Why women are at greater risk of depression?

The United States commemorates August 26 as the National Women’s Equality Day to celebrate women’s equality in culture, religion and democracy. National Women’s Equality Day was proposed by the Congress, giving women the legal right to vote.

Women of the United States have worked dedicatedly to earn full privilege and rights as citizens of the country. They are at par with the men.

But, the irony is, women still face discrimination in many areas including mental health. Why is there a gender gap? Why women face greater risk of depression than men?

Issues like these are very sensitive and take in-depth analysis to know the actual reasons. According to numerous studies, women are twice as likely to experience depression as men. There are several factors that contribute towards greater risk of depression in women such as hormonal changes, social responsibility, biological factors, personal life experience or inherent traits.

How does hormonal change contribute towards depression?

Women undergo different reproductive life stages such as puberty, onset of menstrual cycle, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, premenopausal cycle and lastly menopause. Each of these stages involves hormonal imbalance that brings about drastic changes in the physiology and psychology of women. The female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone play a significant role in regulating serotonin that is responsible in regulating good mood. Due to hormonal changes, the level of serotonin drops, which, in turn, triggers symptoms of depression in women during these reproductive cycle stages. Premenstrual dysmorphic disorder, mood swings or prenatal depression during pregnancy, postpartum depression after pregnancy and menopausal depression are some of the common forms of depression prevalent in women.

Culture and life circumstances also contribute towards risk of depression in women

Biological reasons are not the only contributors for depression in women. Women undergo a litany of challenges in many other fronts such as socioeconomic status, race, culture, multiple responsibilities, etc.

In the 21st century, many women have become financially independent, yet many of them face discrimination at their place of work, inequities in socioeconomic status, unequal power in society or job. These types of social oppressions also trigger the onset of depression in women.

Society has set up expectations for women. They are expected to be multitasking and play multiple roles such as mother, sister, coworker or friend. Even though women have become financially independent, they are held responsible or expected to manage home and household work at the same time. These overwhelming and unjust expectations from society are contributing towards higher rate of depression in women.

Women are likely to experience trauma due to violence or sexual assault during childhood or as adults, which is another reason of depression in women. Women experience sexual abuse to a greater extent than men.

Any prolonged illness or family history of mental illness can also contribute towards depression in women.

Other factors responsible for depression in women are eating disorder, anxiety and substance abuse. Studies reveal that women are more likely to use alcohol than men, while men are more likely to use drugs.

How To Recognize signs of depression?

The feeling of depression can be overwhelming. Knowing the signs of depression can help to seek treatment at the earliest.

Some of the most common signs of depression in women include:

  • Feeling of hopelessness, sadness and guilt
  • Feeling of worthlessness
  • Lack of focus and loss of interest
  • Irregular sleep pattern
  • Body pain and fatigue without any reason
  • Change in appetite
  • Self-harm or suicidal thoughts

How we can help? 

We at Medical Concierge value women’s contribution in the society and are dedicated to provide the best mental health care to them. We have been offering continuous support to women who come to us for mental health treatment. Seeking early treatment ensure long-term recovery from any mental health condition. It also prevents chances of any relapse after treatment.

We have a bevy of outpatient and inpatient treatment programs run in collaboration with residential treatment centers. Our treatment plans are based on evidence-based therapies and we also devise personalized treatment plans as per medical assessment of the patients. If you or a loved one is grappling with any mental health condition like depression call us on our 24/7 helpline number 877-636-0042 for immediate assistance. Our experts will provide you every detail of our sought-after treatment programs.

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