Depression is a mood disorder that can affect anyone. The signs of depression in women largely overlap with those of men. However, depression tends to occur in women at higher rates than in men. Societal expectations may play a role as women are expected to be more outwardly emotional and expressive. In fact, women tend to disclose mental health issues to their general practitioners more regularly than men. As a mood disorder, depression can cause intense negative emotions. These, in turn, contribute to the signs of depression in women. Find help at our depression treatment center when you call The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® at 855.773.0614.
What Are the Signs of Depression in a Woman?
The signs of depression in a woman are the same as they are for men. What is often different is how women express or display specific symptoms. For instance, women with depression are more likely to experience sadness, whereas men report anger as a symptom of depression more often. This is likely influenced strongly by traditional gender roles that continue to play a societal role in America today. The most significant signs of depression in a woman include:
- Negative emotions
- Lack of motivation or pleasure from activities
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight gain or loss
- Sleep troubles
- Self-harm or suicidal thoughts
The negative emotions category deserves a bit more unpacking, as numerous things fit into that one sign of depression. Depression is characterized by pervasive sadness and feelings of worthlessness. Other emotional expressions that are common to depression are irritability, anger, and distress.
Self-harm is another sign of depression in women that deserves more attention. This behavior is often something women try to hide from their friends or loved ones. Cutting is a common form of self-harm, but it can manifest in things like emotional self-flagellation or self-starvation. The latter may be present in cases where depression influences weight gain, which can unearth body image issues that create a vicious cycle.
The last sign of depression in women worth detailing a bit more is suicidal thoughts. This is one area that diverges quite a bit from men. Women attempt suicide at higher rates than their male counterparts. However, men tend to succeed more often because they choose more lethal means when attempting suicide. Few things indicate a need for intervention more clearly than a suicide attempt. Hopefully, timely recognition and intervention can prevent suicidal actions.
Types of Depression that Are Unique to Women
Earlier sections pointed out that the signs of depression apply to both men and women. However, certain types of depression are unique to women. Specifically, these are perinatal and postpartum depression. Perinatal depression occurs during pregnancy, while postpartum depression happens after the pregnancy. Symptoms of both run parallel to typical depression. However, postpartum depression is often compounded by a few factors. Women may feel like they are bad mothers, disconnected, or unable to bond with their baby, and they need to be away from the baby. Common risk factors for postpartum depression include:
- A history of mental health issues
- The presence of domestic violence or a lack of support
- Traumatic or high-risk pregnancy
Experiencing postpartum depression does not mean someone is a bad mother or incapable of caring for their child. Instead, it indicates a need for extra support through therapy, medication, or even rehab.
Begin Healing at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® offers comprehensive mental health treatment designed specifically for women. Women face unique challenges navigating modern life. Without support, mental health can suffer. Even when life is going well, mental health doesn’t always follow suit. It’s not a reason to beat yourself up. It may just be a sign you need help. Reach out to 855.773.0614 to discover the benefits of women’s depression treatment at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®.