Siju YUSUF: Depression In Women
Whilst both men and women go through depression, it becomes a lot more amplified in women because of a number of reasons/causes. Below are some of them;
Changes in hormones. Onset of puberty may bring about these changes which in turn may be accompanied by other growing-up issues like identity crisis, parental conflicts, added responsibility to shoulder at tender ages while the male counterparts seem to yet enjoy blissful ignorance etcetera.
Menstruation also comes with its snag; anxiety and irritability for the larger percentage of women.
A study even shows that 3-8 percent of women suffer a particular kind of disorder-severe depression 1-2 weeks before their cycles (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. PMDD).
While some women may not have been diagnosed yet and some others do not know a disorder as this exists, it doesn’t assuage its presence or intensity.
Off the top of my head, I can count quite a number of women who would have to take some medication or even stay few days in the hospital during their cycles. This deals in no small ways with their mental health.
On a more personal note, I have lost count of how many times I have been in the middle of a conversation and I have had to drift into my own world mentally checking if my clothes are soiled or I could still take on one more hour of chatter.
Social Causes and the need or the pressure to live up to societal expectation is another huge cause of depression for women. The emotional built of women make them more likely to rehash negative events, worry over finances, worry over relationship issues, have a teetering work-life balance, loss of a loved one etcetera.
Where the male counterpart would be able to snooze or fall into a deep sleep in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds, women will naturally take longer. For some, until the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted, their minds will be in a state of unrest.
Pregnancy and the super dramatic way it’s hormones changes a woman’s erstwhile planned and packaged life is another huge reason.
So much happens in pregnancy or during the attempts at getting pregnant that I may not be able to adequately articulate in this write up. Take for instance the early pregnancy miscarriage scare or even the outright miscarriage.
Post partum depression is another cause. For some, no amount of preparation for the imminent change is enough. Some would experience crying spells and others would be angry or generally irritable. Aside the hormonal fluctuation side to Post partum blues, it can be as a result of birth complications, breast feeding problems etcetera.
It’s been said that depression is twice as likely to affect women than men.
The call is to look out for ourselves and our loved ones.
A bubbly spirit does not mean a happy spirit. It may actually be a cry for help.
Symptoms to watch out for include;
Loss of interest. This could be in new activities or even those that were formerly pleasurable.
Persistent feelings of exhaustion and tiredness. Goes hand in hand with loss of interest.
Forgetfulness. When that friend or you begin to ask the for the same details repeatedly, it is time to look inwards as their may be a greater problem.
Unhealthy sleep life. Sleeping too much or insomnia- the inability to sleep.
Unhealthy appetite. Too much or too little.
Irritability, worrying, absentmindedness.
And the final one, suicidal thoughts or attempts.
Whatever the stage or symptoms or the cause is, woman, know that you are not alone!
Taking your life may seem like a very good deal to you but take a minute to think over yourself, see the people whose lives may be ruined by your actions. Your action may just go on to cause a ripple effect. You succeed at the suicidal attempt, your loved ones fall into depression because of you, they then take the same route, and their loved ones and their loved ones and on it goes.
You see it doesn’t solve anything.
Accept an embrace.
Do not go into any shell.
Believe you are not alone
And together we will beat this!!
March 21, 2018