Why Women Deal With Depression More Often Than Men?
We may well be aware of the fact that women seem predisposed to suffer from depression more than men.
In fact, women are twice as likely to have depression, and symptoms of depression, as men of the same age.
It is a serious condition caused by changes in brain chemistry.
Research tells us there are many reasons for depression.
These reasons include
- changes in hormone levels
- certain medical conditions
- grief or
- difficult life circumstances.
Depression symptoms in women
Depression symptoms in women can sometimes be hard to pinpoint.
Maybe it’s just the blues… or could it be something more.
These symptoms are often an indication that you could be suffering from depression.
- Restlessness and Irritability
- Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Things You Used to Enjoy
- Disturbed Sleep Patterns
- Changes in Appetite or Weight
- Lack of Concentration, Memory, or the Impaired Ability to Make Decisions
- Feelings of Hopelessness, Worthlessness, and Pessimism
- Chronic Pain or Illness
- Fatigue, Torpidity, or Sluggishness
- Thoughts of Death and Suicide, or Suicide Attempts
Women and Depression
The hormonal changes that a woman lives through on a monthly basis play a part in some of these mood changes but not all.
A female goes through puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, and menopause.
All create hormonal changes that can play havoc with a woman’s emotions.
Mood swings are not an uncommon symptom of any of them.
But it is not just the biological changes that a woman must deal with that affects their propensity to depression.
There are the cultural and social pressures that make up such a large part of a female’s existence that also influence this.
A woman is more likely to have more responsibilities than her male counterpart.
In a married situation, she is often expected to have a job outside the home and take care of the children and the household.
She is supposed to maintain an attractive demeanor and all the time does not worry about what she needs for herself.
The pressures of maintaining this façade can be enormous often becoming too much to deal with.
This does not count the ever-growing number of women who are single mothers.
So they still have a job and household to run, but now there is no one to share any of the responsibilities with.
All too often they are coming out of a relationship where there has been some abuse.
All these circumstances together explain why more than biological causes can be at the root of the depression suffered by women.
When you look at the things that women must deal with equal pay for equal work is a consideration that is not a reality.
Women work very hard for the money they take home almost always earning less than men in the same position.
In many situations where women do the same job as a man, women make less.
This can be even worse for a female who is part of a visible minority.
These things can contribute to a poor self-image.
Add to this lower income the pressures of caring for children and perhaps an elderly unwell parent, and still, the women carries on.
She must work to support them all and still be able to come home to clean, cook and help her children with their homework.
Clearly, all the stresses in a woman’s life make it even more likely that she will deal with depression at some time during her life.
I have done volunteer work for a Dutch charity involved in providing help and information regarding mental health issues.
Also in my experience, I had to deal more with women than with men.
Until that time I never had any idea of the scope of the problems with depression and the number of people suffering from it.
Depression is a disease, not a sign of weakness.
That was our motto.