Are you depressed? 10 symptoms of female depression

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The number of cases of depression among women is very alarming. According to several scientific studies, depression is particularly feminine, since for every depressed man there are two women with depression. In fact, 10% of the female population suffers from depression to varying degrees.

In Diario Femenino we tell you exactly what female depression is, what are its different types and causes, 10 most known symptoms and how it can be treated. Get out of depression and be happy again is possible! We assure you!

What is depression?

Everyone, at some point in their lives, feels melancholy or sad. These are normal and temporary feelings that usually come and go within a few days. The problem comes when these types of negative emotions are prolonged over time and interfere with daily life and the performance of daily activities. When this happens, it can be considered that the person has entered a depressive state.

Depression is a common illness, but this does not mean that it should be underestimated, as it is a very serious pathology that requires treatment to overcome it. It affects both men and women, although it is true that the female population is more likely to suffer from it. This is due to certain biological and social factors which are exclusive to women.

Causes of depression in women

The causes of female depression are varied. Genetic, biological, chemical, hormonal, environmental, psychological and social factors come together or intertwine leading to this frightening disease. These are some of the most common causes:

The Genetics

Women who have a family history of depression have a higher risk of developing the disease as well. However, this rule does not apply in all cases. Depression can occur in women who have had no family history, just as it can happen that certain women with a history do not suffer from it.

Chemical substances

Brain chemistry is a very important factor in the development of depressive disorders. The brain is divided into several parts or sections, each of which is responsible for regulating a specific area. Some control sleep, appetite or behavior, while others focus on mood and thinking. When the morphology of the brain is dysfunctional, the subject is much more vulnerable to depression.

Drastic changes in a person's life

We refer to those changes that have very serious consequences and that are incredibly difficult to assimilate, such as, for example, the loss of a family member or loved one, the breakup of a partner, loss of a job, suffering major economic problems...

A pre-existing addiction

People who have an addiction, whatever type it may be, are much more vulnerable to suffer from depression for the simple fact that addiction leads to doing things that are very easy to regret later. This leads, at the same time, to endless sadness and frustration for not being able to put an end to that kind of life. Among the addictions most likely to cause depression among women are alcohol, tobacco and gambling. Special care should be taken with these addictions since combined with severe depression they can have fatal consequences.

Self-medication

We will never tire of repeating the terrible consequences of excessive consumption of medications without a doctor's prescription. One of the most frequent: depression. You have to be very careful about which medicines you take and in what quantities you take them.

Mistakes of the past

Many people live day by day whipping themselves and regretting the things they did in the past and which they regret. This brings very severe consequences since these people cannot stop thinking about what they could have done and did not do. In these cases, it makes no sense to try to find answers to the past. Psychological treatment should be sought to help focus on the present and to continue with strength towards the future.

Serious pre-existing illnesses

There are certain serious illnesses, such as cancer, that can lead to depression. Its diagnosis causes many women to fall into depression, believing that they will not overcome it. In these cases it is also essential to seek help as soon as possible.

Hormonal changes

As you know, women go through many hormonal changes throughout our lives. These changes are different for each one of us, some feel them with more intensity, others with less and others practically do not perceive them at all. With these changes we are referring to the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, the postpartum stage, menopause... All of them are likely to end up causing depression in women.

The role of women

The role of women in today's society can also have a significant influence on their susceptibility to depression: their role as mothers and wives, coupled with the pressures of home and work life can significantly increase stress and anxiety. And both of these factors over time can lead to depression.

Different types of depression in women


There are several types of depression and each requires a different approach and treatment. These are the most common:

Major depression: this can be easily detected as it often presents a combination of symptoms that interfere with a woman's ability to work, study, sleep, eat and enjoy activities that, under normal circumstances, should be totally pleasurable. Once overcome, it does not usually cause relapses over time.

Dysthymia: contrary to what happens with major depression, dysthymia is not that it is less severe, but that the symptoms are softened and, therefore, can go unnoticed by confusing the symptoms with personality traits, for example, those people who are "very negative" or "are very quiet". Its symptoms are usually milder, but more persistent. And although it does not interfere in the daily activities of the sufferer, it greatly affects his or her quality of life. It can also appear on more than one occasion throughout life.

Disorders such as the following: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) which is more severe than premenstrual syndrome; and Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, which usually occurs in childhood.

Postpartum depression: women who have just had a baby and cannot stop crying constantly, are easily irritated, feel terribly anxious, cannot sleep and are not even able to make simple decisions. This type of depression appears for two main reasons: the stress of being a new mother and all that this entails, and the hormonal imbalance produced both during pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, endorphin levels (a human molecule that makes the body feel good) rise. However, after childbirth, the levels of this molecule decline again.

