What does depression look like in women?
First, let’s acknowledge that it’s twice as likely to happen to women as compared with men.
Women, by and large, are “feelers.” They’re generally in better touch with their emotions and the emotions of others.
This gives them a greater capacity to be caring and nurturing. There’s one challenge, though.
Having a front seat to all those emotions and feelings can weigh a person down and become overwhelming.
One of a woman’s most endearing qualities can also add to her suffering.
Common Symptoms of Depressed Women
- Difficulty concentrating and a foggy mind
- Difficulty with memory
- Consistent feelings of sadness, crying, loss of hope and despair
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, including sex
- Consistently negative feelings and comments
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- High levels of anxiety
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep/sleeping too much
- Loss of appetite or increase in appetite
- Ongoing physical problems that can’t be diagnosed (stomach, headache and pain)
- Suicidal thoughts
- Suicide attempts
What Makes Women Susceptible to Depression
A number of factors can increase the likelihood that women will experience depression.
Many experts think the periodic hormonal changes caused by menstruation and pregnancy make women more susceptible.
Therefore, it has nothing to do with women being weak. Women must be innately strong to manage the multitasking of being a mom, often juggling a career and much more.
Other factors that increase chances of depression include environmental and hereditary considerations.
Uncommonly stressful events such as experiencing the death of a loved one as a child, pregnancy, job loss and sexual abuse only add to the likelihood depression will present itself.
Depression in Women: What to Do
There is a long list of things that can help women with depression. What treatment is right for you will depend on the reason for your depression (if you can identify one), the severity of your symptoms and how long you have suffered.
Some women are able to manage their depression with lifestyle changes such as leaving a stressful job, simplifying their schedule, improving their support systems, eating healthy, exercising and getting proper sleep.
Some women also respond well to an antidepressant.
Something else can’t be stressed enough:
Most women are people of words. Most women are drastically more verbal than the typical man. They have an innate need to express themselves.
It should come as no surprise, then, that getting those words out is an extremely therapeutic process.
For some, that involves journaling, talking with caring friends/family and visiting a therapist.
A combination of these can help dramatically with feelings of guilt, shame and low self-esteem. This helps women to realize they’re not alone in their suffering and that they don’t need to silently feel misunderstood. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 393-8662, or text us.