Depression is more than just feeling sad; it’s a serious mood disorder that can impact everyday life. It can be difficult to treat, especially because you may not recognize that you have it until you’ve been dealing with the symptoms for a long time. Depression can affect people of all ages and genders. However, the number of women who have depression is almost twice as much as the number of men. Women tend to experience depression differently, too. Keep reading to learn more about depression and how it uniquely affects women.
Here are a few symptoms that women with depression frequently experience:
- Not enjoying activities and hobbies that you did in the past
- Inability to focus for long periods
- Feeling weak or tired without cause
- Loss of appetite
- Losing an abnormal amount of weight in a short period
- Being unable to sleep well at night
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Dramatic mood swings
- Feeling worthless or inadequate
- Crying without cause
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Feelings of overwhelming guilt
- Thoughts about death
Difference Between Depression in Women and Men
In general, women and men experience different depression symptoms. These differences may be caused by hormonal variances in men and women. Women go through hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. The differences may also be explained by social norms. In the US, men are expected to be tough and not share their feelings. On the other hand, women are expected to be more emotional.
Men and women may express their depression in ways that they believe are socially acceptable. For example, men with depression may display anger, pick fights, blame others, and turn to destructive habits, such as drinking. Women, conversely, may display sadness, blame themselves, and turn to unhealthy habits, such as emotional eating. Of course, everyone experiences depression differently, so your symptoms may not fit easily into one category.
Cause of Depression in Women
Regardless of gender, depression can be caused by a number of different factors. Though the exact cause is often unknown, it can be the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, thyroid condition, traumatic life event, abuse, long-term illness, or family history of depression. Women may also experience PMS and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), perinatal depression, postpartum depression, and perimenopausal depression. These types of depression follow dramatic hormonal shifts, which may account for the prevalence of depression.
For people of all genders, depression is highly treatable. Treatments typically include a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and medication. Meeting with a counselor or therapist can provide you with a safe space to talk about your feelings and symptoms. Potential lifestyle changes that may help include exercising, eating a healthy diet, spending time outside, meditating, and surrounding yourself with positive people. However, lifestyle changes on their own often aren’t enough to remedy depression. This is especially true in cases where the cause is chemical imbalance or genetics. In these situations, consulting a doctor and taking medication may be essential. If you need help managing your depression, seek out one of the best treatment centers for depression. A doctor can help to create a plan for treatment so you can relieve your symptoms. To learn more about treating your depression, contact us at Kinder in the Keys, Inc. today.