Would you like to learn about the symptoms and sings of depression in women in detail? Keep reading this article until the end for more important information regarding the signs of depression. Additionally, discover the severity of these symptoms and their impact on women's physical and mental health, as well as the quality of their daily life.
Signs of depression in women
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting approximately 300 million people worldwide. This chronic illness causes individuals to experience persistent feelings of severe sadness along with multiple physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.
The causes of depression vary from person to person; however, genetics play a significant role in the production of brain chemicals that contribute to feelings of sadness and despair. As a result, antidepressant medications are often prescribed by psychiatric physicians to restore the balance of chemicals in the brain.
Recently, depression can also be treated at home without medication through natural herbal remedies, relaxation and meditation sessions, exercise, improving diet, and other methods. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven to be highly effective in treating mild to moderate depression, but it requires the guidance of a specialized and professional therapist to assist the patient in the healing process.
Symptoms of depression in women
Women tend to experience higher levels of depression symptoms compared to men, especially during the period leading up to and immediately following childbirth, as well as during the menstrual cycle. In general, women suffer from physical and psychological symptoms of depression, which we will outline in detail in the following article.
Physical symptoms of depression in women
1) Recurring Digestive Disorders: Women with depression often experience various digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea and constipation, bloating, indigestion, and more. Depression can also cause a decrease in appetite, leading to weight loss and an increased risk of other physical and psychological disorders.
2) Insomnia and Sleep Disturbances: Another prominent physical symptom of depression in women is experiencing sleep disturbances and chronic insomnia. Depression is associated with a deficiency in the happiness hormone serotonin, which usually converts to the sleep and relaxation hormone known as melatonin in the pineal gland.
3) Difficulty Breathing and Shortness of Breath: Women with depression often struggle with significant breathing difficulties and constant shortness of breath throughout the day. This feeling intensifies in stressful situations and under pressure because depression triggers the adrenal gland to release high concentrations of the hormone adrenaline, which affects the airways.
4) Sexual Behavior Disorders: Women, just like men, experience sexual difficulties associated with depression, especially during the menstrual cycle. Additionally, depression can cause some women to experience sexual aversion, leading to a lack of intimacy with their partners and potentially resulting in marital problems and relationship breakdown.
5) Fatigue and Lethargy: Individuals with depression lack the energy to perform household chores and struggle with their responsibilities outside the home due to consistently feeling tired. Depression significantly impacts the body's energy levels, as it stirs up negative emotions and leaves the individual feeling lazy and lethargic all the time.
6) Muscle and Back Pain: Another symptom of depression in women is persistent pain that moves between the spine and muscles of the body. This pain can worsen if the individual consumes stimulants (such as coffee and tea), experiences anxiety-inducing situations, lacks sleep, or stays up late at night.
7) Heartburn and Chest Discomfort: Depression affects the peripheral nerves that control the contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle through specific chemicals. Women with depression often experience a constant sensation of heaviness, pricking, and heartburn because their bodies produce hormones and neurotransmitters that affect the heart, such as adrenaline and acetylcholine.
8) Dry Skin and Hair Loss: Women with depression suffer from several skin problems such as acne, breakouts, premature aging, dryness, itching, and other issues. Depression also causes hair problems for women, including hair loss, dryness, dandruff, brittleness, and various exacerbating issues that affect a woman's self-image and confidence.
9) Memory, Concentration, and Attention Impairment: Most women with depression experience significant memory, concentration, and attention difficulties in their work or studies. This often leads to academic underachievement, as their grades decline, and they may face job termination due to decreased performance.
10) Weak Immune System and Susceptibility to Diseases: Depression significantly affects the body's immune system due to high levels of cortisol hormone secretions (anti-inflammatories). This makes the body vulnerable to various diseases resulting from viral, fungal, parasitic, and bacterial infections.
Psychological symptoms of depression in women
1) Guilt and Self-Blame: One of the prominent psychological symptoms of depression in women is a constant overwhelming sense of guilt and self-blame. It's as if the woman has committed a crime or violated the command of an all-powerful God. This becomes part of the personality of a woman with depression, often making her overly self-critical and doubtful.
2) Social Withdrawal and Isolation: Women with depression find it difficult to socialize and struggle to communicate with others. They become introverted and prefer isolating themselves from others. This is primarily influenced by hormonal factors, as scientists have discovered that socially isolated and introverted mice experience a deficiency in oxytocin hormone.
3) Negative and Pessimistic Thoughts: The thought patterns of women with depression change over time and often become predominantly negative and pessimistic towards reality and the future. The decrease in certain brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine affects the mind and thought processes, rendering women unable to manage their thoughts effectively.
4) Irritability and Constant Anxiety: Most women with depression suffer from severe irritability and anxiety towards trivial matters and life situations. The depressed woman struggles to control her emotions and becomes reactive in front of others, leading to difficulties in social and emotional relationships.
5) Persistent Sadness: Depression can be observed through the face and expressions of women affected by this mental illness. A sorrowful countenance becomes evident to everyone and serves as a mirror reflecting their psychological well-being. The more a patient experiences a deficiency in the happiness hormone serotonin, the more they feel profound and long-lasting sadness.
6) Apathy and Loss of Interest: Another symptom of depression in women is the complete loss of interest in activities they previously enjoyed. They become indifferent to joyful events and situations that bring happiness to others. Depression alters brain chemistry, leaving women completely devoid of creativity and motivation in their daily pursuits.
7) Feelings of Worthlessness and Lack of Value: Women with depression often feel worthless in society and believe that everyone is better than them in terms of beauty, work, and education. Depression imposes a sense of worthlessness, making them believe they are not up to par, despite their qualifications and external beauty suggesting otherwise.
8) Feelings of Loneliness and Neglect: Women with depression often experience a sense of loneliness and neglect, feeling that their family and society do not show them adequate care and attention. This perception reinforces the belief that they are without value and not meeting societal expectations, leading to further isolation and entrapment in the cycle of depression.
9) Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms: Depression can trigger obsessive-compulsive symptoms, causing women to struggle with controlling their thoughts and managing their minds effectively. This is attributed to a deficiency in certain neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, specifically in the cortical regions.
10) Suicidal Ideation: The World Health Organization confirms that depression has become the leading cause of death worldwide. What is alarming is that individuals, whether women or men, who contemplate suicide do not comprehend the magnitude of the dangerous behavior they are considering. Prolonged suffering from depression affects one's thinking patterns, cognition, and turns a person into a puppet easily swayed in any direction.