It is a fact that women are twice as likely to get affected by depression as compared to men. Unfortunately, most of them don’t reach out for help which further aggravates their situation.
Research shows that depression in women may begin earlier in their life. It may also last long and come and go throughout their lifetime. Women are also more sensitive to life-changing events and seasonal changes which makes them more vulnerable to depression.
Before the onset of puberty, depression is rare in both boys and girls. However, post-puberty, there is a dramatic increase in the rate at which women are affected by depression as compared to men.
While both men and women get affected by depression, certain types of depression are unique to women and increase their risk of depression –
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
PMDD can be considered as a severe extension of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Women experiencing PMDD, are prone to many severe forms of disabling symptoms of PMS like body aches, breast tenderness, digestive issues, appetite changes, anger, sadness, and even experience suicidal thoughts. This condition is also characterized by extreme ups and downs in the mood to the point that it can disrupt their daily life, relationships, social life, and work.
Perinatal depression affects women during pregnancy or post childbirth. Some women experience depression right at the beginning of their pregnancy or during their pregnancy. This is called Prenatal depression. Depression experienced post the child is born is called Postpartum depression. Women with Perinatal depression may experience feelings of sadness, detachment from family and her child, anxiety, fatigue, anger and guilt.
Perimenopausal Depression is experienced by women as a result of the transition they undergo as a result of their menopause. This phase is characterized by weight gain, lack of sexual interest, anxiety, lack of self-esteem, irritability, etc. Studies have found out that menopause can worsen the previously existing depressive symptoms in women.
It is a fact that the above mentioned types of depression that are unique to women are highly under researched and hence go undiagnosed and untreated. Doctors and health practitioners also downplay their severity which further triggers feelings of hopelessness and helplessness in women which can disrupt their quality of life and relationships. Psychotherapy, medication, hormone therapy along with support from loved ones can help women navigate through their depressive symptoms in a healthier way.
Importance of Professional Counseling: A friend or family member may listen to you, but they aren’t professionally, technically qualified or experienced to offer you professional advice. If you wish you can contact us at MindTribe to receive help from our team of expert psychologists.
MindTribe Founder Dr. Prerna Kohli, India’s eminent psychologist, established the company to leverage the strength of the online to make counseling affordable and accessible to everyone. MindTribe provides counseling, workshops, support groups, forums, and eLearning.
About the Author.
Kumkum Gupta is a psychologist at MindTribe.in. You can learn more about her by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of MindTribe.in, the Founders, or management team.
Acknowledgement: All images used are open source and from Unsplash.