Depression, in medical terminology, is a mood disorder with a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness and irritability. It affects both the gender. Depression affects approximately 19 million adults age 18 and above every year (source Mental health America). But studies show a gender disparity with women affected more than men.
Women suffer twice the rate more than men.
The age group of girls 14 to 18 years consistent higher rates than boys of the same group.
Depression most common in women in the age group of 25 to 44 years.
5 possible causes;
1Hormonal changes and fluctuation is a contributing factor. Hormonal changes started during puberty increases the risk. Girls attain puberty earlier than boys. Teenage girls suffer more from identity crisis, newly acquired sexuality, coping with parents, and academics.
2.Hormonal variation during the menstrual cycle, premenstrual symptoms may cause irritability, fatiguability and emotional reactivity. But they are mild and short-lived. In some cases can be severe, leading to Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
3. A different milestone in a woman ‘s life being pregnancy, postpartum phase, perimenopausal and menopause causes the risk to be high. Estrogen level slowly, significantly reduces and progesterone level rises. Progesterone level stimulates the stress hormones more unlike in men. Infertility, miscarriage, unwanted pregnancies also contribute.
4.Psychological causes like women tend to over think, ruminate more causes to negative thinking. Rumination and recurring thoughts can lead to tensions, anxiety, sadness, bouts of crying.
5. Social causes like troubled relationships, divorces, physical/sexual abuse, and societal stress like domestic responsibility, work pressure, low self-esteem. Eating disorders like bulimia, anorexia due to fear, anxiety, social phobia, dissatisfied physical appearance are very common in women.