Depression in women
Mental illness is equally important as physical illness. But many of us don't pay attention to it. Majority of the people in the postmodern world suffer from depression. It is a medical condition that may cause severe symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities like sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is more common among women than men. It is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Most people with depression need treatment to feel better.
Symptoms of depression:
* Persistent sadness, anxiety, and low mood
* Reduced interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, loss of sexual desire
* Unintentional weight loss (without dieting) or low appetite or unusual weight gain, craving for sweets
* Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
* Irritability, restlessness
* Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
* Fatigue or loss of energy
* Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
* Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or attempt at suicide
* Aches or pain, headache, cramps or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and that do not cure even with treatment
Talk to your doctor about these symptoms. Be honest, clear, and concise-the doctor needs to know how you feel. Your doctor may ask when your symptoms started, what time of day they happen, how long they last, how often they occur, if they seem to be getting worse or better, and if they keep you from going out or doing your usual activities. It may help to take the time to make some notes about your symptoms before your doctor's visit.
Why depression in women is more common than depression in men?
Before adolescence, depression is rare and occurs at about the same rate in girls and boys. However, with the onset of puberty, a girl's risk of developing depression increases dramatically to twice than that of boys.
Some experts believe that the increased chance of depression in women may be related to changes in hormone levels that occur throughout a woman's life. These changes are evident during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as after giving birth or experiencing a miscarriage.
In addition, the hormone fluctuations that occur with each month's menstrual cycle probably contribute to premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD -- a severe syndrome marked especially by depression, anxiety and mood swings that occurs the week before menstruation and interferes with normal functioning of daily life.
Certain types of depression are unique to women-pregnancy, the postpartum period, peri-menopausal period -- these certain types of depression occur at different stages of a woman's life.
How Depression can be treated?
Even the most severe cases of depression can be treated. Depression is commonly treated with medication, psychotherapy (where a person talks with a trained professional about his or her thoughts and feelings; sometimes called "talk therapy"), or a combination of the two. If these treatments do not reduce symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies may be options to explore.
Remember: Depression affects each individual differently. There is no "one-size-fits-all" for treatment. It may take some trial and error to find the treatment that works best.