There's a host of factors that paint the picture of depression in women. Among them are reproductive hormones and social pressures. This article provides tips and techniques to help women battling depression.
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The following is a list of the signs and symptom of depression in women.
Behavioral and Physical Symptoms
-Overeating, binge eating or total loss of appetite
-Losing or gaining too much weight
-Sleeping disturbances- sleeping more or sleeping less than usual
-Difficulty with focus and concentration
-Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
-Lack of energy and fatigue
-Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
-Feelings of guilt
-Constant suicidal thoughts or recurrent thoughts of death
Rehashing Negative Feelings
Continually living in the past by ruminating about the bad things that have happened to you. Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future will only make depression worse.
Trust me, I know.
Look for ways to stop worrying and start to let go of negative thoughts and emotions that hold you back and keep you stuck.
Body Image Issues
It's no secret that women are more likely than men to suffer from poor body image. Body image dissatisfaction usually starts during the adolescent years. If not addressed negative body image can continue into adulthood.
Social factors play a huge part in women developing depression.
-Marital or relationship problems
-Balancing the responsibilities of raising a family and caring for aging parents
-Not achieving important goals
-Losing or changing a job
-Persistent financial problems
-The death of a loved one
-Other stressful life events that can cause feeling of useless, helpless, or abandoned
Many hormonal changes happen during a woman's menstrual cycle that can cause some irritability, bloating and fatigue to name a few.
But for women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder, symptoms are bad enough to disrupt how they function from day to day.
Read more about PMDD later in this article.
Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression
For many people having a baby is a happy time of life. But, in some women, the hormonal changes can contribute to feelings of depression during pregnancy.
Feelings of depression are also common after giving birth, but usually fizzles out after a few weeks. But if this doesn't happen, postpartum depression may be the cause.
Many women know what it's like to have bloating, fatigue, and moodiness every month. Yes, I'm talking about premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
These symptoms are uncomfortable, annoying and can really make that time of the month unbearable at times. Often PMS isn't enough to keep the majority of women from going on with business as usual.
But for the 1% of women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), it's much more than PMS.
Symptoms range from severe depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia.
Do you recognize any of these common symptoms of PMDD?
-Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
-Feelings of tension or anxiety
-Mood swings and tearfulness
-Persistent irritability or anger
-Lack of interest in daily activities and relationships
-Food cravings or binge eating
-Feeling out of control
Women and men react to depression differently.
Read the chart below. Remember that these examples are not absolutes.
Depression in Women
-Tends to feel sad and worthless
-Tends to blame themselves
-Easily admits self-doubt
-Feels tired and anxious
-Tries to avoid conflicts
-Self-medicates with: food, "love"
Depression in Men
-Tends to feel angry and irritable
-Tends to blame others
-Feels it's weak to admit self-doubt
-Self-medicates with: sex, alcohol
Women experiencing depression will require a different course of treatment than men. A woman's biological make up means that women usually need lower doses of antidepressant drugs.
Also, women are more likely to develop anxiety along with depression.
Here are some coping tips to help women fight depression.
If antidepressants are working for you, or is something you wish to explore, remember that natural solutions may also help you.
Try any, or all, of the following for best results.
Embrace the sun
Go for a walk in the sunlight or do some yoga on the beach on a bright, sunny day. Whatever you do, aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight every day. If the dark, dreary winter months are stealing too much of your sun, invest in a light box.
Keep in touch
Depression makes it hard to let others in. Be sure to make time for those you care about. Grab a friend and enjoy a latte the corner coffee shop, schedule time to go to the movies (one of my favorite things to do) or go for daily walks in the park.
Get up and moving
Speaking of walks, studies show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication. Read this article for additional insights into exercise for depression as well as a few resources.
Get a decent night's sleep
It's not news that depression contributes to sleep problems. But good night's sleep is possible, even if you have depression.
Start your anti-depression diet
The anti-depression diet? No, it's not some amazingly lame new diet fad. The concept is to simply eat a nutritious diet consisting of plenty of fats and mood boosting nutrients. Diet is crucial to feeling better and overcoming mental health issues. Click here to read more now!
It's also a great idea to get more magnesium in your diet. Studies show that low levels of this essential mineral is linked to depression.
I hope this article helps you on your journey towards better mental health.
Bright Skies Are Ahead,
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