This is to intimate my readers that another article of mine has been published in "Chef's Special (English)" Oct-2010. This article is about fact that women are more vulnerable to risk of depression than men.
Although article’s primarily focus is over females, identifying reasons of their depression backed with sound suggestions to overcome this negative feeling. But for men this will help them understand opposite gender (females) better, And to take good care of them.
Hope you will have enjoyable reading.
Why Depression is More Common in Women than Men?
By: Prof. Ayesha Kashif
The history of depression is as old as the history of mankind. Moreover it is a well established fact that women are about two times more likely to suffer from depression as compared to men. This two-to-one ratio is common in almost all the different cultures, regions, religions and geographical areas. In fact, this gender difference in rates of depression is found in almost all the countries across the globe. A lot of factors have been identified and pinpointed to explain higher incidence of depression in women. Many factors have been implicated, including physiological, psychological, and social factors.
Depression is considered to be a serious condition of prolonged grief and sadness that can negatively affect you in every area of your life. This feeling can affect your personal, professional as well as social life.
If you feel prolonged sadness, feeling of guilty, tiredness, muscular tension and cramps, sleep disturbance or just generally feeling low, you may be suffering from major depression. But depression is curable and treatable, so no need to be depressed at your depression. The more you will know about it the more easily you can manage and overcome it.
The most common signs and symptoms of depression are as follows:
- Feelings of sadness, grief or hopelessness
- Feelings of anxiety and tension
- Panic attacks
- Inability to concentrate on work
- Fatigue and low energy level
- Episodes of crying
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once you used to enjoy
- Guilt feeling and worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Sleep disturbance (sleeping more or sleeping less)
- Increase or decrease in appetite and weight changes
- Mood swings and fearfulness
- Persistent irritability or anger
- Feeling out of control
- Physical symptoms (bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, muscle pain)
Why women are at greater risk for Depression? Part of the answer lies in the fact that females have different biological make-up then men. Researchers have confirmed that hormones have an effect on the brain chemistry that controls one’s emotions and mood. A few of the physiological factors especially in women are discussed precisely.
Menstrual/Periods Problems – Changes in the level of hormones during the menstrual cycle can trigger some symptoms of depression such as muscular cramps, mood irritability, anger, fatigue, and emotional disturbances. For many women, these symptoms are mild. But for some women, symptoms are serious enough to disturb their normal day to day lives.
Pregnancy and Infertility - Pregnancy can cause a lot of hormonal fluctuations in women that can lead to depression, particularly in those women who are having genetic background or family history for depression. Such women are usually at high risk of depression during pregnancy. Moreover unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage and infertility can also contribute to cause depression in majority of the women.
Postpartum Depression – Soon after the child birth majority of the women experience mild to moderate form of depression and anxiety commonly known as “Baby Blues” it contains crying episodes, fearfulness and panic attacks. However in few women it is quite severe that needs to be treated with anti-depressant medicines and rigorous counseling sessions.
Menopause: Menopause is considered being a period of time when a woman end having her regular monthly periods and encounter problems related to the lack of estrogen (female sex hormone) production. Studies shows that a lot of women experience not only physiological disturbances but also psychological and emotional disturbances during and after the period of menopause. Depression is one of the most common psychological problems confronted by majority of the women.
Common Ways of treating Depression in Women:
The good thing about depression is; that it is 100 percent curable if taken proper treatment on time. The commonly used methods are psychotherapy and the use of anti-depressant medicines; depending upon the nature and severity of depression. Sometimes having a counseling session with a psychologist is as effective as any rigorous drug therapy, as a supportive counselor can help you to identify the factors that can contribute to your depression and can also guide you to cope up with those depression inducing factors. In this way you can overcome your pessimistic thoughts and unrealistic fears. In some instance you might have to change your lifestyle if it is constantly causing stress that is ultimately resulting in depression.
Postpartum depression or depression after the child birth should be handled carefully. If a woman is breastfeeding the baby, the decision to take an antidepressant medicine must be taken in consultation with the doctor.
Depression linked with reproductive cycle:
Hormonal imbalance associated to the reproductive cycle can have a great influence on woman’s emotions and mood. In light of this possibility, it is important that you should consult your doctor so that he/she must investigate that weather your depression is linked with your reproductive cycle or it has some environmental cause. It is also important not to over look mood disturbances associated with the side effects of using birth control pills and hormonal imbalance therapy.
A few and little changes in your lifestyle can help you to overcome depression:
Daily Exercise: Simple but regular aerobic exercise, morning walk and yoga can help manage the symptoms of depression especially the one’s related with pre-menstrual symptoms of depression.
Minor Changes in Your Diet Plan: Try to eat more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Prefer Carbohydrates in your food then fats, moreover try to avoid excess salt and caffeine, oily and fatty food is also not recommended. Taking a good multivitamin tablet regularly will definitely benefit you.
Share your Feelings: Sharing your feelings with any of your sincere friend, or family member will definitely help you to overcome your depression, as in this way you will not only get good suggestions from them; but it is also a great way of making catharsis.