Depression in women occurs twice as often than in men and can appear at any stage of life. Women from all socio-economic, racial, and educational backgrounds may be affected. As researchers gather more data concerning women and depression and come to better understand its role in their lives, the root causes seems to be an interplay of genetic factors, hormonal fluctuations, and life events. Purchase anxiety pills with a prescription from a physician.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
Women who are experiencing depression don’t just feel sad, they feel miserable. Most report extreme fatigue and a total absence of energy. The smallest tasks seem impossibly daunting. Anxiety attacks are common with depression and women as is reclusive, anti-social behavior.
Women in depression have trouble concentrating and feel they are failures and a burden to others. These feelings in turn lead to a sense of guilt and an inability to see a future. The depressed person may exhibit anger or irritability, often expressing a sense that life is unfair and passing them by. Insomnia is a common symptom and physical aches and pains for no apparent reason are also common.
What are some of the Causes and Risk Factors for Depression in Women?
Certain events in a woman’s life put her at special risk for depression including puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, substance abuse, relationship disruptions, and trauma. The presence of depression puts these women at further risk for suicide and death from illnesses caused by poor self-care and reduced attention to medical regimens.
Recent research indicates that major depressive episodes cluster in families. If you have a parent or sibling who has battled the disorder, you too are at increased risk. With the onset of puberty, the normal monthly cycle, pregnancy, and menopause a women experiences hormonal surges and disruptions that effect neuromodulators like serotonin. Depression and anxiety can result.
More than 80 percent of documented cases of depression in women are preceded by some adverse event ranging from childhood sexual abuse to spousal abuse. Early trauma, which is often suppressed for long periods of time, can actually have a more pronounced depressive effect than more recent events.
Statistics of depression in women have also revealed that women are more prone to ruminative thinking, a mental pattern which repetitively and passively focuses on symptoms, causes, and consequences. With relationships more central to a woman’s sense of self than a male’s, the combination of this emphasis and the ruminative thought pattern often leads to extended periods of depression focused on interpersonal relationships.
Don’t Antidepressants have Side Effects?
Approximately 30 to 35 percent of individuals who take antidepressants are not helped by the medications. Although the drug companies assert that SSRIs like Prozac are not addictive, anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise. Many women report significant weight gain while taking SSRIs and Prozac has been found to actually cause suicidal behavior in some individuals.
You should never take an SSRI without fully understanding its range of potential side effects and potential interactions. If you are taking an SSRI do not go “cold turkey” off the drug. Gradually discontinue the use of the medication under the supervision of a doctor to avoid withdrawal symptoms, a sudden onset of depression, and even nerve damage. (There are also numerous natural and alternative remedies for depression that do not carry the same risk factors and side effects).