20 Reasons for Depression in Women
Over the years, there have been times when you’ve felt discouraged and blue. Circumstances of life left you with feelings of depression and wiped the smile off your face.
You weren’t alone, and you may find yourself feeling depressed again – especially with menopause on the horizon. In fact, women are more apt to be depressed than men. Sad, but true.
But why? What increases women’s chances for developing depression? There are several factors actually.
Reasons Why Women Are Depressed
- Genetics: There are some genetic mutations which cause depression in women. In addition, women may be more genetically vulnerable for developing depression.
- Hereditary: There’s a higher chance of a woman suffering from depression if she also has a family member who has suffered from depression.
- Hormone Imbalance: Fluctuating and imbalanced hormones can contribute to symptoms of depression.
- Menopause: Symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and the decrease in hormones can lead to depression.
- Infertility: Not being able to have children can be depressing for some women, especially after a hysterectomy and menopause when there is no chance for pregnancy anymore.
- Longevity: Women live longer. That means they may endure more loss, loneliness, and health problems which can cause depression.
- Body Image: Beginning at puberty, females may start to have negative feelings about their appearance and weight. The resulting low self-esteem can lead to feelings of depression.
- Eating Disorders: There’s a connection between eating disorders and depression. The resulting malnutrition can cause chemical imbalances that can lead to emotional struggles and depression.
- Crash Dieting: A side effect of crash dieting is symptoms of depression. Like eating disorders, they can cause nutritional deficients that can affect the chemicals in the brain.
- Stress: Stress can lead to depression, and, unfortunately, women produce more stress hormones than men. Women also respond differently to stress than men, putting them at higher risk for depression.
- Family Responsibilities: The stress and responsibilities that go along with being caregivers can increase stress and depression in women. At the time of menopause, women may be caring for both children and parents, increasing stress and responsibilities.
- Relationships: During menopause, relationship changes can occur with children, parents, a spouse, and female friends who are also going through menopause. Since women tend to be more invested in relationships, they can be severely impacted when there are problems.
- Sensitivity: Women tend to be more sensitive and internalize their emotions – traits which may lead to depression. All the changes going on during menopause can enhance emotions and sensitivity, increasing the possibility for depression.
- Anxiety: Issues with anxiety can lead to depression. Unfortunately, women can be more prone to anxiety, especially during menopause.
- Environmental Factors: Women may be more affected by and have higher incidences of certain environmental factors which can lead to depression. These can include gender inequality, lack of education, and poverty.
- Balancing a Career: Many women must balance the pressures of both a career and family. Challenging enough by itself, but especially so while also trying to cope with symptoms of menopause. The pressures can increase the risk for depression.
- Health: Chronic health conditions, injury, and disabilities are all causes of depression in women. As you age, your risks for each of these can increase, and some of the symptoms of menopause can increase those risks as well.
- Lack of Exercise: Women who do not exercise regularly can be at higher risk for depression. With the chaos of life during menopause, it can be difficult to find time to exercise. It’s extra important, however, that you find ways to work exercise into your day.
- Childhood Trauma: Being abused as a child can cause depression in adulthood. If you have had trouble in the past, talk to a counselor.
- Sexism: When women are compared unfavorably to men, it can cause stress and depression. It doesn’t matter if it occurs on the job, at home, or in other areas of life.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: 20 Reasons for Depression in Women