Why Is Depression More Common In Females? Unveiling The Facts!
Various studies have widely depicted that twice as many women as men experience the symptoms of depression. However, these studies are mostly independent of ethnicity and race but depression is becoming common in developed countries. It would be interesting to know that boys and girls have equal chances of being depressed before hitting puberty, perhaps higher in boys. Even after the age of 65, the signs of depression fall down for both men and women. So why is depression more common in females, especially between ages 13-65? Well, there are no even factors but the answers are quite dependent on biological, psychological, personal relationships and sociocultural factors.
Let’s understand the facts to answer the question ‘Is depression more common in females’.
Reasons For Gender Differences In Depression:
As young girls reach the age of puberty, changes in hormones increases the risk of depression. It has to be understood that temporary fluctuations are common for both gender roles but reasons like emerging sexuality, identity crisis, differences with parents, peer pressure, etc. play their roles separately.
In fact, premenstrual dysphoric disorder is one kind of mood disorder that some girls face before the beginning of menstrual cycle in their lives. Moreover, it is also taken into account that girls reach the age of puberty before boys, hence the depression lifespan of women is longer than men. [Make sure you checkout signs of depression in teens and guide them in advance]
2. Hormonal Differences
The peak depression age for women accounts to their reproductive years which is generally in between 24-44 years. Releasing of hormones like estrogen and progesterone plays with mood disorders and even affects neurotransmitters and circadian systems of the body.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy is one stage that dramatically changes the mood of women due to hormonal differences. However other factors that play their roles within the moment include lifestyle change, relationship issues, unwanted pregnancy, miscarriage, previous episodes of depression, etc.
- Postpartum Depression: Bringing a baby into the world is beautiful but a hard phase for many. Postpartum depression or baby blues brings issues like constant crying, anxiety, troubled sleeping, inability to care for the baby, etc. Various physical, psychological and physiological factors come together to answer depression affecting women most.
- Perimenopause & Menopause: Hormone level in women again fluctuates during the transition stage before menopause and during menopause where anxiety, stressful events of life, weight changes, etc. come into the picture.
3. Difference Is Life Roles
Biological factors do not alone play a role in the contrasting difference between male vs female depression statistics. Some other factors include:
- Overburdened With Work: Women work in their offices and then finish the responsibilities at home after reaching back. The responsibilities go a little higher when they are a mother, especially a single mother. In order to raise a child, they even need to work at multiple places to make both ends meet. Sometimes, they also need to take care of elders or sick parents at home which simply multiplies the responsibility.
- Physical or Sexual Abuse: Another reason for why depression is more common in females than males is history of sexual or physical abuse at some point of life. It is a known fact that women abuses are higher in number than men.
4. Social Circumstances
It has been noticed that women who become housewives or choose to stay at home with their kids are being undervalued in society. However, those women who work outside the home even sometimes go through discrimination and inequality on various grounds. The difference between how sex is perceived as the ground of discrimination is why depression is more common in females.
5. Difference In Diagnosis
Usually, women are raised more emotionally driven whereas men are guided with toughness and do not display emotions. This point shows that there is a difference between coping styles between the two genders.
After learning the reasons for difference between depression in men and women, some researches have indicated that depression among men may remain undiagnosed many times as women seek help more than men. They are more likely to explain their symptoms to a therapist, be emotionally outpouring whereas men avoid interaction with the experts. And this difference of diagnosis impacts the results.
When To Seek Help?
No matter whoever is reading the blog, if you are facing any of the signs mentioned below then you must look out for help.
- Constant feeling of crying
- Hopeless, worthlessness or guilt
- Lack of interest in activities, sadness and fatigue
- Changes in appetite and weight fluctuations
- Anxiety, nervousness and panic attacks
- Physical aches and pain
- Difficulty in concentrating or remembering things
- Issues in sleeping or insomnia
- Feeling of suicide or thinking life is not worth living
If suicidal thoughts are making way in your life, call a local helpline number (1-800-273-8255) or 911(USA) or Suicide Prevention Helpline (India).
Also, learn how to help someone in depression and use your inner power to help them heal.
You Are Not Alone!
It is obvious that depression is a very sensitive issue and elevates with multiple reasons going in life. Understand that if you or someone needs to see a therapist and be a little more expressive then don’t stop. When depression doesn’t differentiate between men and women despite the causing factors, one must try to make their life better for themselves. So we would say that let’s keep the question ‘Is depression more common in females’ aside and fight against it altogether.
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