Depression in Women: What Are the Signs and Risk Factors?
Sadness is a common reaction to life’s challenges. When this sadness overwhelms you, it may be a warning sign. A woman’s life can be significantly impacted by depression. Every aspect of a person’s life can be affected by how they perceive themselves to handle daily tasks like eating, sleeping, and working. This can rob them of their energy and optimism, leaving them feeling empty and helpless.
An estimated 16 million Indian women experience depression annually, and many do not even realize they have it. Women are nearly twice as likely to experience depression as men. The etiology of depression in females is complicated by a variety of genetic, hormonal, psychological, and social factors. Depression’s symptoms, which include loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, boredom with daily activities, and persistent suicidal thoughts, can range in severity from mild to major. There are many other depressive symptoms in addition to these intense feelings.
In order to effectively treat an illness, Dr. Malini Saba, a psychologist and international champion for women and girls, discusses the top indications of depression.
Some of the more noticeable symptoms of depression in women-
1. Guilt, failure, and sad feelings
Guilt, a lack of confidence, and a pessimistic outlook are the three main clinical symptoms of depression. Some women might exhibit an overly strong sense of guilt and place disproportionate blame on themselves for their errors. Among depressed women, self-blame is more common than external blame.
Women with depression are more prone to anxiety and fear. A feeling of dread that something has happened or is about to happen is not the only thing that anxiety is. Anxiety disorders obliterate mental tranquilly by tormenting sufferers to the point of obsessing over the minute details and generating paranoia. A woman may find it more difficult to emerge from a deeper pit of despair if she experiences an anxiety attack.
Some women who exhibit depressive symptoms find it draining to interact with others and yearn for solitude as a result. Isolation and aversion to social interaction and contact are signs of anhedonia, a condition characterised by the loss of enjoyment in formerly pleasurable activities. This is a primary sign of depression. Adhesions are one of the initial symptoms of the issue.
A 2004 Psychiatry study found that fatigue is another common indicator of depression in women. 73% of 78,463 participants in a study that was published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology in 2000 identified fatigue as a sign of severe depression.
Fatigue is a prominent depression symptom in the following way: Positive emotions are produced by the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Epinephrine is a different neurotransmitter that generates energy. Serotonin production in the brain is inhibited in clinical depression, which results in decreased epinephrine production. Persistent exhaustion is brought on by this mechanism.
• Anger and irritation
Along with overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, impatience and hostility can also be characteristics of depression. Women who are depressed may seem to fall apart over seemingly unimportant issues. An angry outburst can happen to anyone, even someone who is depressed.
According to recent studies, annoyance and rage during depressive episodes may be clinical signs of a more severe and complex form of major depressive disorder.
What elements make depression more likely in women?
The risk of depression in women is increased by a variety of elements, including biological, interpersonal, personality, and psychological traits.
A woman’s lifetime hormonal changes increase her vulnerability to developing depression. Women undergo a number of hormonal changes throughout adolescence, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause that may hasten the onset of depression. Women who are single parents, those who work and have families, and those who have more stress in their daily lives are more likely to experience depression.
The following factors may also have an impact on how depression in women starts:
|History of mood disorders in early reproductive years|
|Loss of a social support network|
|Family history of mood disorders|
|Persistent social or psychological stress|
|Loss of a parent before age 10|
|Usage of specific medications|
|Physical or sexual abuse as a kid|