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According to one study, women are twice as likely to develop depression in their lifetime as men are. Feelings of sadness, anxiety and even numbness are common, and you might refer to them as “the blues” or just “a bad day.” Sometimes, you might feel down because of a missed opportunity, a disappointment, or a stressful day. But if symptoms of depression persist and begin to interfere with your life, then you may have a more serious form of depression.

Some women will ignore symptoms of depression and believe that they will eventually be able to “shake off” persistent symptoms. Without outside help, however, that is not going to work. If you notice persistent symptoms of depression, talk to a therapist about your situation. Gone undetected or untreated, depression can seriously affect your quality of life and may lead to suicide or self destruction.

Depression affects every woman differently, so symptoms vary greatly. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • persistent sadness, anxiety and numbness
  • restlessness
  • excessive crying
  • loss of interest in things that once made you happy
  • sexual disinterest
  • guilt
  • helplessness and hopelessness
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • changes in appetite
  • suicidal thoughts or preoccupation with death
  • concentration difficulty
  • headaches and chronic pain

There are three types of depression.

  • Major depression, also called clinical depression, is the depression most commonly referred to. This occurs when any of the symptoms of depression persist for more than two weeks, and up to a few months or more and symptoms begin to interfere with daily activities, including the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy life. Many women who have suffered major depression will have it several times over the course of their lifetime.
  • Dysthimia is major depression that lasts continually for over two years. Persons with dysthimia might be consistently fatigued and listless, failing to feel enthusiastic about anything. In fact, symptoms of depression often become part of a person’s personality and sense of self.
  • Manic depression, also called bipolar disorder, is a less common form of depression that involves alternating between bouts of severe depression and mania. During manic episodes, people are hyperstimulated and may act out in impulsive and irresponsible manners. These manic episodes are characterized by talkativeness, euphoria, overly active behavior, irritability, and other erratic and impulsive behaviors such as sexual promiscuity and overspending.

Depression is often caused by a number of factors, including genetics, biochemical factors (the balance of neurotransmitters in your brain), environmental factors, social situations. Studies suggest that women are at a greater risk for developing depression than men because of hormonal, reproductive, interpersonal and biological factors. Depression is often treated by psychotherapy. There are also many types of antidepressants available that should be taken with caution, and under the careful supervision of a therapist.

Click below to read about related topics.

Panic Disorder
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Suicidal Feelings