Depression affects people of every age, gender, race and economic situation.
So what are the actual reasons causing depression? Why do some people get depressed but others don't?
No One Specific Reason for Depression
There are no specific reasons for depression. Lots of things play a role in a person to get depressed. They include things like our genes, brain chemistry, and sometimes its medical conditions. In addition to these physical causes, there are some other surprising things that can be a cause for depression. That includes social environment, daylight and seasons, and life events.
A person's outlook towards different events can also influence depression. Are you a glass-half-empty or a glass-half-full kind of a person? Do you easily get upset or do things just roll back off you? The way people think about and react to their different events in life affects depression.
Sometimes it’s really confusing as there is just no obvious reason why some people get into depression. But their depression is very real and can make them very upset. Depression, just like any other diseases is a health condition that needs treatment.
Depression in Women
Depression definitely is not “one size fits all," especially when it comes to the genders. Not only women are more prone to depression as compared to men, but also the causes of female depression and even the pattern of symptoms often differ. Many factors contribute towards the depression in women making it a unique picture from social pressures to reproductive hormones to the female response to stress.
Understanding depression in women
Depression is a very serious condition that impacts every part of your life. It can affect your relationships, career, social life, and every sense of self-worth and purpose. And particular for women, depression is common. In fact studies show that one out of every eight women develops depression at certain point during her life.
The good part is that depression can be treated. The more you understand about depression’s impact, the more you will be equipped to tackle the condition.
Symptoms of depression in women
The common symptoms of depression in women are:
- Depressed and sad mood
- pleasure or interest loss in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling of guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness
- thoughts of committing suicide or recurrent thoughts of death
- Appetite and weight changes
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Lack of energy and fatigue
- Sleep disturbance (sleeping more or less )
Causes of depression in women
Women suffer depression twice likely as men. This two-to-one difference persists across racial, ethnic, and economic divides. Many factors like biological, social factors and psychological affects depression.
Hormonal/ causes of depression in women:
- Premenstrual problems – Fluctuations of hormones during the menstrual cycle can cause symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which results in irritability, fatigue, bloating, and in an emotional reactivity. For many women, PMS is mild while some have symptoms that
- are severe due to their disrupted lives.
- Pregnancy and infertility – The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can contribute to depression, at a high risk. Other issues such as such as unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage and infertility can also play a role in depression.
- Perimenopause and menopause –During perimenopause, women may be at increased risk for depression. This is the stage leading to menopause when reproductive hormones rapidly fluctuate. Women with past histories of depression are at a high risk of depression as well.
- Certain health problems – Chronic illness, injury, or disability can lead to depression in women, while crash dieting or while you quit smoking.
Depression due to Psychological causes in women:
- Focusing on negative feelings again and again – Women ruminate when they are depressed which includes relieving emotional tension by crying out, figuring out the reason behind you’re depression, and talking to your friends and closer ones about your depression. However, rumination has been helped to maintain depression and at times it even made it worse. Men suffering from depression on the other hand, tend to distract themselves. Distraction can reduce depression unlike rumination.
- Overwhelming stress at work, school, or home –Women are more likely to develop depression from stress than men. Furthermore, the female physiological response to stress is different. Stress hormones are produced more in women as compared than men. The female sex hormone progesterone prevents the stress hormone system from turning itself off as it does in men.
- Body image issues – During adolescence period the gender difference begins in depression. The emergence of sex differences during puberty likely plays a role. Some researchers also talk about body dissatisfaction, which increases in girls during puberty.
Social causes of depression in women:
Social factors can also play a part in causing depression in women, along with the choices of lifestyle, relationships, and skills to cope with these. These may include:
- Marital or relationship problems; the pressure which need to be balanced between career and home life
- Family responsibilities such as caring for your family members like children, spouse, or aging parents
- Experiencing discrimination at work or not reaching important goals, losing or changing a job or a retirement.
- Persistent money problems
- Death of a loved one or an accident or other stressful events which leaves you with the feeling of useless, helpless, alone, or profoundly sad
Self-help for depression in women
You can make a huge difference in your depression with simple lifestyle changes like avoiding the urge to isolate, exercising every day, eating healthy food instead of the junk you crave, and carving out time for rest and relaxation.
To feel better it requires time, but you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day and draw on the support of others.
- Talk about your feelings to someone you trust, face-to-face. Share what’s going in your mind and heart with the people you love and trust. Ask for the help and support you need. They can get you through this tough time by giving you the support you need. If you don’t feel that you have anyone to look up to, build new friendships.
- Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it. When you’re depressed or sad, you feel more comfortable at your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Get up and moving. Regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication at increasing energy levels and reducing the feeling of fatigue. For which you don’t need to hit the gym. Just 30 minutes of walk each day will boost you.
- Aim for 8 hours of sleep. Depression typically involves sleeping problems. Whether you are sleeping too less or too much, your mood suffers. You need to have a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.
- Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day. Sunlight can be really helpful in boosting your mood. Take a short walk outdoors or simply just, sit out in the garden, have your coffee outside. At least 15 minutes of sunlight a day is necessary.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Relaxation practice should be practiced daily which can help relieve symptoms of reduce stress, depression, and boost you up with feelings of happy, joy and well-being. You can try yoga, deep breathing, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation.