Statistics gathered by National Institute of Mental Health show that 6.5% of women have a major depressive disorder in the United States. There are many events in a woman’s life that could cause depression. Fluctuating hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, and post menopause can contribute to depression in women, according to the leading authorities on the etiologies and treatments for depression. Depression is more common than many people think. Recent burgeoning research shows at least 15% of women take an antidepressant at some point during their life. Some of the possible culprits of depression are genetic factors, hormones, life stress and trauma. Based on recent data compiled, women suffering from major depression have a first degree relative with depression. Depression can develop in anyone, regardless of race, culture, social class, age, or gender. It is unclear why more women suffer from depression than men. Some contributing factors to these statistics could be that men are less willing to admit and recognize they have problems than women.
Depression is a serious medical illness that is much more than temporarily feeling sad or blue. Although depression is a treatable illness, it is often a life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences of illness. Around 60% of depressed women will experience one or more episodes of depression. An even higher percentage, 75% to 80% will experience recurrent depression if not monitored. With each reoccurring episode, there is a strong chance of complete relapse.
Most women can treat mild depression by implementing changes to their lifestyle. A healthy nutritious diet and exercise along with supplemental therapy can help overcome mild depression. If proper measures are not taken there is potential of developing major depression. Major depression can impair a person’s social and physical function. The World Health Organization Report found, “depression presents the greatest disease burden for women when compared with other diseases.”
Approximately 30-35% of individuals taking antidepressants do not respond them. Many choose alternative therapies, which include meditation and relaxation, exercise, acupuncture, and herbal agents, such as St. John’s Wort. Always consult a Physician before starting any medication.
Medications helps with mild to moderate depression:
- Help elevate mood by raising circulating Serotonin levels and assuring proper utilization
- Help restore the appropriate production of Serotonin and Norepinephrine
- Help diminish anxiety by regulating Cortisol release
- Help restore clear sentient thinking and appropriate reality testing
- Help calm and diminish oversensitivity