There are many reasons why women suffer from depression more than men. It is extremely important to understand how gender plays a role in this mental health condition, in order to help women identify and seek help for the same.
Why Women Are More Prone To Depression Than Men
Here are some of the reasons that make women more prone to suffering from depression than men.
- While both girls and boys go through various hormonal changes when they hit puberty, the changes affect girls in a way that can increase their chances of being more at risk of developing depression.
- Once girls are through the age of puberty, the mood swings and hormonal changes continue, increasing the chances of depression, and carry on till women hit menopause.
- Most women experience some or the other type of PMS issues, such as feeling bloated, cramps, nausea, headache, irritability, anxiety and more. But in some women, these symptoms reach such a severity that it becomes difficult for them to carry on their daily activities. In such cases, it is highly possible that the women become anxious and depressed, and suffering this over months at a stretch makes them more prone to depression. When that happens, it can also lead to a condition known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), which is a type of depression that only gets better with professional treatment.
- During PMS, the levels of the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and others conflict with the mood enhancing hormone known as serotonin, as a result of which women become more prone to depression.
- Pregnancy and the months after child birth are a time of major hormonal changes in a woman. During pregnancy, a woman’s body and even her emotions go through a myriad of changes that make her feel as if she is losing control of her own life. If a woman has experienced depression earlier in any form, she is likelier to be depressed while she is pregnant.
- Once the baby is born, the changes in a woman’s life are even bigger. Often, with lack of enough support and care, the main responsibility of the baby’s care falls with the mother, who is still trying not completely healed from the months of pregnancy and childbirth. While in most cases the feeling of depression goes down within the first few weeks, there is a high chance of it staying on and turning into post-natal depression. If not treated on time, it can turn serious and even have serious impacts on the overall health and safety of both the mother and the baby.
- Even though times are changing and a lot of gender role-reversal and breaking stereotypes is happening, the societal norms are still very much in place. As a result, women still find it difficult to be true to themselves, while trying to balance home, work and other responsibilities.
- Women are till date perceived in a certain image, where they are expected by society to perform a certain way and to adhere to certain rules and regulations. Even if they are allowed to do otherwise, there is still a need to follow rules. With mounting expectations, lack of a support system and challenges in balancing work, home and life, women often buckle under the pressure and succumb to depression.
Study Backed Research
According to a study that was carried out to check the prevalence of depression amongst women and men, it was found that depression is more common in women than men, with a suggested ratio of 2:1. The study claims that the reason for this is not just puberty and the associated changes. It is also a result of the various hormonal changes that women go through for their entire lifetime, such as changes in their sex hormones that happen as a result of pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy in some cases and such, though the effects are lesser as compared to that during puberty.
While it is true that depression can affect anyone, whether man or woman, evidence does point out that it is much more prevalent in women than men. If you, or someone you know, suffer from the same, make sure to get professional help at the earliest, to avoid further complications.