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The symptoms of depression in women vary from mild to severe major depression and are distinguished by the impact they have on your ability to function. Common s of depression include:. But if you reach out for help, you will feel better. Read Are You Feeling Suicidal? For helplines outside the U. Women report experiencing depression at much higher rates than men. This gender disparity may be explained by a of social, biological, and hormonal factors that are specific to women. Premenstrual problems. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can cause the familiar symptoms of premenstrual syndrome PMSsuch as bloating, irritability, fatigue, and emotional reactivity.
For some women, symptoms are severe and disabling and may warrant a diagnosis of premenstrual dysphoric disorder PMDD. PMDD is characterized by severe depression, irritability, and other mood disturbances beginning about 10 to 14 days before your period and improving within a few days of its start.
Pregnancy and infertility. The many hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can contribute to depression, particularly in women already at high risk. Other issues relating to pregnancy such as miscarriage, unwanted pregnancy, and infertility can also play a role in depression. Postpartum depression. However, some women experience severe, lasting depression.
This condition is called postpartum depression and is thought to be influenced, at least in part, by hormonal fluctuations.
Menopause and perimenopause. Women may be at increased risk for depression during perimenopause, the stage leading to menopause when reproductive hormones rapidly fluctuate. Women with past histories of depression are at an increased risk of depression during menopause as well. The female physiological response to stress.
Women produce more stress hormones than men, and the female sex hormone progesterone prevents the stress hormone system from turning itself off as it does in men. This can make women more susceptible to developing depression triggered by stress. Body image issues which increase in girls during the sexual development of puberty may contribute to depression in adolescence. Thyroid problems. Since hypothyroidism can cause depression, this medical problem should always be ruled out by a physician.
Medication side effects from birth control medication or hormone replacement therapy. Health problems.
Chronic illness, injury, or disability can lead to depression in women, as can crash dieting or quitting smoking. Try keeping a log of where you are in your menstrual cycle and how you are feeling—physically and emotionally. This way you will be able to better anticipate when you need to compensate for the hormonal lows and reduce or avoid the resulting symptoms. It is important to remember that depression, at any stage in life and for any reason, is serious and should be taken seriously. There are many things you can do to treat your depression and feel better.
You can make a huge dent in your depression with simple but powerful self-help steps. But you can get there if you make positive choices for yourself each day and draw on the support of others. Getting support from people who care about you plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression.
At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help. You may have neglected your most treasured relationships, but they can get you through this tough time. Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. Make face-time a priority. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.
Find ways to support others. So, find ways—both big and small—to help others: volunteerbe a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody. a support group for depression. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.
In order to overcome depression, you have to do things that relax and energize you. Aim for eight hours of sleep. But you can get on a better sleep schedule by adopting healthy sleep habits. Keep stress in check. Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it.
Figure out all the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload, money problems, or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to relieve the pressure and regain control. Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can E black adult wives thinking of you relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being.
Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation. Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated. Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed—both powerful antidotes to depression.
Do things you enjoy or used to. Pick up a former hobby or a sport you used to like. Express yourself creatively through music, art, or writing. Go out with friends. Take a day trip to a museum, the mountains, or the ballpark. Come up with a list of things that you can do for a quick mood boost. But exercise is a powerful depression fighter—and one of the most important tools for depression recovery. Studies show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication at increasing energy levels and decreasing feelings of fatigue.
A minute walk each day will give you a much-needed boost. Your fatigue will improve if you stick with it. But research shows that your energy levels will improve if you keep with it. Exercise will help you to feel energized and less fatigued, not more. Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic. The most benefits for depression come from rhythmic exercise—such as walking, weight training, swimming, martial arts, or dancing—where you move both your arms and legs.
Add a mindfulness element, especially if your depression is rooted in unresolved trauma or fed by obsessive, negative thoughts. Focus on how your body feels as you move—such as the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, or the feeling of the wind on your skin, or the rhythm of your breathing. Pair up with an exercise partner. Not only does working out with others enable you to spend time socializing, it can also help to keep you motivated.E black adult wives thinking of you
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