All women are at a risk for depression. Depression cuts across all classes, race and social lines. Depression afflicts twice as many women as men and they are at a higher risk for major depression (although some researchers maintain that depression is under diagnosed in men.) Young women are most prone to get depressed. What Are the Risk Factors for Depression? Reproductive issues Menstruation and pregnancy generally do not lead to depression. Infertility, however, can be a source of depression for women who want children.

 Miscarriages and surgical menopause can also cause depressive symptoms. Personality styles Women who are more passive, dependent, pessimistic, or negative in their attitudes are more likely to become depressed, particularly if they dwell on their bad feelings. Sexual and physical abuse Violent episodes such as battering and rape may leave women with PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Also, undiagnosed head trauma from battering can cause depressive symptoms. Marriage and children Marriage protects men against depression much more than it does women.

Mothers of young children are very vulnerable to depression, and the more children a woman has, the more likely it is that she’ll be depressed. Other highrisk groups lesbians, adolescents, and women who are alcoholics or drug abusers are all at high risk for depression. Why are Women More Likely to Experience Depression? One reason that men may suffer less from depression has to do with different coping styles.

Men are more likely to employ action and mastery strategies, that is, to involve themselves in activities (work, sports, going out with friends) that both distract them from their worries and, perhaps more importantly, give them a sense of power and control. Women, on the other hand, tend to brood and dwell on their problems, often with other women. This is one reason why many therapists prescribe exercise (especially aerobic exercise) as a partial antidote for depression; it gives women an increased sense of selfdiscipline, control, and mastery.

Also women who have multiple roles (eg., a job, children, a marriage, volunteer work, all at once) may suffer from much less depression. This is because these women have many different support sources and lots of outlets for their competence: if things aren’t going well in one area, they can compensate by feeling satisfied with their successes in other areas. We all get The blues now and then. This kind of mild, infrequent depressive mood often passes quickly, particularly if you employ some reliable strategies to get through them (going out with friends, settling down into a good book, whatever works for you).

Sometimes, however, depression can be severe and stronger measures may be called for. If you are experiencing the symptoms that last more than 2-3 days or if they are interfering with your normal life you need professional help. In its most extreme form, depression can lead to suicide. If you have any thoughts connected to suicide, you should get therapy AT ONCE. If this is the case, it is extremely important that the prescribing physician understand biological differences in ethnic groups because people from different ethnic backgrounds metabolize drugs differently. The dosages may need to be quite.

Warning Signs of Depression:

  •     Depressive mood, feelings of helplessness and pessimism.
  •     Sleep disturbances
  •     inability to sleep or sleeping too much, irregular sleep patterns.
  •     Appetite disturbance, eating far less or far more than usual.
  •     Social withdrawal, refusal to go out, to see friends.
  •     Blaming yourself for your problems, or feeling that you’re worthless.
  •     Inability to concentrate, even on routine tasks.
  •     Substance abusealcohol or drugs

 Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sometimes occurs after exposure to violence, are similar to those for depression and can also include.

    Nightmares or flashbacks of the terrifying past events.
    Increased aggression, and feelings of uncontrollable anger.
    Emotional numbing.
    Avoidance of the outside world, especially of anything that reminds you of past raumas





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