Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Women: What to Watch out For

by Sreelakshmi S

07 August,2018 | Reading Time: 3 minutes

Did you know that women are at a greater risk of developing depression as compared to men?

Due to a combination of psychological and biological factors, women are more likely than men to develop clinical depression. Changes in hormone levels due to pregnancy or menopause, emotional stress due to cultural expectations, etc. can be the reason why women are more prone to depression.

Depression is a mental health disorder that leaches the energy & joy out of your life. It affects your thinking patterns and can even lead to suicide!

What is Depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes relentless feelings of sorrow or loss.

It is characterized by a disinterest in life and feeling low in energy. It is not just “feeling sad”. Feeling sorrow from time to time is a normal response to painful or distressing events. However, the feelings of sorrow persist for weeks or months, it can be a symptom of depression.

Early Signs & Symptoms of Depression in Women

Understanding the signs of depression in women can help us recognize and get treatment for it immediately. Some of the warning early signs of depression in females are:

Apathy:

In many women, depression can seem like disinterest or apathy to life, rather than just sadness. They lose interest in activities or hobbies that you used to enjoy. They lack energy and will to do even routine daily activities. They might feel exhausted or weak without an apparent cause.

Concentration & Attention Issues:

Women suffering from depression can have trouble concentrating and experience difficulty in making decisions. They are unable to focus and have trouble fulfilling their obligations. They might be very sensitive to criticisms and struggle with anxiety. This could be a sign of depression in a female.

Behavioral Changes:

A marked change from previous behavior indicates issues with mental health. Loss of interest in sex or intimacy with a partner, changes in sleeping and eating habits, mood swings are indicators of depression in women.

Persistent feelings of sorrow:

Feelings of persistent sadness, emptiness, and despair point to depression. Feeling that you are incompetent or insignificant, wishing that “you didn’t exist” and giving up on the future are symptoms of depression. If you are plagued with negative and suicidal thoughts, please contact a mental health professional immediately!

Physical issues:

Sometimes women experience physical symptoms, such as cramps, pain and aches, headaches, bloating, digestive problems, and fatigue.

Causes of Depression in Women

Some of the main causes and risk factors of depression in women are listed below:

Genetic Factors:

Studies have shown that certain genetic compositions are more prone to depression than others. Hence, if you have a family history of depression, you are more likely to suffer from depression yourself.

Hormonal Factors:

Biological factors and hormonal changes are major factors for depression. Pregnancy, menstrual cycle issues, and menopause can make women more susceptible to depression.

Emotional Trauma:

Emotional stress is a risk factor that can lead to depression. Emotional trauma such as loss of a loved one, physical & sexual abuse, unemployment, marital issues, divorce, etc. can have a huge impact on females and their mental health.

Other Health Issues:

Other mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder & anxiety, can lead to depression in women. Even issues with physical health and the use of certain medications can result in depression.

Types of Depression Prevalent in Women

Some of the most common types of depression in women are:

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD):

PMDD is a disorder in which women experience symptoms of depression, stress, and irritability before menstruation. It is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome.

Perinatal Depression:

Depression occurring during pregnancy or right after birth in women is called perinatal depression. This can be due to a combination of factors such as relationship issues, hormone fluctuations, miscarriage, lack of support from family, etc.

Postpartum Depression:

This is a depression that affects new mothers and commonly occurs within 4-6 weeks after childbirth. About 15% of new mothers experience postpartum depression.

Perimenopausal Depression:

Women are affected by perimenopausal depression during their transition to menopause. Due to hormone changes and imbalances, women might experience depression as they enter menopause.

How to Treat Depression in Women

Lifestyle changes can help in maintaining overall physical and mental health. It helps regulate mood swings and increases mental resilience. Ensure that you eat a balanced diet and get adequate sleep daily. Regular exercise improves your mood and mental health. Journaling and meditation can help ease anxiety and break negative patterns of thinking.

However, you cannot just “snap out of” depression. Depression is a medical condition and you need to consult a doctor or psychologist. Depending on your medical history and the severity of your condition, there are different treatments for depression. Psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and medications are used for treating depression.

Depression can be effectively treated using therapy, medications, or a combination of both. If you think you or someone you love might be suffering from depression, please contact us at +91 97414 76476 or visit our website.

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