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Become Acquainted with Depression in Women

Become Acquainted with Depression in Women

Become Acquainted with Depression in Women


Women are called by various names – Mama, Honey, Princess, etc. Having so many roles to play in their lives as mothers, wives, daughters, grandmothers, caregivers, civic workers, volunteers, and the list goes on, performing the tasks associated with these roles can bring about complicated issues and emotions. As everything is considered with varied challenges and the other unique factors, a woman’s vulnerability to depression can be higher.

Depression is more common among women than men…” says the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMH). The manifestations of depression in women are also different from men. Dr. Cristina Gregory of even says “Depression is almost twice as likely to affect women than men and tends to have different contributing causes in women than it does in men.” Faced with many challenges and feeling “down” may not just be an occasional or fleeting emotion anymore.

Snapping out of “the blues” may not happen in an instant, even to the strongest willed women. No matter how bleak the world may seem, though, know that there is hope and a way out. Take the steps to feel better and to reclaim your sense of hope, your interests, and your zest for life. Start by having your symptoms checked by a competent professional, and by learning about the emotional condition that grips you.


The Color of Depression in Women

Why are more women struggling with depression? Nobody really knows for certain why this gender has a higher vulnerability to depression. What is clear is the fact that women are more prone to develop depression than men. The gender disparity of depression, however, is linked to several factors, including social, biological, and most especially hormonal factors precise to females.


Studies reveal certain observations worth noting, such as:


  • Depression in women tends to be longer and with more intense manifestations. This is linked to the feminine tendency to rehash unpleasant thoughts. For this reason, they may dwell deeper in depression longer and more intensely than men. Men in general tend to distract themselves from their state of sadness, thereby weakening the duration and intensity of symptoms.


  • Negative body images and stress affect more women. Poor self-image issues generally start early in life, particularly during their adolescent development. They are more predisposed to stress too, because they produce more stress hormones and they have progesterone that prevent the diminishing of stress hormone production.


  • Childbearing places certain social standards and expectations on them. Expected to take care of the children and to run the household, women juggle their jobs/careers and their responsibilities at home. With a full plate and with all the stress, they can be easily overwhelmed and become easy prey for depression.


  • Motherhood inherently brings out the softer or sensitive aspects of their personality. Their sensitivity contributes to showing more of their emotional side. Compared to men who are expected to display strength as the head of the family, women tend to express their feelings more openly, showing sadness, blaming themselves, and/or turning to unhealthy habits.


  • Be aware, however, that the manifestations of depression may vary from person to person, or in this case, woman to woman. Thus, you may find that your symptoms cannot be easily classified in any one category.


What’s Behind Depression in Women?

What are the causes of depression in women. The most influential factor in the development of depression that is scientifically supported is genetics. The interaction of genetic predispositions interact with environmental factors and significant life events can increase or decrease one’s risk for the condition. In women, the changing hormonal levels and their biology also play major roles in affecting their moods and depression.

Females are especially vulnerable because of hormonal issues. Therefore, mood shifts can happen more frequently during dramatic hormonal fluctuations – monthly ovulation, pregnancy, while giving birth, and menopause. Note that some depression types specific to women are associated with it – premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), perinatal and postpartum depression, and perimenopausal depression.

The other causative influences – emotional and social – also emanate from their reproductive hormones and biology. For example, a woman who has children to take care of may have a fuller plate than a man. A working mom who comes home stressed from work still needs to attend to a multitude of tasks because this is what is expected of them. Research also reveals that the unique response to stress and societal pressures inimitable to their experiences are related to psychosocial factors.  


Is This You? Symptoms to Recognize

As a mother, you want to care for the little ones, dress them up, feed them and take them to school. How can you do that when you are unable to get out of bed, even when there is nothing physically wrong with you? As a boss, running a business or supervising a crew of workers, you need to stay authoritative, but compassionate and warm. How can you be that person when your sense of self-esteem is lacking? How can you be the person that you once were when you cannot stand being with people, when all that you can feel is sadness, weariness, hopelessness, and helplessness?


If these feelings are not dissipating, check the other signs and symptoms. According to, some classic signs of depression in women are:


  • Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, despair, and sadness
  • Irritability, anxiousness, and guilt
  • Feelings of exhaustion, severe tiredness
  • Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
  • Inability to concentrate or remember details
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts of suicide
  • Sleep disturbances; sleeping too much or too little, insomnia
  • Changes in appetite – eating too much or too little
  • Physical symptoms – aches and pains, cramps, headaches, digestive issues, breast tenderness, bloating
  • Lack of energy
  • Feeling “out of control”
  • Mood swings and feelings of tearfulness
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of tension
  • Disinterest in daily activities and relationships


Not all depressed females experience every symptom on the list. There are those who may have fewer symptoms, and there are those who may experience more symptoms. The intensity of symptoms, and their duration can be different among individuals. This may also vary depending on their other physical/medical conditions.


Raising Your Hopes with Therapy

There is so much at stake for every woman – a family, job/career and a long life ahead filled with many opportunities. Depression can put everything on hold, but that doesn’t need to happen because even the most serious case of depression can be treated. If you are struggling with depression, seek treatment early to improve the outlook of the condition and to restore your life to a positive state sooner than later. To raise your hopes and face your depression issues with positivity, see a therapist.

An experienced counselor/therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC can assist in providing you a safe outlet for expressing your feelings and thoughts. Being able to talk about your challenges can tremendously help in easing the sadness you feel. The support of relatives and friends is valuable, but it cannot replace the help that an expert behavioral health professional can give.

Do not just “bottle up” your emotions. Always bear in mind that depression, regardless of gender or stage of life, is a serious matter. Just because it is common for women to have mood swings due to the changing levels of hormones, it doesn’t mean that you should agonize in silence. Do not be ashamed to reach out for help. There are many treatment options available for you. Before making any decision, talk to us. A right-fit therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC can assist you in selecting the most suitable treatment plan for you. Call today!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Fayetteville, NC (North)

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC

Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Rex NC,and Wade, NC

Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

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422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

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  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
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