Depression has become so common in industrialized countries that physicians often refer to it as the common cold of psychiatry. Wondering, “Am I depressed?” has become a common question. And depression in women is more frequent than in men.
The reasons may not be entirely clear, but experts suggest it’s a mixture of biological, psychological, and sociocultural matters. The following are the different explanations of the contributory factors of depression in women.
“Am I Depressed?” Biological Explanations
Women may have a stronger genetic predisposition to developing the mental issue. Women are also more subjected to fluctuating hormone levels. This is particularly evident during childbirth and menopause.
They are more susceptible to asking, “Am I depressed?” Therefore, depression in women is a direction in life that most women may not be able to avoid. Depression has become some sort of rite of passage for women.
Psychological Elucidations for Depression in Women
Am I thinking too much? Am I depressed? Am I not enough? These are the common question that every woman has asked to themselves. Women are naturally more contemplative or meditative than men, and by thinking about things more, depression is more likely to develop.
Depression in women has therefore become a common occurrence. Women tend to think more about what brought about the problems, could it have been averted, what are the things that should be done, etc. Men on the other hand will just react to difficult times with indifference, ire, or substance misuse.
Women are also more invested in relationships than men, so relationship problems will most likely affect women more, which could eventually lead to depression. Women also tend to idealize or romanticize the relationship.
Stories are already created on their minds, so when reality doesn’t match their preconceived notion on things, they get disappointed and feel lonelier to the point of asking themselves am I depressed even if they already know the answer to that question. Depression in women may be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a serious illness that needs to be treated.
Women are more stressed out than men. And too much stress could possibly lead to the mental issue. They are expected to go to work, maintain their home, bring up the children, care for older relatives, and put up with all the sexism.
With that much work, depression in women is sure to happen to anyone at some point in their lives. And any woman for that matter has asked herself am I depressed for at least once in her life.
Women also live longer than men and old age is mostly associated with bereavement, loneliness, poor physical health, and precarity. Combine all these conditions and you have the perfect ingredients for developing depression in women.
Women are also more likely to ask themselves am I depressed then, consult a doctor, and to discuss their feelings with their doctor. So, the doctor would also be more likely to make a diagnosis that they have depression.
Upon reading the reasons why this mental health issue is more prevalent among women than in men, were you able to relate to this seemingly unimportant but definitely serious illness? Have you ever asked yourself am I depressed? What do you think should be done to overcome depression in women?
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Depression, a mental illness that is often characterised by prolonged periods of sadness and melancholy (sadness with no obvious cause), experts from the field of psychiatry say.
But just because one person is moping around and just generally hating the world around him or her, doesn’t mean that it’s already depression. If this kind of behaviour, the feeling of emptiness, loss of self-worth and absolutely no hope for happiness just goes on and on, then, yes, that individual is indeed, depressed.
Still, there are various types of depression, from:
Manic or Bipolar depression – characterised by sudden and extreme changes in one’s mood wherein one minute he or she is in an elevated state of euphoria while the next minute (day or week) he or she is feeling to be in a personal hell.
Postpartum depression – characterised by a prolonged sadness and a feeling of emptiness by a new mother wherein physical stress during child birth, an uncertain sense of responsibility towards the new born baby can be just some of the possible factors why some new mother go through this.
Dysthimia – characterised by a slight similarity with depression, although this time, it’s been proven to be a lot less severe, but of course with any case, should be treated immediately.
Cyclothemia – characterised by a slight similarity with Manic or Bipolar depression wherein the individual suffering from this mental illness may occasionally suffer from severe changes in one’s moods.
Seasonal Affective Disorder – characterised by falling in a rut only during specific seasons (i.e. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall). Studies however, prove that more people actually fall in to a rut more during the Winter and Fall seasons.
Lastly, Mood swings, wherein a person’s mood may shift from happy to sad to angry in just a short time.
