Depression in Women: When to Seek Support

Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness, emptiness, and low self-esteem. There isn’t one marker or one blood test that can detect depression, but the condition can quickly cause your life quality to dip and prevent you from enjoying yourself. 

Estimates show that depression is more common in women, though severe complications of depression, such as death from suicide, are more common in men. Researchers aren’t sure why more women suffer from depression, but fluctuating hormone levels throughout puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are thought to play a role.

The biggest misconception about depression is that sufferers can snap out of depression by trying harder or forcing themselves to do everyday activities to get their minds off their troubles. 

However, you can’t just snap out of depression. And being sad and discouraged isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign you need help. Fortunately, most people feel better after receiving a diagnosis and having their symptoms addressed via medication, therapy, or both. 

We asked our specialists at Bethel Family Medicine about how depression manifests itself, what its possible causes are, and when someone should seek medical attention.

Signs of depression 

Depression is a persistent mood disorder that comes with symptoms that can present themselves on a daily basis. Symptoms include the following:

Left untreated, depression can cause a lot of grief. Most people experience some symptoms of depression at least a few times in their lives, but these symptoms usually go away on their own. 

However, if your symptoms persist for longer than one or two weeks, you may benefit from seeing a specialist.

Common causes of depression 

Depression has many causes. For some people, it’s an unsolved conflict from the past that makes them more prone to clinical depression. For others, it’s an ongoing conflict. 

Although depression is associated with sadness, it’s not only what happens to you that can make you sad. Chemical changes in your brain can also trigger depressive episodes.

Certain medications such as isotretinoin, beta-blockers, cholesterol-lowering drugs, stimulants, and hormones can all impact your mood. 

Thyroid disorders are another major contributor to depression. Up to 69% percent of people diagnosed with hypothyroidism are also diagnosed with depression. Lithium, commonly used to treat thyroid disorders, can aggravate or cause depression. 

Other diseases linked to depression include multiple sclerosis, infections, diabetes, and heart disease. Also, both vitamin D deficiencies and vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to depressive episodes.

Get help for your depression 

If you’re feeling down, apathetic, and unable to enjoy life for more than 2 weeks in a row, contact us to schedule an appointment at our office in Brockton, Massachusetts. 

Your symptoms could be caused by external factors or an underlying condition. Regardless of the cause, our specialist can help you get a diagnosis and enable you to start your healing journey.

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