Are you feeling down in the dumps? Are you irritated at how often you have been irritable? It could be that you are depressed.
Depression in women is very common. In fact, women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men. And as many as one out of every four women is likely to experience an episode of major depression at some point in life.
Yet depression is a serious and pervasive mood disorder. It causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness.
According to WebMD, an online medical journal depression can be mild to moderate with symptoms of apathy, little appetite, difficulty sleeping, low self-esteem, and low-grade fatigue.
Or it can be major depression with symptoms of depressed mood most of the day, diminished interest in daily activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia or hypersomnia (oversleeping), fatigue, feelings of guilt almost daily, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.
The journal notes that while depression is more common in women than men before adolescence, the rate of depression is about the same in girls and boys.
However, with the onset of puberty, a girl’s risk of developing depression increases dramatically to twice that of boys.
Experts believe that the increased chance of depression in women may be related to changes in hormone levels that occur throughout a woman’s life.
These changes are evident during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause as well as after giving birth, having a hysterectomy, or experiencing a miscarriage.
In addition, the hormone fluctuations that occur with each month’s menstrual cycle probably contribute to premenstrual syndrome.
According to the Health experts, factors that increase the risk of depression in women include reproductive, genetic, or other biological factors; interpersonal factors; and certain psychological and personality characteristics.
In addition, women juggling work with raising kids and women who are single parents suffer more stress that may trigger symptoms of depression.
But there are many ways you can ease depression symptoms and maintain your health. Eat healthfully and exercise regularly, engage in a creative outlet or hobby that fosters a sense of achievement for instance swimming or going to the Gym.
Seek emotional support from friends, family members, or a professional counselor when needed.
The first step to improving your symptoms of depression involves talking to your doctor or healthcare professional about how you have been feeling. Only your doctor can diagnose depression, and if this happens, he or she will probably discuss various treatment options.
Depression can affect several areas of your life, which is why your physician may recommend specific lifestyle changes, such as exercise. It may also help to reach out to friends and family for support.
Take that important first step in getting help for depression. Talk to a loved one or a friend today about how you are feeling so they may help you in talking with a doctor and getting on the road to improvement.
Do not wait. Depression is an illness that can, and should, be treated.