Depression is one of the primary health problems that affect women. Depression rates are higher in women than men, because of biological and social differences. ‘Clinical depression’ is not just mere blues but something more than that; it affects the entire person’s mind, body, personal life and professional life. The reasons for why depression occurs are yet to be identified, but many researchers opine that it is due to a variation in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
Apart from clinical depression, women often suffer from frequent mood swings due to hormonal fluctuations. Some women suffer from menstrual-related depression and anxiety, which is known as ‘premenstrual dysphoric disorder’ (PMDD). Many women have a tendency of developing symptoms of depression after giving birth; this is termed as ‘postpartum depression’, or at times after experiencing infertility, miscarriage and surgical menopause.
Women with more number of children are observed to have greater affinity towards depression. Moreover, many unfortunate women who have been raped or have been a subject of domestic violence have a greater chance of being a victim of acute depressive illness; they should be given immediate and proper counseling.
Furthermore, women who have history of physical or sexual abuse in childhood days, do fall into depression; apart from that, depression can seep in due to stress, consumption of oral contraceptives, predominantly the ones with high progesterone content, insecurity related to loss of social or financial support system, death of parent before the age of 10 and lastly due to family records of mood disorders.
There are a number of symptoms of depression, which if surfaces in a women, should immediately be brought into the notice of a psychiatrist. Symptoms like low or irritable mood, diminution of interest in fun activities, lack of interest in sex, feelings of guilt complex, desperation and insignificance, repeated suicidal thoughts, acute insomnia, sudden drastic changes in appetite or sudden change in the weight, difficulty in concentrating or focusing and lastly feeling constant fatigue, can be fatalistic, hence these issues should be immediately addressed without ignorance.
Women tend to be more inclined towards suicidal attempts than men however, men are more triumphant in their suicidal attempts than women. More than 70 per cent of suicide attempts by women are by overdose or related process, whereas men often choose more brutal techniques. Hence, depression can take away one’s life, it needs to be treated and cured rather than ignorance.