Healthy parents raise emotionally healthy babies and a mother’s influence towards the same is great. No body can deny it. Hence it is imperative that females should have good mental health. The reality is, about 20 to 25 percent of women suffers with depression in their life time against 7 to 12 percent of men. This shows that women are very much prone to depressed than men. Depression strikes older women more often than men
In addition to environmental stressors and psychosocial factors, women are also influenced by biological factors to get depressed. That is why women are much prone to getting depressed than men
Reproductive systems like menstrual cycle, pregnancy, post pregnancy, hormonal genetic systems, infertility, decision of not having children, menopause are the leading factors for getting depression for women as far as biological factors are concerned.
Also other factors like Psychological which are clusters of certain personality traits, physical or sexual abuse and inadequate ways of coping problems leads to depression in women. They also have difficulties, coping with the demands of adjustment in newly married lives. In any family women’s initiative in taking care of old parents and upbringing the children are crucial. In addition to that if a mom goes for work, then she has a great responsibility of managing both the work and family. This keeps her running all the time. If women is housewife or becomes old, then she gets a lonely feeling after the children goes for school or job and husband to work. She will start thinking that the busy husband and children are not hearing and understanding her feelings. And if there is no intimate relationship with the husband the problem will be still worse. It will be so severe in case of divorce.
Women face depression due to hormonal changes after giving birth to child. These hormones have an effect on the brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood.
1) Baby blues – It happens in the day’s right after childbirth. The mother’s mood will swing. One time she will be very happy and immediately she will become sad. They feel irritable, impatient, anxious and restless. This will be only for one to two weeks after delivery and do not require any medication .During this period the new mother should socialize with other new mothers. This will help them to become normal.
2) Postpartum depression (PPD) – It can happen immediately after giving birth or even months after child birth. This is strong and effective than baby blue and persists as long as one year. On seriousness it requires medication. This type of depression can happen after the birth of any child and not confined only to the first child.
3) Postpartum psychosis-It happens to new mother within three months after giving birth. This is serious and severe. The mother will go out of reality. The symptoms are insomnia and angry and they need treatment
Researchers indicate that 74.4% women are not depressed either antenatally or postnatally and 4.8% women are depressed on at least one of two occasions’ .But 1.4% women persistently depressed on both occasions.
During menstrual cycle, in some women there will be recurrent brief depression which will be very brief. Some women experience behavioral and physical changes during the phases of their menstrual cycle. In some women the changes begin after ovulation till menstruation starts. It is called Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) – If the same thing is very severe and occurs regularly with other emotional physical changes including irritability and depression then it is called premenstrual dysphonic disorder (PMDD) which requires medication.
In old age during the transition into menopause, some women experience an increased risk for depression. These problems are not for men. Hence women have double the chance of getting depressed than men.
Depression in women is very serious and as a chain reaction it affects the family. Even stress during pregnancy can increase the chance of child getting depressed when becoming an adult. Hence women should be careful and should be aware of depression on how to avoid it. During pregnancy men should take care of their partner and ensure their partner is happy.
The first thing is, all men should understand the biological factors of women which also lead to depression in them. Having understood about that, men should handle the feelings of women in women’s perspective. They should understand the responsibilities of women at workplace and in family. They should be supportive to women. Seventy five percent of the problem will get solved by this.
A woman cannot avoid the biological factors and family responsibility. But what is in her control is her approach towards the issues and how she manages it. Usually women who are very much pessimistic thinkers and having low self esteem are prone to depression.
Education which brings financial freedom for women plays an important role in improving self esteem. They should have good reasoning power and logical approach in dealing with the issues.
Women should be social, they should not be isolated. Having a good network of friends will help them to share the issues and get genuine inputs and solutions to solve problems; this certainly helps in the event of not able to solve the problems of their own. They should not be shy of sharing their problem with others. Women do not assume that others will think that they are worthless if they seek others help. In fact so many people will be glad to help.
For women–Avoid stress, have good eating habits. Think great of you. Always try to be happy. SMILE. Have good sleep. Importantly, plan your finances. Done, you won’t be affected by depression.