Let’s Talk About Depression…

While I certainly can’t cover everything there is to know or look out for when talking about depression in women, my goal here to is to not only inform and give you the basic facts but to also continue my plight to make depression a less taboo illness. So often mental illnesses go ignored due to the stigma that we as a society put on them. It is high time that we address these issues in our plight to become happier, healthier people.

Depression can come in many different forms, from feeling tired or helpless, to losing interest in hobbies, to having trouble working, eating, or sleeping. More women than men get depression (although it is not uncommon in either sex). In fact, 38.5% of adult women report poor mental health. That is a staggering amount that needs to be addressed.

In addition to the above mentioned signs of depression these can also be signs; feeling irritable, anxious, or guilty, feeling very tired, not being able to concentrate, not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, overeating or having no appetite, digestive problems, and of course thoughts of suicide.

And just like there are many symptoms of depression there are also multiple (and sometimes unexplainable) causes. Genetics can play a role. If you have a strong family history of depression you are more likely to develop depression yourself than those with no family history. Brain chemistry is also a big cause of depression. Studies have shown that those people diagnosed with depression have a different brain chemistry than those who do not suffer with depression. Hormones that control emotions and mood can also affect brain chemistry. These hormones can change throughout a womans’ life such as after having a baby (postpartum depression) or during menopause. And last but not least stress is of course a cause of depression (such as a loss of a loved one, a big life change, or being all around overwhelmed).

Treatment for depression can vary depending on cause, severity, diagnosis, and symptoms. The biggest recommendation I have for anyone who may suspect (or know) they are dealing with depression is to talk to a medical professional. There are so many tips, therapies, medications, and alternatives and there is no reason to suffer alone or suffer in silence. Let’s start the conversation and allow those women (and men) fighting with depression to get the help they need without embarrassment or shame.