Gender And Depression: Risk Factors And Treatment

Depression affects women more than men

There have been many discussions whether depression is actually based on gender. As there have been many studies which has proven that depression actually affects women more than it affects men. Some people disagree to this but most of them agree. This is not just a myth or information that has been passed through generations but it is actually proven through much research and it does involve many risk factors associated to it. Of course, the experience of childhood and issues related to the initial stages of life affects depression in women but there are also biological factors that come into play. According to researchers by using DSM-IV’s criteria to measure the depressive disorder in both male and female, that is very much similar to that of ICD-10 criteria for moderate level of depression or anxiety.

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The total prevalence measured and the point prevalence is very much similar as the total percentage is 15% and the point prevalence is around 5%. This kind of depression is very much similar to that of chronic illness that is very hard to cure. The patient has to go through therapy to get a stable lifestyle or else it because excessive problems like high anxiety and even suicidal thoughts. It should also be noted that depression consists of the third highest global burden related to diseases and it is especially high in countries like Canada or the United States. According to many researchers, it has been stated that depression would actually be the leading cause for diseases by the year 2030. For women all around the world, it has already reached the leading cause (Sejbaek et al., 2015). At the moment, the ratio for male: female global disability remains constant at 1.7: 1. In the year of 2010, it was recorded that women has 5.5% global annual prevalence whereas men is at 3.2%. In North American countries like Canada or United States, the gap is wider where women prevail at 5.0% and men is at 2.9%. Even two years later, in 2012 the numbers rose from 5.0 to 5.8% and 2.9 to 3.6% respectively (Van de Velde et al., 2013).

There are many factors which has caused the high increase of depression in women, that includes education and income, sexual harassments, abuse and many more. It is also recorded that depression reaches its highest level in women in between the ages of 14 to 25 years, however it is also been proven that this ratio of depression in women actually decrease with age. By the time a woman or a man is 65 years old, the state of depression or anxiety isles than 1/4th of what it actually was during their teenage stages (Soriano-Maldonado et al., 2015). It is true that during puberty, the state of depression reaches its peak, and it is around this time women normally experience sexual harassments or even abuse. Before puberty, the level of depression is very much similar.  

Risk factors associated with depression in women

The high rise in depression in the North American countries can also be determined through the high consumption of anti-depressants and high level of medication for anxiety. As per studies show, anti-depressants are suggested to women twice than that of men. This comes in between the age of 14 to 25 years and the use of medication decreases from 45 years onwards. The causes for depressions in women are very much different to that of men. There are biological, psychological and socio-cultural explanations for this cause and it is very similar when contrasted with women during their teenage years (Yang et al., 2015). It is related to the hormonal level that is at its peak during the teenage years until quarter life period. Also for having strong and genetic predisposition as compared to men, it is a high cause for developing depression.

According to Albert (2015), depression in women is caused for many reasons. The symptoms are more or less very common for all age groups however the condition is more severe during teenage stage. The major state of depression occurs when a woman loses the interest to find pleasure in her activities that she considered enjoyable before. This affects the overall body and mind.  A person loses the ability to think, to sleep, to eat and on top of that becomes pessimistic towards the way of living. The major depressive disorder also causes low self-esteem and this exists for a long period of time. For mothers, they experience a special form of depression known as “Baby Blues” which normally occurs during the initial stages of childbirth. The mother gets depressed following the months after birth and sometimes this can happen while she is still pregnant. Woman sometimes also experience persistent depressive disorder that stay for over 2 years and sometimes even more. Sometimes this is linked to major depressive episodes that have very similar symptoms.

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According to Emdad et al., (2013), the state of depression is linked to the menstrual cycle of women. Within that time frame, severe level of mood swings and anxiety takes place in her and her mind is inflicted with all sorts of negative thoughts to the week just prior to the start of menstruation. Symptoms related to depression are effective enough to impact interpersonal relationships and affects daily activities (Legrand, 2014). It has been stated that women are normally anxious and scared and they try to avoid conflicts. It is known that depression runs in the family, which can be generic in some cases. There are also cases where the genetic makeup is very much resistant towards it. By the means of environmental factors are predicts that interacts with the means of genetic predispositions (Lucas et al., 2014). A woman is very much prone towards the state of depression depending on her genes. The state of resilience can also increase due to factors such as family and social relationships.

Prevalence of depression in women worldwide

According to Cyprien et al., (2014), many biological factors also come into play such as factors related to hormone, this factors play a major role while stimulating depression. There are factors related to pregnancy, menopause, preimenopause, menopause and sometimes ever fertility. These are due to hormonal imbalance and rapid fluctuations in reproductive hormones. Due to high level of health problems specially due to chronic disease can accelerate the state of depression in women. By changing medical life decisions like smoking or frequent dieting schedule (Kendler & Gardner, 2014). By looking at this from a psychological perspective, women are normally more emotional than men. They rehash their negative thoughts during the bouts of depression. Some response by crying, having a conversation with their friends or asking why they are in such a state. It has been found out that men can distract themselves more than women from depressive states (Zahidie  & Jamali, 2013). Psychology shows that women are also more prone to stress than most men. This is because the high increase level of progesterone that prevents stress hormones from getting leveled out. By coping the choices of relationships and lifestyle, it also affects the depressive state of women. Balancing the work-life, financial trouble issues or handling the loss of a loved one it can maintain the state of depression (Nolen-Hoeksema & Hilt, 2013). As per the study by the National institute of Health, there are factors that play a role in the risk of depression in women. Such factors include death of a guardian before the age of ten or loss of a job or physical or sexual abusive in the childhood days, even a severe history of mood disorders. Of course, these factors can affect men as well however the impact is found to be much more higher in women (Kaminska et al., 2015). These can be understood through symptoms such as feelings of emptiness or hopelessness. Suicidal thoughts also occur and many have even attempted suicide. A feeling of fatigue combined with panic attack and a high feeling of tension is also common.

