Depression in women: 5 things you should know
Depression can impact anyone. It doesn’t specifically target men or women, and many things can cause it. However, statistics show that about 70% of those with depression, at least in the U.S., are women.
Studies have suggested that there could be several possible reasons why women seem more susceptible to depression. It includes everything from hormonal imbalances to life circumstances (like unequal power) to work overload.
Whatever the cause, there are a few essential things to know about depression in women. The more you educate yourself, the sooner you can find the help you need to manage your depression and take control of your symptoms.
1. Depression Is More Than “Sadness”
Everyone feels sad from time to time. You might even feel down more than others. Being sad doesn’t automatically mean you’re depressed. Conversely, being depressed doesn’t automatically mean you feel sad.
Depression comes with a variety of symptoms (which we’ll talk about later). One of the earliest warning signs is feelings of sadness or hopelessness that last longer than two weeks. Sadness, on its own, will usually come and go. Depression creates feelings that linger.
2. There Are Different Symptoms
Depression can impact people differently. One person might want to sleep all of the time, while another may struggle with insomnia. However, some symptoms are relatively common, including:
- Loss of interest in things you previously enjoyed
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Feelings of guilt or hopelessness
- Weight changes
- Thoughts of self-harm
You know yourself better than anyone. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be an indicator that you’re dealing with more than just sadness.
3. There Are Different Types of Depression
There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to depression; different types exist. Understanding more about the different types of depression can make it easier to get an accurate diagnosis and be treated properly.
Depression can come in seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar disorder, postpartum depression (PPD), and more. Again, you know yourself better than anyone. If you’re not feeling like yourself, but you can’t pinpoint why, you could be dealing with a very particular type of depression, and the right diagnosis can help.
4. Treatment Is Available
The good news? With almost every type of depression, there is some type of treatment available. Because symptoms vary for everyone, so do treatment options.
Some people benefit from medication. Others find the most success through therapy, either individual or group. Support groups can also help you manage your symptoms and overcome your depression.
Treating depression often means knowing what’s causing it in the first place. While medication can help balance your thoughts, therapy is one of the best ways to get to the root of the issue. Once you discover the source, a therapist can provide you with the skills and resources needed to work through your depression and retake control of your life.
5. You Can Manage Your Symptoms Everyday
While you’re in treatment for depression, there are things you can do on your own each day to manage your symptoms. Everything from physical exercise to meditation can help with depression symptoms. Or try a combination of healthy coping mechanisms and vary them throughout the day as your emotions naturally change.
Find out what works for you, and don’t be afraid to talk with your therapist about your strategies and how to make them more useful.
Depression in women is a genuine problem — but it doesn’t have to take over your life. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about how depression impacts women or set up an appointment if you’re struggling with any of the symptoms above.