to the treatment. There are few special treatment considerations for depressed women.

Variations in Hormones During the Reproductive Cycle

A profound effect on the mood of a woman can be related to the fluctuations in hormones during the reproductive cycle. Under such possibilities, your physician should check out the connections between the female reproductive cycle and the symptoms of depression.

  • Are the depressive symptoms associated with the menstrual period and likely due to PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)?
  • Are you expecting and have complications with your pregnancy and anxious to the enormous changes in you and your body?
  • Are you dealing with the baby blues after giving birth to a newborn?
  • Or are you struggling with emotional and hormonal fluctuations are about to deal with menopause?

All of these objectives in the cycle of reproduction can trigger or persuade depression. It is essential that you take into consideration the mood-related side effects from the hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills.

How is the Treatment for Depression in Women Different from Men?

Particular aspects of treatment need to be modified while treating depression in women. Lower dose of antidepressants should be prescribed to women than men owing to the biological differences. The medication should be strictly monitored as women are more likely to face side effects.

Lastly, women probably than men needs simultaneous treatment for additional conditions like eating disorders and anxiety disorders.

Self-Help Tips for Depression in Women

Simple changes in the lifestyle can help you to knock out the depression: workout daily, avoid the urge of isolating, consume healthy food as a substitute to the craving for the junk food, and figuring out time for relaxation and rest.

It takes time to feel better, but you can succeed if you make positive selections for yourself every day and build with others support.

  • Don’t Skip and Continue with Social Activities Even If you are Not Interested in Them: While you are depressive, it is more comfortable to move back into your shield. However, being alongside people will make you feel better.
  • Talk About What you are Going Through With your Close Friend: Speak what you feel with the people you trust and love. Seek their help and support that you require. You might have moved away from your most precious relations, but they can help you to get through this harsh point. If you feel you do not have anyone to open your heart to, look to make new friends. Join a support group to get rid of gloominess.
  • Get Good Amount of Sleep: Sleep problems are normal during the depression. Your mood will be affected if you sleep too much or too less. Engage to have better sleeping habits by scheduling your sleep.
  • Make a Habit of Regular Exercise: According to studies, exercising regularly can work as an antidepressant medicine at rising energy levels and reducing feelings of exhaustion. You do not need to visit the gym. Walking daily for half an hour will offer a much required boost.
  • Practice Relaxation Methods: Symptoms of depression can be relieved by daily practicing relaxation techniques that would eliminate stress and enhance feelings of well-being and joy. Practice meditation, deep breathing, yoga or progressive muscle relaxation.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 15, 2019

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