10 symptoms of women depression

Here are some of the symptoms of depression. Answer these questions honestly and if there are many yes answers, dear friend, it is time to seek the help of a specialist and start treatment.

  1. For no apparent reason do you often fill your head with feelings of sadness and melancholy?
  2. Do you have no patience for anything and a bad mood prevails in your behavior?
  3. Have you lost interest in activities that used to give you pleasure, such as sex?
  4. Do you no longer feel like eating and does your favorite food no longer brighten your day as it used to?
  5. Do you suddenly lose or gain weight?
  6. Have you not slept peacefully and for many hours? Do you have difficulty sleeping?
  7. Do you feel discomfort and a continuous feeling of tiredness for no clear reason?
  8. Do you have low self-esteem with frequent feelings of inferiority or guilt?
  9. Do you have a confused mind and find it extremely difficult to concentrate, organize your thoughts or make decisions?
  10. Do you often think about death or suicide?

Diagnosis of female depression

If you answered yes to the above questions, you should see a mental health professional immediately. He or she will look into your history to determine whether or not you are suffering from depression. You should detail some specific data such as the exact date on which the symptoms began and how long they have lasted. The specialist may also ask you questions about drug or alcohol use or if you have thought about suicide or death as an alternative to your sad and depressed state.

A complete diagnostic evaluation will also include a mental status examination to see if speech, thought or memory patterns have been affected.

Treatment for female depression

First of all, you must be clear about one thing: asking for help is not cowardly. Although it may be hard for you to see it this way, depression can be overcome and once the storm has passed, you will feel much stronger and ready to fight whatever comes your way.

The context that surrounds a person who suffers from depression is very important to achieve their rehabilitation. It is true that the lack of desire and motivation of people suffering from this disease can become desperate, but the understanding, affection, empathy and patience of family members and loved ones is essential. Suggesting and not ordering, proposing and not imposing are basic premises usually recommended in therapies imposed by professionals. One of the biggest problems that depressive people present is that they often refuse to attend therapy or end up abandoning it. In this situation, it is essential to induce the person to continue with the treatment until the end.

There are two types of treatment for depression: pharmacological and psychotherapy. Depending on the degree of depression, one or the other will be needed and even a combination of both (the most common). In more severe cases, there is another type known as electroconvulsive therapy or electroshock. There are times when people come to consultation without knowing that what they suffer from is depression, and if the psychologist assesses that the symptoms are severe, it is reported the desirability of support with pharmacological treatment, being treated as parallel treatments and constantly reviewed throughout the psychotherapy.

Pharmacological treatment with antidepressants: antidepressants are used in order to correct the imbalances that have been generated in the levels of brain chemicals, especially serotonin, a chemical that is responsible for controlling emotions, body temperature, appetite, sleep and blood pressure. Antidepressants work by increasing serotonin levels in brain cells. They do not cause dependence and usually take effect between three and six weeks after starting treatment. Among their side effects, which are temporary and usually occur in the first week and gradually disappear, are insomnia, nervousness, nausea, dizziness or weight gain. There may also be a decrease in libido, a symptom that is more permanent, although not with all antidepressants.

Psychotherapy: its objective is to help the patient to know himself better and to modify his excessively negative perceptions about himself, relationships or the environment, sometimes learned from the family environment.

Electroconvulsive therapy: used in the most severe cases, i.e. when the risk of suicide is high, when the patient cannot take medication or does not improve with it, or when there is debilitation due to another physical illness.

Prevention and advice for depression in women

In addition to pharmacological or psychotherapeutic treatment, it is essential that, once it has taken effect and the woman feels that her mood has improved significantly, certain tips or lifestyles are followed to avoid relapsing into depression:

  • Resume daily responsibilities slowly and gradually.
  • Accept yourself as you are. Do not compare yourself with other people or undervalue yourself.
  • Express your emotions. Do not keep anything inside.
  • To make periodic reviews with the therapist to check that everything is still in correct order.
  • To carry out a healthy and balanced diet and to accompany it with regular physical exercise.
  • Arrange to go out with friends or with your partner.
  • Find a hobby or take up certain activities that you used to be passionate about, such as reading, music or travel.
  • Learn that you can get out of anything and that this nightmare will soon be over. Don't give up!

Now that you know the symptoms of female depression, it's time to put yourself in the hands of a specialist who will best help you on the road to recovery.

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