Depression in Women: Signs and Treatments

Depression in women is complex and often there is no single identifiable cause. The good news is that there are effective treatment options

woman experiencing depression

Women experience depression differently than men. While men often show outward signs like anger or aggression, women tend to express their emotions through crying or other forms of emotional expression. Also, depression often affects each woman differently.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), major depressive disorder affects around 350 million adults worldwide. Women are much more likely to suffer from depression than men. The WHO estimates that nearly 6% of adult females in Western countries experience clinical depression at some point during their lives.

Depression is ubiquitous among women. This issue is especially problematic because it can affect one person negatively while not affecting another individual. It may take years before someone identifies symptoms of depression.

What causes depression in women?

Women often suffer from low self-esteem and body image issues. In addition, many face various challenges such as domestic violence, sexual assault, and, of course, pregnancy. Several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing depression. These include age, gender, family history, genetics, socioeconomic status, stress levels, life events, substance abuse, and menstrual cycle.

There is no single identifiable cause of depression in women. It is highly complex, and researchers discover new theories and ideas daily. The good news is that there are effective treatment options available.

Signs and triggers of depression in women

1. Puberty

In certain females, the hormonal changes that occur throughout puberty may increase their chance of developing depression. However, these transient mood swings, which are frequently caused by changing hormone levels during adolescence, may not necessarily result in depression.

Puberty is frequently associated with additional events, such as the following:

  • new issues surrounding sexuality and identity
  • parent-child conflicts
  • pressure to improve one’s performance in school, sports, and other areas of life

After puberty, girls are more likely than boys to experience depression. Girls are more prone than boys to experience depression at a younger age since they typically hit puberty earlier. Studies suggest that the gender disparity in depression may last a person’s entire life.

2. PMS- Premenstrual Problems

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) primarily affects women and is characterized by mild, temporary symptoms such as bloating in the abdomen and breasts, headaches, stress, restlessness, and a depressed mood.

A tiny proportion of females do, however, endure severe and incapacitating symptoms that limit their capacity for work, school, social interaction, and other activities. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a type of depression that frequently requires therapy, could develop into something more than just PMS.

The precise relationship between PMS and depression is still unknown. Circadian changes in estrogen, progesterone and other hormones may affect how brain chemicals that control mood, such as serotonin, work. Additional elements, such as genetic traits and life events, appear significant.

3. Perinatal depression/Depression after childbirth/Postpartum depression

Soon after giving birth, many new mothers report feeling depressed, angry, and irritated and having sobbing episodes. These shared emotions, also known as the baby blues, usually pass after a week or two. However, more intense or pervasive depressive feelings could be a sign of postpartum depression, especially if these symptoms are present:

  • Crying more than normal
  • Feeling unworthy or believe you are a bad mother
  • Feeling tensed or anxious
  • Difficulty in carrying out day-to-day functions
  • Having trouble sleeping when your infant is napping
  • Inability to care for your child
  • Thoughts of injuring your child
  • Suicidal thoughts

A significant medical problem, postpartum depression, must be treated immediately. Ten to fifteen percent of women experience it. It is believed to have a connection with:

  • the mood-altering effects of significant hormone changes
  • the obligation to look after a newborn
  • a tendency toward anxiety and depression
  • obstetrical issues with pregnancy
  • issues with breastfeeding
  • specific requirements or infant problems
  • lacking in social support

Treatment options for women experiencing depression

If you’re feeling sad or depressed, getting help as soon as possible is best. Your doctor will ask you many questions and run tests to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could cause your sorrow. Cognitive behavioral therapy, sometimes known as talk therapy or psychotherapy, is one of the most widely used forms of treatment for depression.

The main goal of this sort of therapy is to teach clients new viewpoints and coping mechanisms for when depression hits. Women struggling in relationships can learn how to improve them with counseling assistance. They can also learn how to change any potentially depressing behaviors. Group therapy or family therapy, in addition to one-on-one therapy, are helpful therapies if family stress contributes to your depression.


Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here