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Depression in Women: Why It's More Common and How to Cope

Depression In Women

Depression in women is more common than depression in men. This is due to rapid hormone changes and stressful situations. Women handle social pressure and stress very differently than men do. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. While the causes of this are unknown, it seems to lean towards the hormonal changes a woman experiences throughout her life.

Hormones play a big part in a woman's feelings. From the time a woman begins adolescence, goes through pregnancy, and experiences menopause, the female body is constantly changing. The fluctuation of these hormones creates bloating, irritability, moodiness, and fatigue. All these symptoms can cause depression in women.

Depression in women can also occur in cultural situations. The role women are expected to play in society can put a lot of emotional stress on a woman. In most cultures, it is the woman’s responsibility to take care of her husband, and her children and perform daily housework such as cooking, cleaning, and laundry.

The relationship between a man and a woman can also cause depression in women. Women who are not satisfied with their intimate relationships will also experience depression. When women feel unloved or have a lack of intimacy in their relationship, they begin to question themselves, ultimately resulting in feelings of self-pity and hopelessness.

When women are sexually or physically abused, they will experience some type of depression in their lives. Women who were sexually or physically abused when they were younger had a greater risk of being depressed.

The good news is that there are medications that can help women deal with these emotional times in their lives. These medications can help her feel more like herself during these trying times.

10 Common Signs and Facts

Identifying the common signs of depression in women and quickly taking appropriate measures is very important. Apart from being a loved one, a woman is always in charge of taking care of the children. Men also play important roles in the family but it has been observed that children are always found with the mother. Therefore, any problem that torments a woman will affect the children.

There are biological, social, and cultural reasons as to why women are depressed. These are 10 common facts and the most common signs:

1. If a woman is experiencing problems with her premenstrual cycle and her hormones are fluctuating consistently then she‘s most often a candidate for mild to severe depression.

2. The hormones that fluctuate during pregnancy may cause depression in the woman’s body and the thought of pregnancy problems can add to her feeling of anxiety.

3. Postpartum depression takes place after a child is born; this is otherwise known as the “baby blues.”

4. The role of a woman can affect her feelings of worth, in turn affecting her mood. This is referred to as a role strain, taking place when women stress about the responsibilities that they feel obligated to uphold while married and taking care of their family, and/or working. This is also found in a lot of women who are single and raise children on their own.

5. The inequality in society and the workplace at times may cause a woman to feel helpless, even if she has a satisfactory job or degree. The socioeconomic status of a woman may lead to depression due to the authority she feels that she does not have.

6. Abuse that has been either physical or sexual leads women into a traumatic depression that may last for years on end. Sexual harassment in a working environment also leads women back into the socioeconomic role frame, making them feel unworthy.

7. Being without satisfaction in a relationship leads to a degree of depression, depending on the status of their marriage or the intimacy that they may be lacking.

8. Poverty is more prevalent among single women who are solely responsible for their children while also holding a job. This leads to chronic and depression problems.

9. Before menopause manifests in a woman's body, there's a stage referred to as perimenopause. This stage occurs when hormones in a woman's body become inconsistent and fluctuate severely. Women may experience depression at the onset of their menopausal stage. Read more here on → Menopause and Depression: The link and what helps.

10. Many women feel the pressure when it comes to their image, and the type of image that society and men expect of them. Eating disorders are linked closely to depression and are common in women and young girls who feel the need to wear petite clothing or look like women in magazines.

It is a good thing that most of the common signs of depression in women can be easily noticed before things get out of hand. After discovery, the assistance of a professional should be looked for to help the woman continue to play her role in the family.

Help & Treatment

When a woman is not offered any help doing any of these chores it is more likely for her to become depressed. Having an overload of responsibilities and not knowing how to manage them all can make a woman feel out of control and hopeless. Learning how to organize and delegate responsibilities will help a woman feel less stressed. This will result in less depression.

