Depression in Men & Women: Signs, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Depression

Depression in Women

The chances of depression persisting are n every 1 in 2 people. People navigate through all means such as alcohol, drugs and more to brush the main cause of depression under the carpet. This article will help you understand the stats and symptoms that cover depression rate.

With a pre-closure of facts that women are more likely to prone to depression is sadly not a false facet anymore. Besides the societal pressure and breakdowns, biologically they are prone to depression.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of depression vary from woman to woman and men. Below are some of the most common signs:

  • Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, despair, and sadness
  • Irritability, anxiousness, and guilt
  • Feelings of exhaustion, severe tiredness
  • Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
  • Inability to concentrate or remember details
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts of suicide
  • Sleep disturbances; sleeping too much or too little, insomnia
  • Changes in appetite – eating too much or too little
  • Physical symptoms – aches and pains, cramps, headaches, digestive issues, breast tenderness, bloating
  • Lack of energy
  • Feeling out of control
  • Mood swings and feelings of tearfulness
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of tension
  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships

Read More: 5 TIPS TO WIN THE BATTLE AGAINST DEPRESSION AND ENJOY LIFE TO THE FULLEST

Depression in Women:

More than 80% of women with depression are treated successfully through antidepressants, therapy, or a combination of both.

Depression in Men

READ MORE: ADVICE YOU SHOULD FOLLOW TO GET RID OF DEPRESSION

Forms of Depression in Women

As women, we have many life roles. Mother, wife, employee, friend, healer, caregiver, and the list goes on. The complexity of all of these roles can cause ups and downs throughout life.

Some of these mood changes may be due to life events (e.g., getting in an argument with a friend) or may be due to hormones (e.g., pregnancy, menstrual cycle).

Depression in women

READ MORE: DON’T LET DEPRESSION DEFINE YOUR LIFE

Major Depression

Major depression is a severe form of depression where a woman loses her ability to find pleasure in activities once considered enjoyable.

It affects a woman’s ability to work, sleep, and eat in normal and effective manners and usually negatively impacts interpersonal and social relationships.

With major depression, also known as major depressive disorder, your depressed state may persist for an extended period of time and is often accompanied by low self-esteem.

Depression in Women

READ MORE: CHILDHOOD DEPRESSION MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF ADDICTION LATER IN LIFE

Postpartum Depression

This is a special form of depression that occurs after the birth of a baby – often referred to as the “baby blues.”

Typical symptoms of depression begin in the months following birth, while in some women, they can occur while still pregnant.

Postpartum Depression

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Considered a milder form of depression, this is an extended depressed mood that lasts for two years or more.

Major depressive episodes (i.e., more severe forms of depression) may still occur during persistent depressive disorder.

Persistent Depressive Disorder

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

Depression that is tied to a woman’s menstrual cycle.  Depression here refers to severe mood swings, anxiety, and negative thoughts present themselves in the week prior to the start of menstruation and dissipate once the menstrual period begins.

Depressive symptoms are severe enough to negatively impact interpersonal relationships and interfere with daily activities.

READ MORE: STOP AND READ THIS ARTICLE IF YOU NEED HELP WITH DEPRESSION!

Suicide Risk

The possibility of suicidal behaviour exists at all times during a major depressive episode. The most consistent risk factor is a past history of attempts or threats, but it’s important to remember that most completed suicides are not preceded by unsuccessful suicides. Although women with depression are more likely to attempt suicide, men are more likely to die by suicide

Depression in men

Different people experience different symptoms of depression, and symptoms for men can differ from symptoms for women. Men or more likely to feel very tired and irritable, lose interest in work, family, and/or hobbies, and have difficulty sleeping.

