Depression - Why It Is More Common In Women?
Depression is defined as the feeling of sadness, loss of interest in tasks, and feeling down which persists for a long time and affects the daily life of a person. Studies show that women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. There can be a number of psychological and biological reasons for women developing depression.
1. Premenstrual Problems
When the symptoms of PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome such as irritability, headache, abdominal bloating, anxiety, breast tenderness, and others experienced by women are disabling and severe which disturb their daily life and tasks such as relationships, jobs, studies, and others, it severity can transform the PMS into PMDD or Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, a depression type that usually needs treatment.
Hormonal changes during puberty can increase the risk of developing depression in girls. Girls during their puberty period usually have identity issues, academic pressure, and conflicts with parents which together with puberty can contribute to the development of depression. Depression rates post-puberty period are higher in girls than boys and can continue throughout life.
During pregnancy, women experience dramatic hormonal changes which can affect their mood and direct them towards depression. There are other factors during pregnancy which can increase the risk of women to develop depression. Factors may include unwanted pregnancy, infertility, changes of lifestyle, PMS or PMDD, miscarriage, lack of family and social support, and discontinuing anti-depressant medications.
4. Postpartum Depression
New mothers mostly experience baby blues in the form of irritability, sadness and anger, and crying spells shortly after giving birth. If these feelings last for a longer time, it can lead to depression referred to as Postpartum Depression especially when these feelings are accompanied with low self-esteem, troubled sleeping, inability to care for the baby, suicidal thoughts, crying frequently, anxiety, problems in completing daily tasks, thoughts of harming the baby, and feeling numb. Postpartum Depression is a significant medical condition in women and requires treatment.
5. Perimenopause and Menopause
All the women during their menopause do not experience depression but some biological and psychological factors accompanied with perimenopause and menopause can lead women to depression. These factors may include interrupted or lack of sleep, stress, menopause before age, anxiety, weight gain or higher BMI or Body Mass Index, menopause due to the removal of ovaries through surgery and history of depression.
6. Other Factors
Other factors may include work overload as most of the time, women take care of the house, family and children along with their professional responsibilities, unequal power and status than men not only in family but in their professional fields too, and physical, emotional or sexual abuse by any way can also push a woman in to depression.
Depression in women is more common than in men. Depression should not be avoided and should be treated as it can make the life of the sufferer more difficult and the increasing severity can make it life-threatening.