Depression In Women

Nishahameetha

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#1
Is depression more common in women than in men?

Yes. Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression.

What are the symptoms?

Doctors continue to learn about how women are affected by depression, but there are some common symptoms. If you're depressed, you may have some of these symptoms nearly every day, all day, for 2 weeks or longer:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless and having frequent crying spells
  • Losing interest or pleasure in things you used to enjoy (including sex)
  • Feeling guilty, helpless or worthless
  • Thinking about death or suicide
  • Sleeping too much, or having problems sleeping
  • Loss of appetite and unintended weight loss or gain
  • Feeling very tired all the time
  • Having trouble paying attention and making decisions
  • Having aches and pains that don't get better with treatment
  • Feeling restless, irritated and easily annoyed
 

Nishahameetha

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#2
Why Are Women at Greater Risk for Depression than Men ?

Many factors unique to women are suspected to play a role in developing depression. . Certain events in a woman's life put her at special risk for depression including puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause & menopause.During these phases, a women experiences hormonal surges and disruptions & depression and anxiety can result’

Women often suffer from role strain over conflicting and overwhelming responsibilities in their life. The more roles a woman is expected to play (mother, wife, working woman), the more vulnerable she is to role strain and subsequent stress and depression.

Higher rates of depression are also found among victims of rape. Other common forms of abuse, including physical abuse and sexual harassment, may also contribute to depression.

Similarly, substance abuse , relationship disruptions, trauma and certain personality traits predispose women to depression..
 

Nishahameetha

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#3
What are the risk factors for depression in women ?

There are a number of different, yet interrelated, risk factors for depression in women.

Risk Factors for Depression in Women


  • Family history of mood disorders
  • Personal past history of mood disorders in early reproductive years
  • Loss of a parent before the age of 10 years
  • Childhood history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Use of an oral contraceptive, especially one with a high progesterone content
  • Use of gonadotropin stimulants as part of infertility treatment
  • Persistent psychosocial stressors (e.g., loss of job)
  • Loss of social support system or the threat of such a loss
 

Nishahameetha

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#4
What illnesses often coexist with depression in women?

Depression often coexists with other illnesses that may precede the depression, follow it, cause it, be a consequence of it, or a combination of these.

Depression also often coexists with other serious medical illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, thyroid problems and multiple sclerosis, and may even make symptoms of the illness worse.

Depression often coexists with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and others, especially among women. Women are more prone than men to having a coexisting anxiety disorder. Women suffering from post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), which can result after a person endures a terrifying ordeal or event, are especially prone to having depression.

Research has indicated that among both sexes, the coexistence of mood disorders and substance abuse is common

Is depression treatable ? How?

Yes.Depression, even the most severe case, is treatable .Treatment involves taking medicines (called antidepressants) & counselling.

Is it safe to take antidepressants during pregnancy & breastfeeding?

Antidepressant medications pass across the placental barrier, potentially exposing the developing fetus to the medication, women and their doctors need to consider the potential risks and benefits to both mother and fetus before taking an antidepressant during pregnancy

Antidepressants are excreted in breast milk, usually in very small amounts . However, as with antidepressant use during pregnancy, both the risks and benefits to the mother and infant should be taken into account when deciding whether to take an antidepressant while breastfeeding.
 

Nishahameetha

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#5
What should I do if I am depressed?

As you recognize your depression ,the first thing is to go to a mental health professional like a psychiatrist and begin treatment..Also:


  • Engage in mild activity or exercise. Even if you don’t feel like, go to a movie, or a religious function or another event or activity that you once enjoyed.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Try not to isolate yourself.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Often during treatment for depression, sleep and appetite will begin to improve before your depressed mood lifts.
  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well . You may not be thinking clearly while you are depressed, so the decisions you make at this time may not be the best ones for you.
  • Don't blame yourself for your depression. You didn't cause it
  • Do eat balanced meals and do get enough sleep.
  • Do take your medicine and/or go for counselling as often as your doctor tells you to. Your medicine won't work if you only take it once in a while
  • Do get as much information as you can about depression and how to treat it.
  • Do call your doctor or the local suicide crisis center right away if you start thinking about suicide.
 

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