In modern stressful societies more and more we are meeting depressed people (especially women in depression). According to surveys, every 20-25 person in developed countries is suffering from depression.
All women experience several “ups and downs” in their lives and just for describing negative feeling, very often women use words “depressed” or “depression”. But it does not mean all women with negative feelings suffer from medical condition called “depression”. Many women could feel sad or depressed but sometimes it could be just a normal reaction to death of loved once, complicated life problems and/or struggles, dramatic injures or something else. But when depression (sadness, helpless, hopeless, worthless) last long (weeks, months) and destroy normal everyday life and damage your normal functioning, it is not normal and it already could be illness called “depression”.
About twice as many women as men experience depression and scientists discovered several factors which are responsible for increased frequency of depression in women.
Millions of women experience depression each year. Depression is a serious medical condition that can occur in any woman – about one in every 7-8 women experience clinical depression during their lifetime. Women could have depression at any time of their life but most frequently depression is observed during reproductive period of women life – at 25-44. Depression in women does not have age limitation, race differences or social peculiarities. At the same time not all women with depression have same or similar symptoms – some women could have just few symptoms of depression, some could experience a bunch of symptoms. The frequency of depression symptoms, the severity and the duration of symptoms could be different in each woman (depending on type of depression, general health conditions, social and emotional status, etc.).
Some symptoms of depression are very common and can be experienced by majority of women with depression but some symptoms could be very rare and even sometimes unique. Most symptoms of depression are connected with mood, feelings and emotional status.
As during depression certain brain chemicals (so called “neurotransmitters” – mainly serotonin and norepinephrine) influence both mood and pain, some depression sufferers could experience certain physical symptoms including joint pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, sleep disturbances and/or appetite changes.
In some cases women experience depression symptoms constantly but some women mention depression symptoms only in spring and/or autumn (seasonal depression symptoms).
Depression common symptoms
Here is the list of most common depression symptoms:
- Concentration problems – reduced ability to think clearly, difficulty staying focused, difficulties in concentration on subjects and remembering details, short term memory loss;
- Constant unhappy feelings –feeling sad, guilty, worthless, helpless, hopeless;
- Sleeping dysfunctions – interrupted sleep, insomnia, early morning wakefulness, excessive sleep, nightmares;
- Eating disorders – binge eating, overeating, refusing food, appetite loss;
- Suicide episodes – intrusive thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts, suicide fantasies, thoughts of self-harm;
- Loss of pleasure in life – loss of interest in social activities, rejecting pleasant (before) hobbies, refusing sexual relations, cancelling and/or refusing meeting and invitation, lack of motivation, withdrawal from friends and family;
- Decreased energy – fatigue, slowed speech and movements, restlessness, constantly feeling tired, passive pessimism;
- Irritability, anxiety, extreme impatience and/or emptiness, sometimes panic attacks;
- Difficulties in making decisions – hesitating to take responsibilities, doubting in decision making, unsure in decisions made;
- Persistent aches and pains – muscle and joint pain, headaches, cramps, digestive problems, constipation or other intestinal problems;
- Changes – in weight, appearance, behavior, character, interests, lifestyle;
- Easily annoyed, bothered and/or angered.
It is important to mention that if you or your loved once have at least 5 of above mentioned symptoms for more than 2-3 weeks, it means serious illness called “depression” which needs professional consultation and medical support.
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