Depression (depressive disorder) is a spectrum illness that can be mild, severe and everything in between. Even though depression is primarily a psychological illness, it has also many physical elements.
Recognizing female depression
How can depression in women be recognized, is a very important question. Many people, male and female cannot make a determination between normal female distress and depression. This is why many women suffer in silence and do not receive the treatment for their disorder.
During PMS, some symptoms such as mild irritation or sadness are normal however severe headaches, aggression and hopelessness can be possible symptoms of female depression (Premenstrual Symptom or Premenstrual Disphoric Disorder).
Many symptoms of depression in women are the same as in men however there are also symptoms that are unique for women because men never experience menstruation, pregnancy or menopause. The most recognizable symptoms of depression in women and in general, is hopelessness.
Amy (a patient suffering from major depression) said once: "When there is no hope there is no life". She tried to kill herself even though she was a mother of two. However, for her, there was no reason to go on living.
Psychotherapy and antidepressants were the answer to her prayers and she fully recovered after one year in therapy. She was on antidepressant medication for six months and intense psychotherapy for a year.
Symptoms of Depression in Women:
• Mood swings
• Unexplained chronic pain
• Excessive crying
• Loss of appetite
• Absence of menstruation
• Lost of interest in activities (including sex)
• Alcohol problems
• Constant negative thinking
• Thinking about suicide
• Intrusive thoughts
All these symptoms of depression in women and many other symptoms that are not stated above can be mild, moderate or severe.
The severity of symptoms can be evaluated only by a psychologist or some other health professional. Therefore, if you suspect you or your loved one might have symptoms of depression you need to seek professional help.
What Causes Depression in Women?
What exactly causes depression in women is not known, however, there are many factors that definitely contribute to depression and possibly cause it:
• Hormonal misbalance: Women go through some major hormonal changes therefore psychological changes during their lives such as PMS, pregnancy, post pregnancy and menopause can contribute to depression.
• Genetic makeup: For some types of depression it can be said that they run in family. For example, bipolar depression is very likely to run in the family because there are many cases that confirm this hypothesis.
• Medication: Some medications can have side effects which can resemble symptoms of depression.
• Physical condition: People who are chronically ill with some serious disease such as cancer, heart disease or HIV are much more vulnerable to depression and other illnesses than healthy individuals.
• Stress: Too much stress in your life can result in depression.
• Trauma: Any type of trauma can trigger a depressive episode.
• Alcohol and drug abuse: Alcohol and drug abuse can cause, worsen and prolong depression.
Treatment for Depression in Women:
Depression in women is treated successfully with psychotherapy alone or in more severe cases together with antidepressants. Aside from antidepressants there are also many other forms of depression treatments that can be used together with psychotherapy such as hormonal therapies and natural supplements.
Depression in women as well as in men is one of the biggest enemies of marriages and other relationships. This is why depression needs to be confronted and battled with joined forces.
Understanding, support and love together with therapy are the right answer to depression and the one that guaranties success.