Clinical depression however, or as some might call as ‘major’ depression, is actually the medical term for depression. Clinical depression is more of a disorder rather than an illness since it basically covers only those who are suffering from symptoms related to depression. Clinical depression is how doctors usually refer to “depression” when giving a diagnose of their patient. It’s basically just a medical term.
In spite of being a disorder, clinical depression can be treated. Doctors are highly optimistic that their patients who are suffering from Clinical disorder will be well on their way towards good mental health as long as they treated as soon as they have been diagnosed with Clinical depression. Patients who have been seeking for treatments for Clinical depression have proven to be quite successful in their quest. 80 percent of Clinical depression patients have been treated and has somewhat found relief from their disorder.
Hopefully this has been informative 🙂
Mental health, not the sort of thing most people choose to talk about seriously. Furthermore, sometimes people say something insensitive or said out of plain ignorance.
Suffering from depression or mental health problems, is something that most people feel ashamed to admit.
What about those people who don’t suffer from depression or have ever had a severe depressive episode? This brings me to the core of this article: How do you recognise depression?
It is so very important to be vigilant. To be aware of the warning signs, and the earlier they are spotted, the better. Why? Because being depressed leads to behaviour that is not helpful. Behaviour that over time, is reinforced day after day, month after month. Slowly but surely getting a firm grip on your life. It is much harder to spot a change in behaviour if it occurs and develops gradually over time. But what are these signs and behaviour that we should look out for?
The most common symptom of depression and one which most people think is the only one is having a persistent empty or ‘sad’ mood.
A feeling of pessimism, hopelessness or helplessness and being critical of oneself for never being good enough at anything no matter what we do.
Depression can lead to a lack of interest in pursuits someone usually enjoys.
Feeling lethargic or having no energy or drive is another symptom of depression that can slowly be re-enforced over time.
Trouble with sleeping is a symptom associated with depression. Sleeping disorders are often dismissed as having developed a mild case of insomnia that will surely go away over time. Some people wake early in the morning and are unable to fall back asleep.
Eating disturbances to, especially in women, can them cope with depression even if they don’t realise it.
Depression often goes hand in hand with anxiety. Anxiety can also cause sleeping disturbances, as well as a feeling of dread, increased heart rate and more severely, panic attacks.
Depression and anxiety can easily knock our confidence levels as both can lead to difficulty concentrating and remembering or making decisions.
These symptoms can climax with devastating effect. They can sometimes lead to a complete nervous breakdown. During this nothing makes sense and it can be very frightening when you are faced with a situation like this.
Depression can also manifest itself through persistent physical symptoms or pains that do not seem to respond to treatment.
Being irritable and losing ones temper are also symptoms of depression, (supposedly) seen more often in males than females.
Thoughts of suicide, attempts and plans are never to be taken lightly. Often, suicide attempts can be a cry for help – i.e they don’t know what else to do guys! For them it seems like like this is the only way to get help (near misses). Often it can feel like the only way to alleviate their suffering (via death).
Quick note on depression, suicide and self harm: The best way to try and understand how a depressed person is feeling is to get into the person shoes…..
Imagine feeling so hopeless, powerless and down that nothing seems worth it. You are tired and can’t physically do much. Everything is a struggle. You don’t feel like you re getting any where or progressing. You can’t sleep properly or get a clear head. A lot of negative things from your past have caused a reinforced negative thinking pattern in your own head. A pattern that feels impossible to get out and away from because it is in your head and the only thing you have ever known! Imagine feeling that no matter how hard you try you can’t get away from this because it is within you. Imagine the stress of every day life upon yourself with these difficulties. Imagine how such a thinking pattern and such symptoms lead to re-enforcing more negative behaviours and thoughts about yourself and life.
A person can be diagnosed with depression if four or more of the symptoms above have been present in a two week period or more. Not everyone will have the same symptoms so it is important to be aware and look for signs of all symptoms of depression. Remember, only a doctor or psychiatrist can diagnose depression.