Being a woman is a challenging task. You assume a lot of roles every single day. It doesn’t change if you go to work or stay at home, a lot of issues need your hand to right itself. This cycle of life brings ups and downs, challenges, sadness, happiness, success, failure, testing all emotional limits. It is quite normal that circumstances leave you in a pit at times. But, it assumes abnormal dimensions when you are not able to climb out of it in a few days and it starts affecting your day to day lives.
Depression, a psychological condition, affecting twice the number of women than men, is a pervasive mood disorder. It causes a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, sadness and worthlessness. It can occur due to a number of reasons. Some mood swings are often related to hormonal changes, but depression is not the product of hormonal imbalance alone. Heredity, conditions of life and circumstances related to it and certain diseases contribute to depression.
Depression can initially occur during puberty, when a lot of changes happen physically and emotionally. The conflict with parents, identity issues and increasing pressure to perform academically are the main causes of depression during puberty. Depression occurs due to premenstrual problems as well. Although PMS (Pre-Menstrual Syndrome) have short lived symptoms, in some cases it causes severe symptoms and depression. This is known as PMDD (Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder).
Serotonin, a brain chemical controlling the mood, gets effected by changes in estrogen and progesterone levels. This can lead to mood swings or depression. Lifestyles, stress from work, infertility, miscarriage, relationship problems all lead to depression. The onset of menopause can also lead to depression.
The major signs or symptoms denoting depression are mood swings, sadness, hopelessness, panic attacks, tension and stress, feeling of being out of control, lack of energy, a change in appetite, change in sleeping pattern or sleep disturbances, feeling of tiredness or exhaustion, inability to concentrate or remember details, guilty feelings and suicide tendencies. Activities or things that earlier interested or engaged you, would appear to be boring. Certain physical problems like aches, cramps, pains, headaches, digestive issues, bloating and breast tenderness are also noted as symptoms of depression.
The treatment for depression starts with identifying the disorder. Depression can go unnoticed easily in the initial stage. With a considerable amount of social stigma associated with it, people often find seeking medical attention to be difficult. But consulting a doctor in the early phases can bring the disease under grabs easily. The main treatment regimen for depression includes medication and therapy. Anti-depressants are the main medicines assigned for depression. Keeping aside a few side effects, these medication helps in regularising the mood to a great extent.
The main therapy involved in the treatment of depression is CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. It is a talk therapy, teaching new coping habits and ways of thinking to the patient. About 80% of the women are cured with the help of these. 1 woman out of every 4 experience depression at some point of life. There is nothing to be ashamed of it. With appropriate help, it can be cured completely.