Depression is a serious mental health condition that can affect anyone. Culture plays a big role in depression in women. It is important to recognize that seeking help for depression is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
As many as one-third of women experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime. Understanding the signs of depression in women allows for quicker help and support. It can also help provide resources related to mental health.
Depression manifests differently in everyone. Symptoms related to depression also vary from men to women. There are some common threads, though. Recognizing the signs of depression in women is the first step in breaking the stigma and getting women help.
Common signs of depression in women can include:
Persistent sadness — Women with depression often describe feeling down or blue for long periods of time. Many times, these feelings occur without an obvious reason causing the feeling.
Loss of interest — The inability to experience pleasure in activities that you once found enjoyable is a common sign of depression. Women may lose interest in hobbies, social interactions, or activities that used to bring them happiness. This can also lead to a withdrawal from friends and family, avoiding social activities or relationships. You may find yourself isolating yourself.
Changes in sleep patterns — Depression can cause sleep pattern disturbances. Some women may experience insomnia or experience extreme sleepiness or oversleeping.
Changes in appetite — Significant changes in appetite are common among women struggling with depression. This can present either as a loss of appetite resulting in weight loss or an increase of appetite resulting in weight gain.
Fatigue and lack of energy — Women struggling with depression report feeling tired. They often struggle to perform simple tasks. This persistent tiredness can affect your quality of life and daily functioning.
Difficulty concentrating — Difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, or difficulty remembering details can be common in women affected by depression. This can lead to a decreased ability to do normal activities well.
Feelings of guilt or worthlessness. This can be due to the other changes depression can cause that are directly affecting your daily activities. You may find yourself criticizing yourself harshly or having a negative self-perception.
Physical symptoms — Some women with depression may even experience physical symptoms. These symptoms can include headaches, digestive issues, or unexplained aches and pains. These physical symptoms can often be related to or exacerbated by the emotional distress caused by depression.
Irritability — Women often experience irritability and mood swings when dealing with depression. This can cause small frustrations to become overwhelming and lead to an increased level of irritability.
Suicidal thoughts — In severe cases of depression, thoughts of death or suicide may occur. If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it is vital to seek help immediately by calling 911 or 988.
Depression in women is influenced by biological and psychological elements.
Factors that can influence depression in women include:
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Perimenopause and menopause
Cultural and societal pressures
Trauma and abuse
Recognizing the signs of depression in yourself or a loved one can be the first step to seeking the help and support you deserve. It is important to reach out to a mental health professional if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of depression.
Therapy, medication, or a combination of both can be effective treatments to help depression. Here are some ways you can help manage your depression:
Build a strong support system,
engage in regular physical activity,
and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Women should never feel ashamed or alone in a struggle with depression. If this is something you’re struggling with, make sure to have open and honest conversations with your healthcare providers and family about your depression.
Life is complicated and messy. When it comes to mental health, we believe there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. At Halcyon Therapy Group, we understand just how important you and your unique situation and perspectives are. That’s why we offer a suite of services tailored specifically to you and your needs. You deserve better, and we are here to help.