Depression in Men

Some of the distinguishing factors in how depression differs between women vs. men include:
  • Women feel anxious and scared
  • Men feel guarded
  • Women blame themselves for the depression
  • Men blame others
  • Women are more likely to avoid conflicts when depressed
  • Men are more likely to create conflicts
  • Women turn to food and friends to self-medicate
  • Men turn to alcohol, TV, sex, or sports to self-medicate
  • Women feel lethargic and nervous
  • Men feel more restless
  • Women easily talk about their feelings of self-doubt and despair.
  • Men hide feelings of self-doubt and despair-considering it a sign of weakness

READ MORE: ROCK CLIMBING MAY HELP TREAT DEPRESSION

Psychological Causes

With a tendency to be more emotional, women are more likely to rehash negative thoughts during bouts of depression. While it is a normal response to cry, talk with friends, and rehash why it is you are in your depressive state, research has shown that ruminating about depression can cause it to last longer and even make it worse.

  • In contrast, men tend to distract themselves from their depressive state – which has been shown to reduce the duration of symptoms.
  • Additional psychological factors that tend to affect women over men are negative body images and stress-induced depression.
  • Women are more prone to stress than men because of their increased levels of progesterone. It has been told and proved that these increased levels prevent stress hormones from levelling out.
  • Negative body image issues usually begin in adolescence and seem to be correlated with the onset of puberty in women.
Social Causes

Adapting abilities, selection of connections on media, and the way of life decisions influence ladies uniquely in contrast to men. The fast pace world allows unhealthy connection such as in social media handles, etc.

As a woman, they are more likely to develop depression from marital or relationship problems. However, work-life balance issues, financial troubles, and stressful life events, including the loss of a loved one add on.

In addition to the biological, psychological, and social causes of depression mentioned above, the National Institutes of Health indicate the following:

They say that there are also increased risk factors of depression in women,

  • Job loss, relationship problems, divorce
  • Physical or sexual abuse during childhood
  • History of mood disorders
  • Use of certain medications

Treatment

It is best to seek treatment right away to improve the quality of life to deal away with depression.

If you are a woman or a man and is suffering from depression, then:

  • Your first course of action should be a visit to your doctor or a professional.
  • Doctors will ask you a series of questions.  They further perform tests to rule out an underlying medical condition, if any.  Making sure that is the cause of depression.
  • The primary care, a doctor will also ask you a number of questions about your symptoms.
    • How long they have lasted when they started?
    • The severity of your symptoms?
    • How persistent they are (re-occurrence rate)?
    • and your family history of depression?
  • If your doctor suspects you may be suffering from depression, he or she will refer you to a mental health specialist who can formally diagnose your condition and make recommendations for treatment.
  • It is imperative you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or may become pregnant during treatment as certain medications to treat depression may affect your growing baby.
  •  Doctors may prescribe you antidepressants to help you cope and to lessen the symptoms of your depression. If you do begin taking antidepressants for your depressed mood state, it is important that you monitor your symptoms and note any side effects.
  • Certain side effects of antidepressants can worsen depression in a small percentage of individuals.
  • Specifically, increased risk of suicidal thoughts, suicidal attempts, and irritability come from antidepressants too.  These individuals need to be aware of the side effects.

As a matter of interest, the chances of having side effects are usually through antibiotics and thus the below list covers most of it.

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Agitation
  • Sexual problems
  • Though, these problems usually decrease over time.

READ MORE: RED GRAPES & WINE HELP TO BEAT DEPRESSION

MOST IMPORTANTLY

In addition to treatment, the self-help techniques below can help improve your mood if you are suffering from depression:

  • Don’t bottle up your feelings instead find a support group and try speaking your heart out.
  • Engage in social activities and social functions
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get enough sleep – 8 hours per night is ideal
  • Meditate, try yoga, or practise other relaxation techniques
  • If you or a loved one are suffering from depression, you are not alone. Seek help for your depressed mood to elevate your quality of life. If you are unsure who to contact, try the following resources:
  • Family doctors
  • Programs that assist employees out of depression
  • Mental health centres
  • Social agencies
  • Mental health specialists (psychiatrists, social workers, mental health counsellors)
  • Private clinics
  • State hospital outpatient clinics
  • Health maintenance organizations

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