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Depression in Women –Causes, Symptoms, And More

Depression in Women

Depression in women may be caused by deterioration in relations with a partner, an attempt to reconcile work and family life, or a tendency to reflect on and analyze problems. Typical for women are such depressive disorders as baby blues, depression or postpartum psychosis.

Depression is one of the most common diseases in the world. It is commonly believed that it affects women more than men. However, there are studies that show that men suffer from depression as often as women, but they are less likely to see symptoms of the disease in their ailments and then seek help from a specialist.


Depression can affect any woman – regardless of her social status, education or professional position. There are many theories trying to explain the causes of depression, but the exact reasons for its occurrence are still unknown. The etiology of depressive disorders in women is complex and is the result of the interaction of many different factors:

  • Biological (e.g. functioning of the endocrine system and the sexual cycle, genetic)
  • Predisposition, disturbances in the work of neurotransmitters, chronic diseases)
  • Psychological (e.g. traumatic events, difficulties in relationships with loved ones)
  • Social and cultural (e.g. educational conditions, lack of support, difficult economic situation)

Functioning of the endocrine system and the sexual cycle

In women, the occurrence of depression may be related to hormonal changes that contribute to premenstrual disorders, perinatal depression and menopausal depression.

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Relationship quality in a relationship

Lonely Woman Sitting On Sofa With Torn Photograph

Conflicts and difficulties in communicating with a partner, lack of mutual support and trust, breakup or divorce contribute to depression. In turn, improving relationships in a relationship and help from loved ones are an opportunity to overcome the crisis and recover faster.

Professional situation

Professional work raises the social status, gives a sense of purposefulness and enables establishing social contacts that can act as a support group. On the other hand, the lack of a job reduces self-esteem and life satisfaction, which makes it one of the risk factors for the development of depression in women.

Feeling of responsibility

Women want to be both good workers and mothers. They feel emotionally responsible for the family and raising children, and at the same time would like to develop and work professionally. Trying to reconcile family and work life can contribute to depression.

Experiencing and analyzing your mental states

woman in depressed mood

Women tend to reflect on unpleasant events, discuss problems and analyze their emotions in depth, which in turn can prolong and maintain a depressed mood.

Personality traits

Avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive and borderline personality traits, as well as certain personality traits (e.g. focusing on failures, criticizing others, excessive duty, pessimism) increase the likelihood of depressive states.

  • Sexual abuse

Victims of rape and sexual harassment are at greater risk of developing depression.

  • Traumatic life events

Illness or death of a loved one, an accident are conducive to the occurrence of depression.

  • Lifestyle and pace of life

High expectations and the pursuit of perfectionism in both work and family life can contribute to depression.

  • Premenstrual mood disorders

PMS affects approximately 70% of women. It occurs in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and clears after the end of menstruation. It is associated with emotional instability, tension, irritability, depression and headache. Limiting salt, tobacco, alcohol, coffee and chocolate, and regular physical activity can reduce the perception of premenstrual discomfort.

Postpartum sadness (baby blues)

Around the third day after childbirth, as a result of a decrease in the level of sex hormones (estrogens and progesterone) and an increase in prolactin levels, approximately 50-80% of women experience a depressed mood, tearfulness, irritability and a sense of incompetence as a mother. Postpartum sadness, i.e. the so-called baby blues, is a physiological condition, does not require specialist treatment and usually disappears spontaneously after about 2 weeks. Support and help from relatives play an important role in this case.

Postpartum depression

woman facing Postpartum depression

Some women who have experienced baby blues develop postnatal depression. This is a serious condition that lasts longer and requires treatment. The causes of postpartum depression include hormonal changes, severe course of labor, labor pain, changes in external appearance, loss of body control, physical and mental fatigue, the mother’s neurotic personality type, and difficulties resulting from the new social role.

Resources: GIA.miami

Postpartum psychosis

This is the most dangerous form of mental disorders in the perinatal period. It takes the form of delusions (persecutory, visual or auditory) that are immune to persuasion. A mother may be convinced that her child is possessed by the devil or that she is still pregnant despite giving birth. Actions taken by a woman in this state may be dangerous to her or the baby and require prompt treatment.

Mood disorders in the menopausal period

Women in the menopausal period are prone to depression, manifested in the form of mood disorders, concentration, attention and memory, increased irritability, fatigue, apathy and anxiety, and deterioration of sleep quality. The appearance of depressive symptoms during this period is associated with fluctuations in hormones, changes in external appearance or changes in the areas of family and professional life (job loss, children moving out, relationship crisis). The risk of developing mood disorders during the menopause is greater in women with a history of depression.

Resources: Cornerstone of Southern California

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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