Depression can happen to anyone of any age. It affects almost 19 million Americans each year, and up to one in five American women will suffer from clinical depression at some point in their lives. Women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression. Many women first experience symptoms of depression during their 20s and 30s. It is important to identify depression and recognize its symptoms because when left untreated, these can lead to more severe health problems such as increased risk of heart attack.
What Is Depression in Women?
Depression in women is defined as a mental state in which the sufferer experiences feelings of extreme despondency and sadness, and is usually termed “clinical depression”. While temporary bouts of depressed moods can occur in women, clinical depression is considerably more severe. Depression is one of the 34 symptoms of menopause.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a stage in women's lives, usually occurring between the ages of 40-50 in which a woman may suffer from a number of menopause symptoms due to an imbalance in hormone levels. Hormones play a critical role in a woman's body, and during menopause the hormonal glands lose the ability to reproduce these important chemicals. Such an imbalance can wreak havoc on a woman's body and cause menopause symptoms such as depression.
The Different Types of Depression
There are different types of depression in women, some of which are listed below:
Major depression. Identifiable by extreme feelings of sadness for a period longer than 2 weeks.
Dysthymic disorder. Less serious than major depression in women, but with longer lasting effects. Some studies have shown that it can last for up to 2 years.
Adjustment disorder. This form of depression occurs as a direct result of a specific traumatic event and can last for varying periods.
Treatment Methods for Depression
Different forms of treatment exist for women seeking relief from this potentially dangerous menopause symptom. If the cause of depression in women is identified as psychological, therapy is usually prescribed. However, if the cause is physical, a range of treatments that can rebalance hormone levels are usually the answer. Such treatment methods can come in the form of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which is used by millions of women around the world. The medicinal treatments in this article can include a number of dangerous side effects.
For this reason it is important to discuss with a doctor the different methods to treat depression in menopausal women.
Other Related Articles:
Menopause: Getting into a routine to beat depression
How to understand your wife's depression during menopause