Things about depression in women everyone should know

depression in women

Depression has become a common phenomena that we hear about every day. While it is truly fair to say that depression can affect all people regardless of age, gender, and cultural background, certain types of depression only affect women. Some mood changes affect women differently than they affect men, and depression is one of them.

 Suffering from depression is a challenging thing for every individual because it disrupts their normal lives while deeply affecting their emotional and mental well-being. However, the gender difference between men and women sometimes makes matters worse for women.

What is depression?

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a set of complex mood disorders. It affects the way a person feels, thinks, or acts. Depression is characterized by a persistent state of sadness, hopelessness, low mood, worthlessness, and in some cases, even suicidal tendencies and self-harm. Depression interferes in every aspect of life, disrupting professional and personal space. It hampers our ability to focus or think clearly, affecting our decision-making in the process.

What are the signs of depression?

For the diagnosis of depression, the symptoms must occur at least once during the lifetime, with multiple episodes sometimes lasting two weeks. The symptoms of Depression to look for are:

  1. A persistent feeling of low mood, sadness, and hopelessness about life.
  2. Irritability, aggression, angry outbursts, or frustration on small things.
  3. Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed. The ability to derive pleasure from any activity including hobbies, sexual relationships, or sports.
  4. Discontinued sleeping with cases of insomnia or hypersomnia. The former is the inability to fall asleep, and the latter is described as excessive sleepiness.
  5. Fatigue, or tiredness, having little or no energy throughout the day despite not doing anything.
  6. Lack of hunger and low appetite causes weight loss or weight gain because of binge eating.
  7. Anxiety, a period of restlessness or agitation,
  8. Slowed physical movements, and cognitive functions such as thinking, focusing, etc.
  9. Feeling guilty all the time and blaming themselves for being a failure or worthless. Individuals may feel guilty for being a burden in life.
  10. Having suicidal thoughts about ending life. Acts of self-harm.
  11. Having headaches without any explanation.

How are the signs of depression in women different?

Before anything else, one must know about the huge difference between men and women, both physically and psychologically.

Both women and men transition from childhood to adolescence through puberty and then adulthood. These changes are so similar in both males and females, but their effects on individuals vary greatly.


The onset of puberty brings a lot of changes in an individual ,affecting women like men, the occurrence of hormonal and physical changes however for women, the hormonal imbalances are more unpredictable and challenging. Women, being biologically unique from men, have different and changing emotions. Depression after puberty is more common in women than in men, which means women are more likely to develop signs of  depression sooner than men. This gender gap might prevail throughout a lifetime.

Premenstrual problems

Puberty brings the onset of the menstrual cycle in women, marked by a term called the menarche cycle by the first period at the end of the cycle. The menstrual cycle may bring PMS in most cases. premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a condition that occurs before the onset of a monthly period characterized by a cluster of feelings such as anxiety, headache, bloating, diarrhea, irritability, abdominal cramps, etc. These are short-lived, but their constant prevalence may develop into premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a subtype of depression that occurs in women and is accompanied by extreme shifts in mood.

Pregnancy and perinatal depression

Pregnancy brings about a lot of drastic changes to the body or woman. These changes also included drastic hormone imbalances and greatly impacted mood and overall functionality. Women during pregnancy are at high risk of developing perinatal depression, a type of depression found only in women. Also called ‘baby blues’ in perinatal depression women may feel extreme mood swings characterized by sadness, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, or agitation. It disrupts their everyday normal life. making it difficult to carry out our regular life routines.

Several risk factors for prenatal depression can occur after birth, such as

  • Life situations such as work, family, or relationships
  • Previous history of depressive episodes
  • Lack of social support, love, and warmth
  • Miscarriage or infertility

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression is arguably the most common negative or misleading form of depression. A newly pregnant woman suffers from the extreme stages of stress, anger, irritability, and worthlessness. These symptoms generally last up to weeks but in some cases, their impact can be long-lasting and significantly dangerous for a person’s well-being.

The signs of postpartum depression may include;

  • Crying more excessively than usual
  • Low sense of self-esteem and feeling of worthlessness
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • trouble falling asleep
  • thought about a newborn infant
  • Thoughts about self-harm and suicidal thoughts

History of psychological abuse or sexual abuse

Psychological or sexual abuse could have a scarring impact on a person’s mind and life. Most women of social or sexual abuse tend to suffer from prolonged depression caused by their experiences.

Having postpartum depression is an alarming sign that, if kept unchecked and prolonged for a prolonged time, may lead to unfortunate, sometimes causing death for the person or the newborn.

There are several documented cases of women taking their own lives due to post-pregnancy.

Seeking help, nurture, and support

Even in severe cases, every form of depression is treatable with the right diagnosis and treatment program. The combination of drug therapy and psychotherapy from professionals is effective in treating the condition. For the profession of healing, we need to look out for signs. Women in such cases need extra forms of love and care from their family and loved ones.

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