Depression in women

Depression is a very common illness, especially among women. It is estimated that one in five people suffers from depression at some point in their lives, and women are twice as likely to be depressed as men. This fact is enough to pay more attention to this disease.

Everyone feels sad from time to time, but depression is much more than a bad mood.

Depression is a serious complex disease that affects your body, thoughts and mood. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you think and the way you feel. It affects your social life, family and partner relationships, and your career.

Some of the symptoms that appear in depression are: constant sadness, apathy, feeling of helplessness and worthlessness, lack of interest in practicing daily activities, loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, insomnia or hypersomnia, energy loss, problems with concentration, physical symptoms such as body aches (headache, abdominal, muscle or neck pain), and even suicidal thoughts.

If you suffer from depression, it does not mean that you will have every symptom, plus the intensity of the symptoms varies from person to person.

Depression is more prevalent among women, especially when they are of childbearing age. Scientists are constantly doing research to explain why this is happening. It is now known that some biological, social, cultural and psychological factors influence the more common occurrence of depression in women.

Experts believe that women are more prone to depression due to the frequent changes in hormone levels throughout their lives. These changes are greatest during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Also, the variation of hormones in the body in women occurs every month as a result of the menstrual cycle, so this is another additional reason that affects the occurrence of depression.

-Puberty. By adolescence, boys and girls are at the same risk of developing depression. But at puberty it changes and from that moment women become more prone to depression. Due to the fact that girls enter puberty earlier than boys, they may be affected by depression at an earlier age.
-The monthly cycle. Although scientists have not yet established the exact link between depression and the menstrual cycle, namely premenstrual syndrome (PMS), they believe that variations in hormones such as estrogen and progesterone affect the function of chemicals in the brain that control mood (serotonin). These changes occur in all women, but depression occurs only in some of them. This is what leads scientists to believe that many other factors influence the occurrence of depression in women.
-Pregnancy and early motherhood. When pregnant, women are more prone to depression. Significant changes in hormone levels especially affect mood. After giving birth, many women experience a worsening of depression. Most women then feel sad, angry, irritable and cry constantly, but that is normal. However, 10% of women experience symptoms such as inability to take care of the baby, anxiety, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, thoughts of hurting the baby and so on. These are the symptoms of the so-called postnatal depression.
-Menopause. Women who are in the premenopausal period have an increased risk of developing depression. This period varies from 2-8 years and is called perimenopause. Then, even in the period of early menopause, the change in the levels of hormones in the body of women increases. Estrogen levels are especially low.

Other factors that contribute to depression in women:
-Heredity. The risk of developing depression increases if someone in the family has symptoms or has been diagnosed with depression.
-Loss of a loved one. Losing a parent before the age of 10 can significantly increase the chances of depression.
-Too many responsibilities. Most women today work and take care of most of the household chores. Many women look after children at the same time, work and take care of their elderly parents, all of which makes them more prone to depression.
-Sexual, physical or psychological abuse. Most women who suffer from depression are married and are victims of physical or psychological abuse. Women are also more often victims of sexual harassment, which puts them in a much more disadvantageous position compared to men.

If you have recognized the symptoms of depression or have already been given such a diagnosis, here are some tips to help alleviate your condition.

1.Do not isolate yourself. Depression often creates a sense of shame and many are isolated so as not to be ridiculed by others. But such isolation can make matters worse. Therefore, stay in touch with your closest friends and family and do not be afraid to seek medical help.
2.Do not blame yourself. You are not to blame for the onset of depression. Blaming yourself can make your symptoms worse.
3.Do not make important decisions. When you are depressed, you may not be able to make good decisions because you do not think clearly.
4.Ask for help. You should not feel ashamed of depression at all. As soon as you notice the first symptoms, seek professional help. If your symptoms are mild, your family doctor will probably be able to help. But if the condition is more serious, he will refer you to a specialist.
5.Get enough sleep. One of the symptoms of depression is insomnia or hypersomnia. To avoid these sleep problems, it is important to develop healthy sleeping habits. For most adults, 8 hours of sleep is enough.
6.Eat healthy. One of the latest studies in this area, conducted in Melbourne, showed that an unhealthy diet is to blame for the occurrence of depression in women. According to the results, women who consume unhealthy fatty foods increase the risk of depression by 50%. A balanced diet is especially important not only in the fight against depression, but also for overall health.
7.Do not consume drugs or alcohol. Alcohol and drugs can slow down your recovery. They can increase depression and reduce the effects of antidepressants. By removing these vices from your life, you increase your chances of a faster recovery.
8.Practice. Physical activity will help you feel better and more satisfied with yourself. Choose an activity that you enjoy and try to practice it in a group or with a support friend.
9.Set smaller goals in life. Depression causes a lack of energy, so it is difficult to achieve anything great. Achieving small goals will motivate you and give you the desire to move forward.
10.Get informed. Depression is not something you can overcome. As with most illnesses, there are effective treatments for depression. The more you know, the more chances you have for a faster recovery.

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