The key to overcoming depression in women is figuring out what is causing it in the first place. Once you find the culprit, take active steps to fix the problem and get rid of the depression.

A combination of anti-depressant medications and psychotherapy is very useful in treating depression in women.

Postpartum depression (PPD) or Postnatal Depression

It's a beautiful day, you have a healthy baby, and you just can't see any light. Probably you cry for no reason at all. Your heart is beating fast and you find it difficult to get even one thing done during the day. There doesn't even seem to be a light at the end of any tunnel. You feel like you haven't slept in weeks - maybe longer. As you think about the future you cry some more. You feel like you have lost yourself. If you have had such symptoms anywhere more than two weeks or more, you most likely have postpartum depression (PPD) (also called postnatal depression).

Postpartum depression results from the act of giving birth to a child. Nearly 10% of all women experience postpartum depression. Realizing experiencing this kind of depression does not indicate any facet of the woman’s mothering abilities, it is a mere physiological state of being. A multitude of physical and psychological stresses pose threats to a woman’s body during childbirth and can play a major role in developing postpartum illness.

After childbirth, many women experience short-term, mild depression states. Women do not normally need treatment, just time. Postpartum depression occurs anytime within a year of giving birth. This kind of depression poses serious risks to a woman’s mental health. The mother needs to seek out treatment to prevent further damage to her mental state.

The worst and rarest of all postpartum aspects manifest as postpartum psychosis, also known as, postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis). A mother poses serious risks of causing harm to herself or the baby.

PPD Symptoms

Symptoms of postpartum depression include irritability, restlessness, anxiety, and loss of energy or motivation. Mothers with this disorder feel ashamed and start to isolate themselves with feelings of guilt.

Most people believe that childbirth should be the happiest moment in their lives, yet many find themselves perplexed when nothing but sadness looms in their minds. They begin to withdraw from friends and family, feeling hopeless and overwhelmed. As a result, they lose interest in activities that once brought them joy.

Further degradation occurs in memory capabilities, making decisions becomes challenging, and various physical manifestations arise. Physical ailments include headaches, abnormal heart rate, hyperventilation, and chest pains. The mother may also experience difficulty sleeping well or maintaining a balanced diet.

Postpartum depression does not affect the mother alone. The child’s emotional needs may go uncalled for when the mother is trying to deal with her own stressful emotions. This could send feelings of shame and worthlessness on a path to becoming twofold. The mother will think she must not be a good parent and by waning confidence, strengthens the depression’s hold. The baby will begin to show signs of distress because its emotional and other needs are not being met properly.

PPD Treatments

Pregnancy involves a cocktail of hormonal changes which stands as the prime reason mothers experience postpartum depression. Throughout the pregnancy, the mother undergoes a wide variety of chemical changes. Unfortunately, multiple accounts of hormonal changes can set off an imbalance. Postpartum treatment focuses on restoring balance lost during pregnancy.

Herbal Supplements, Therapy, Support Groups, Medication, and Diet and Exercise are used as per the requirement (sometimes in combination) to treat postpartum depression.

Herbal remedies are found to be quite helpful to some women in dealing with postpartum symptoms. Mothers report chaste berry tree and black cohosh to provide relief from irritability, night sweats, irregular heartbeats, headaches, depression and anxiety episodes. Chamomile tea or Valerian root extract promotes sleep and helps reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Combination vitamins and supplemental minerals, enzymes, amino acids, and herbal extracts provide great benefits towards relieving many symptoms included in postpartum depression. Natural supplements do not come with the serious side effects that prescription medication often presents.
Expecting mothers need not feel anxious about possibly developing postpartum depression. No woman should hold themselves responsible for a disease out of their control. Doctors know how hard the disorder can be for a mothering parent and her baby. Treatments provide the baby’s emotional care and the mother’s restoration of mental health.

If you do have postpartum blues, try talking to someone you can easily relate with, or someone who has also been through the baby blues. If you are worried about acquiring postpartum depression, seek assistance and realize the joyful wonders of parenting.


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