depression, women

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Depression In Women


What are some reasons that women suffer from depression?
Women seem to experience depression and depressive disorders about twice as often as men do. Hormones can contribute to the increased rate of depression in women. Other factor can include menstrual cycle changes, pregnancy, miscarriage, postpartum period, pre-menopause, and menopause. Women may also have to deal with the stress from work and home, being a single parent, and caring for children and for aging parents.

A study from the National Institute of Mental Health showed that women who are vulnerable to premenstrual syndrome experienced relief from mood and physical symptoms when their sex hormones were suppressed. After the hormones were reintroduced, they again started to develop symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Women who did not have a history of premenstrual syndrome reported no effects of the hormonal suppression.

Many women are also vulnerable to depression after the birth of a baby. The hormonal and physical changes, as well as the added responsibility of a raising a child, can be factors that lead to postpartum depression in some women. While depressive thoughts are common in new mothers, a full-blown depressive episode is not a normal occurrence and requires intervention. Treatment by a physician and having emotional support for the new mother are important elements to consider in helping her to recover physically and mentally. It also will increase the ability to care for the child.

Men - Elderly - Children


Brain and Mental Health


References and Sources: Medline, Pubmed, National Institutes of Health


last update: February 2009


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