NBC recently aired a segment on the findings of a study from the National Center on Health Statistics on depression. It was found during the study that women suffer twice as much as men from depression. With the recent death of famed designer Kate Spade, we are once again reminded to never ignore signs of depression. Between 2013 and 2016, 5.5 percent of men reported having had symptoms of depression, compared to 10.4 percent of women. Additionally, young ladies between 25 and 40 were three if not times more apt to become depressed than men.
Reasons women suffer more from depression
- Women also are more likely to have hypothyroidism, which can be associated with depression. They also are more genetically predisposed to depression and stress than men according to studies on fraternal twin studies.
- Women suffer more from depression and stress because of “hormonal differences.” Experts point to things like premenstrual dysphoric disorder and (as much as 15% have) postpartum depression.
- Women suffer more from depression and stress because they reportedly “suffer more” when their personal relationships tank. (Men at worst suffer quietly and move on.)
- Women who were emotionally, physically or sexually abused as children or adults are more likely to experience depression at some point in their lives than those who weren’t abused. Women are more likely than men to experience sexual abuse.
- A study of over 30 countries revealed that “depression in middle-aged women had doubled in 40 years” because of various pressures such as being a working wife and/or caring for an elderly parent.
- Often women work outside the home and still handle home responsibilities. Many women deal with the challenges of single parenthood, such as working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Also, women may be caring for their children while also caring for sick or older family members.
- Women supposedly suffer more from depression and stress because they live longer lives. Being very old is related to conditions such as loneliness, poor physical health, bereavement and other things that lead to depression and stress.
The study showed differences in ethnicity and income:
- Depression was lower among non-Hispanic Asian adults, compared with Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, or non-Hispanic white adults. Some women face added stress from racial discrimination. These issues can cause feelings of negativity, low self-esteem and lack of control over life.
- People with lower incomes reportedly have more depression than those who have a comfortable income. Women are much more likely to live in poverty than men, causing concerns such as uncertainty about the future and less access to community and healthcare resources. Some women face added stress from racial discrimination. These issues can cause feelings of negativity, low self-esteem and lack of control over life.
Depression is so much more than just feeling bad. It can affect you at work, with relationships, and bring on many other health problems. Often, there’s no clear cause of depression. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, early childhood trauma, genetics, major life changes, medical conditions and substance abuse can all cause or worsen depression.
Signs of depression may include these symptoms:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
“Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom,” NIMH says. “Some people experience only a few symptoms while others may experience many.”
Not sure how to get treatment? Consider turning to your primary care provider first — for example, your family doctor, internist, nurse practitioner, obstetrician or gynecologist. If needed, your primary care provider can refer you to a mental health professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating depression.
Remember, depression is both common and treatable. If you think you’re depressed, don’t hesitate to seek help.
Ref. MSN/lifestyle via NBC, americanlivewire.com, mayoclinic.com
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