According to Gaillard et al., (2014), treatment is necessary when a woman is suffering from severe level of depression. It is necessary because it improves the quality of life. The step is always to visit a doctor or a mental health professional. They would start asking a series of questions that would determine what kind of problems the person is going through or what the cause of her depression is (Cyprien et al., 2014). The goal of the specialist is to find out the symptoms. These questions include how long the depression have lasted or when it have started or how the person feels when they are suffering. When the doctor understand that the problem is severe it is only then they refer to a mental health specialist (Tahmasebi, & Abasi, 2013). However the most common remedy for women those who are suffering from depression is the process of medication and therapy. It is very much essential to tell the doctor she complete issues and whatever is bothering the person. If the case is severe, the doctor will prescribe antidepressants. This eases the mentally state and reduces the suicidal thoughts. If one takes antidepressants for suicidal attempts, there have been some cases where the suicidal tendencies have increased due to antidepressants (Emdad et al., 2013). These also include side effects such as nausea, headaches, sleep disturbances, issues related to sexual urges and many more.  

Biological, psychological, and socio-cultural explanations for depression in women

According to Nolen-Hoeksema & Hilt (2013), women are indeed more prone to depression then men. Treatment has additionally been appeared to be an extremely successful technique for treatment in the event that you are experiencing sorrow. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a standout amongst the most widely recognized types of talk treatment, or psychotherapy, in the treatment of dejection (Biaggi et al., 2016). The treatment involves a strategic measure that is revolved around providing better method of approach for dealing with women when they are affected by depression. Treatment is necessary for women to comprehend problematic connections and how to enhance these issues. With one on one treatment involved. It is vital to know what the cause of depression at first is. By talking more and more to the woman, the person of the other end develops an idea what the woman is going through, and on the other hand the woman develops an emotional connection with that person and understand that the person can actually help her. Trust is a key factor here. It is not recommended to encourage the person without any valid reason because that will not help. Just by telling them that it will be alright is not a proper mental support. It is most important to develop an understanding. It has been stated has more than 80% of women tends to depend upon antidepressants as a solution.

Women undergo more stress than men do. Not exclusively do they need to go work simply like men, however they may likewise be relied upon to manage the brunt of keeping up a home, raising youngsters, administering to more seasoned relatives, and enduring sexism in a few families. Researchers have discovered that sexual orientation contrasts in socialization could assume a part also (Habibzadeh & Habibzadeh, 2016). Young women are associated by their folks and educators to be all the more sustaining and touchy to the suppositions of others, while young men are urged to build up a more noteworthy feeling of authority and freedom in their lives. This sort of socialization is guessed to prompt more prominent discouragement in ladies, who must look outside themselves for approval.

According to Van de Velde et al., (2013), Evidence claims that, all through their lifetimes, ladies may encounter more unpleasant life occasions and have a more noteworthy sensitivity to them than men. Young women tend to report more negative life occasions than young men, typically identified with their associations with their folks and peers, and to encounter larger amounts of trouble identified with them. Investigations of grown-up ladies have discovered that ladies are more probable than men to end up discouraged because of a distressing life occasion and to have encountered an upsetting occasion inside a half year preceding a noteworthy depressive scene (Eyles et al., 2015). It has likewise been conjectured that ladies who progress toward becoming housewives and moms may discover their parts downgraded by society while ladies who seek after a vocation outside the home may confront segregation and occupation imbalance or may feel clashes between their part as a spouse and mother and their work. Because of their social conditions, unfriendly life occasions related with youngsters, lodging or proliferation may hit ladies particularly hard in light of the fact that they see these territories as critical to their meaning of themselves and may feel they have no elective approaches to characterize themselves when these zones are undermined (Gaillard et al., 2014). A few specialists have likewise proposed that there may really be no distinction in predominance amongst people. These scientists have proposed the possibility that it might really be that ladies look for help more regularly than men or report their side effects in an unexpected way, prompting them being analyzed more frequently than men. Nonetheless, different examinations have negated these cases.

Treatment options for women with depression


Therefore from the above discussion it can be concluded that the way depression works specially amid pubescence and connect the hormonal activities in women. This follows the stages during pregnancy and perimenopause. This also states that most of preclinical research that is conducted about the hormonal changes in men tend to divert from the entire process of menstrual cycle.   

The low level of hippocamal volume is much more in quantity if looked at postmenopausal state than ovarian-intact state, this is an indication that the entire function of the ovary is rather shielded. The hormone replacement method can be viewed through the perimopausal period, which is every much effective when it is it is looked at stress-sensitive alterations in the menstrual cycle. It can be said that depression is actually linked to the changed in the menstrual cycle. The changes reflect depressive behaviors in women and thus it tends to cause more problems. It is already known that there is no single cause for depression. This disorder is an illness that affects the min, the body as a whole and it increase with time if it is not rectified. However, depression in both men and women inflicts high amount of pain and problems to the victim and the others around them. Depression is not same as a blue mood. This is because when a person is severely sad or lonely, with his or her will power or by the support of the love ones, they can pull themselves up again, however this is remotely not same in case of depression. Depression cannot be cured without the help of proper treatment and therapy. If the symptoms of depression last for a long time, then is best suggested to undergo therapy.

Depression can also be linked to heart diseases and can be fatal at times. Major depression can affect the concentration power of a woman and she would in time lose the will to work. Depression is women is also linked to insomnia and this inflicts sleepless nights. Emotional support is necessary along with understanding, patience and affection to women who are effected by depression. It is best to recommend that with time and treatment, even depression can be lifted off the shoulder.


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Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as an effective treatment for depression

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