Woman and Depression

depressed-girl
Photo credit: Internet

By Confidence Matiyenga

Life is never rosy, things do not usually turn up like we expected, in short life is full of ups and downs. The down times are there to go but when the down times last for weeks or months such that there is no time for regular activities, then you may be suffering from depression. Depression is a medical illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It appears to affect women about twice than men. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 12 million women are affected by a depressive disorder each year compared to about 6 million men. Depression can occur at any age but according to the Mental Health America girls between  14-18 years of age have consistently higher rates of depression than boys in this age group. Depression drains energy, hope, and drive. Women depression is sometimes triggered by reproductive hormones particularly after pregnancy or around menopause to social pressures.Other risk factors for depression include:

  • Family history of depression
  • History of heart problems
  • Serious chronic illness
  • Marital problems
  • Use of drugs that could trigger depression, such as medicines for high blood pressure
  • A stressful life event, such as job loss or death
  • Recent serious illness or surgery
  • Childhood history of physical or sexual abuse
  • Being a worrier or being overly anxious
  • Having an eating disorder

The symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe or major depression and are distinguished by the impact they have on a woman’s ability to function. Common complaints include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Sleep changes (Sleeping more or sleeping less)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts or recurrent thoughts of death

To help reduce or prevent the risk of having depression it is within one’s ability. However, once you have depression it is not a condition that can be willed or wished away.Depression is a very treatable illness.It can be treated successfully with medication or psychotherapy and sometimes by combing both methods.

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