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Helping Women Dealing with Depression

October 26, 2016 - - 0 Comments

Dealing with DepressionIt is natural to feel sad and down especially after going through unfortunate happenings.  If the feeling becomes persistent, however, to the point that the person can no longer perform his or her usual daily tasks, then it should already be a cause for concern as the same could already be a case of depression.

Depression is a serious psychological illness that needs to be treated immediately.  Its most common symptoms include feelings of emptiness and hopelessness, anxiety, guilt, loss of interest in socializing or favorite hobbies, sleeping too much or too little, eating too much or too little, and suicidal thoughts, among others.  It is important to note that while both genders can suffer from this illness, women’s depression is far more common.  According to the 1996 Journal of the American Medical Association, the women to men ratio in terms of experiencing depression is 2:1; regardless of ethnicity, race, and economic status.  The national survey data also revealed that 1 out of 10 women between the ages of 18-44 experienced some signs of major depression in 2015 alone.

While there are many women suffering from depression, it is still fortunate that there is more awareness of this illness at present compared in the past.  This recognition resulted in the availability of depression treatment centers for women and other initiatives to assist patients toward recovery.

Specific Signs of Depression among Women

While there are general signs and symptoms that are common to both men and women, there are particular symptoms that are also exhibited by depressed women alone.  Some of these signs include the following:

  • Excessive sleeping
  • Excessive eating (particularly of carbohydrates) resulting in weight gain
  • Depression during winter season (seasonal affective disorder)
  • Guilt feelings

The symptoms above are just some of the additional symptoms exhibited by women who are suffering from depression.  A woman can show anyone or even all these signs consistently for at least two weeks.

Contributing Factors

Since the roles and social expectations among men and women are different, the factors that contribute to women depression also vary against those of men.  Below are the most common biological/ hormonal, psychological and social causes of depression among females:

Biological

  • Premenstrual problems
  • Pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • Postpartum depression
  • Chronic illness

Psychological

  • brooding on upsetting or sad situations
  • stress
  • body image concerns

Social

  • marital and family problems
  • roles and responsibilities
  • financial concerns
  • loss of a loved one

As seen from the items above, the causes of depression among women are varied and complex considering the many roles they have to balance, among others.

Treatment

The experience of depression among men and women are very different.  As seen in the symptoms and causes discussed above, depression among women tends to be more complicated than depression among men.

There are treatment options available for women who are suffering from depression.  The same should be selected in relation to the level of condition (mild or severe), needs, peculiarities, and other factors.  For instance, in mild cases, some patients benefit from self-help programs and family support.  Others who value their spiritual aspect, on the other hand, may respond favorably to programs conducted by Christian depression treatment centers.

In general, women who are suffering from depression are usually referred to undergo recovery program in one of the many depression treatment centers for women all over the country.  Such facilities provide women-specific treatment that has proven to be more advantageous to patients as the same take into account the peculiarities and special needs of women; not to mention they are around people who are experiencing almost the same things they are going through.  This kind of environment greatly helps in relieving feelings of isolation.

At the end of the day, depression needs to be treated and not something that one simply has to “get over”.  If you know someone, particularly a woman, who is showing signs of depression, you should keep in mind that they need help to deal with their problem and not judgment or criticism.

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