Signs of Depression in Women

a woman holding a paper where in a crying emoji has been drawn

What are depression's indications and symptoms? 

Sadness, poor self-esteem, low drive, or feelings of guilt and worthlessness are all possible outcomes of depression. It may also create numbness or a lack of emotion. There are no depression symptoms that are only experienced by women. 

Symptoms of depression

Symptoms of depression may be fairly similar across genders and sexes.

These consist of a

  • All or most of the time, you're depressed, angry, unpleasant, and disturbed.
  • a decrease in the enjoyment of activities or relationships
  • a lack of drive that makes regular chores difficult to do
  • a lack of energy, difficulties focusing, or weight fluctuations
  • Insomnia or sleeping more than normal may cause restlessness and anxiety.
  • sluggish motions or speech suicidal, self-harming, or death ideas

Women's and men's differences

While depression symptoms may affect persons of either gender, some evidence shows that women are more likely to report or demonstrate certain symptoms than males. According to research, women are more likely than males to experience melancholy or weep. Men experiencing depression, on the other hand, are more inclined to express rage.

This might be owing to established gender norms, according to the authors. Women are more socially acceptable to display vulnerability in many countries, while males are pressured to look tough.

This is an unintended consequence of sexism, which maintains the stereotype that women are weaker and more emotional than males. Men may be more prone to hide their sentiments or self-medicate to deal with them in order to live up to stringent masculine norms. This isn't to say that women never express rage, suppress their feelings, or use narcotics to cope. It just signifies that the chances are less.

Is female depression more frequent than male depression?

Yes, data show that depression affects roughly twice as many women as it does males. There are various hypotheses as to why there is a gender divide.

Biological variables

According to research, the gender gap in depression rates begins around the age of 12. This might indicate that male or female sex hormones have a role since they begin to rise around puberty. It's probable that various hormones have different impacts on the neurological system and brain chemistry. However, it is unclear if biological sex differences have a role in the development of depression, and further study is needed in this area.

Environmental variables

Gender-based discrimination and abuse are other reasons for the gap in depression rates between men and women. Sexual harassment and objectification are also common among women and girls. Sexual harassment was revealed to be a risk factor for depression in research on Nepalese students.

Women are also subjected to socioeconomic pressures at a higher rate than males. According to the Mental Health Foundation of the United Kingdom, women are more likely than males to become carers and live in poverty.

Do certain kinds of depression just affect women?

Yes, some forms of depression are solely experienced by women. Among them are:

Depression during pregnancy and after delivery

Depression that occurs during and after pregnancy is known as perinatal depression. Postpartum depression is the most prevalent form.

Postpartum depression has symptoms that are similar to other forms of depression as clinical depression, such as sadness and lack of motivation. A person may also experience:

  • a desire to get away from or injure the infant
  • feeling distant from the baby
  • having problems connecting with the baby

Postpartum depression has many risk factors.

  • a past history of depression or other mental illnesses
  • a high-risk or traumatic pregnancy;
  • bad views concerning the pregnancy;
  • pregnancy prior to financial difficulties
  • Relationship issues due to a lack of social support
  • being exposed to domestic abuse
  • lack of ability to make decisions at home
  • lack of support from partners

PMDD

PMDD is a severe type of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that produces dramatic mood swings. The symptoms normally emerge before a person's menstruation begins and then go away after the period begins or finishes.

PMDD has the following symptoms:

  • mood changes
  • physical symptoms such as bloating or migraines
  • sad mood
  • problems focusing on insomnia or excessive sleeping

To be diagnosed with PMDD, the symptoms must be specifically tied to a person's period, rather than an exacerbation of existing depressive symptoms.

How to overcome depression?

Make an appointment with your health care practitioner if you believe you may be depressed. This could be your primary care physician or a mental health professional who specialises in detecting and treating mental illnesses (for example, a psychologist or psychiatrist). Certain drugs and physical disorders, such as infections or thyroid problems, might mimic depression's symptoms. A physical examination, interview, and lab tests can be used to rule out these possibilities. Your doctor will evaluate you and discuss your treatment options and future steps with you. 

Also making lifestyle changes by having a balanced diet, meditation and yoga, one can overcome depression, like yoga and meditation benefit from all types of depression and give you a happy mind. One should have sun exposure of a minimum of 30 minutes to get the necessary daily dose of vitamin D which ultimately helps people to tackle depression.

Is female suicide more prevalent than male suicide?

Suicide risk is influenced by a variety of factors. Depression might be a risk factor. Women, on average, are more prone than males to attempt suicide. Despite making fewer attempts, males are more likely to die by suicide. There are a few possibilities:

  • Support - Women are more likely than males to speak about despair and suicidal thoughts and seek help. This might imply that individuals close to them take steps to avoid suicide.
  • Method - Women are more likely than males to use drugs to end their lives, whereas men are more likely to utilise fatal measures such as a weapon. More women may live because doctors have a better chance of saving them from a drug overdose.
  • Biology - According to a paper published, some academics think that androgens, or male sex hormones, may impact suicide behaviour in men. These hormones are connected to violence.
  • Suicide or self-harming thoughts are significant indications of distress regardless of the circumstances. A person experiencing these symptoms should seek mental health treatment.

Take Away

Women's depression symptoms might be extremely similar to those of other genders. Women, on the other hand, maybe more prone to exhibit melancholy than rage. They are also less prone than males to cope by abusing drugs or alcohol. There are other illnesses that induce depression in women who have periods or who have recently given birth. Postpartum depression and PMDD are two of them, each with its unique set of symptoms. Depression is a curable disorder that does not need individuals to struggle alone. People who are experiencing depressive symptoms should get expert treatment.