Depression is one of the most common mental health disorder; it affects over 19 million American adults each year. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by at least four symptoms such as changes in sleep, weight, appetite, decreased energy, the feelings of worthlessness, difficulty thinking, being able to concentrate, or decision making; or recurrent thoughts of death, and thoughts or attempts of suicide. “Depression is more prevalent in woman” (Kessler et al., 1994b; Robins & Regier) and it is one of the most common health risk in women. Women are often more likely to suffer from depression during marriage than if single, whereas for men are more likely to suffer depression when single than married, and increases with the number of children in the house. There are many factors to depression in women including but not limited to: hormonal, genetic, infertility, animal models, family responsibilities, gender roles, sexual abuse, work related issues,and trauma. Depression in women is mentally and physically painful but has treatment options available.
Depression is well known for its mental or emotional symptoms. Symptoms for depression include: persistently sad or unhappy mood, little to no interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions, anxiety, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, and thoughts of death or dying. People often describe it as a loss of their life into the darkness, where the present is joyless, the past meaningless, and the future nonexistent. Everyone is allowed to feel sadness or moods especially after tragic events such as death, the end of a personal relationship, or economic difficulties; these are all normal feelings. It is a continuous sense of these feeling and being unable to process past them, that a more serious form of depression has taken hold. The damage caused by the emotional and mental effects of depression can be more than just hurting and pushing away friends and family, ruining careers, and even result in death by suicide.
Depression not only takes a toll on a person mentally and emotionally but physically as well. Depression can cause chronic physical pain. Depression can cause many things such as: fatigue or loss of energy, sleep problems, changes in appetite, excessive crying, headaches, back pain, muscle aches and joint pain, and digestive problems. Depression can also be more predisposed to some than others especially if: there is a family history of depression, a parent who has committed suicide, a personal history of substance abuse, eating disorders, or a family history of such disorders, unresolved grief over a major life loss and unresolved anger. These symptoms should not be taken lightly by either the person suffering from depression or loved ones around the suffering party. These are serious symptoms of a serious illness, and often without proper treatment will only get worse. Depression in women is hard to treat due to the way women feel about it. Many women believe that depression is apart of ‘aging’. ” Women of color face the dual problem of sexual and racial/ethnic discrimination, thus, raising the level of stress associated with discrimination” (reskin, 2000). Depression can become fatal if untreated causing someone to seek death as an escape or release from the mental and or physical pain of depression. The two most common approaches in treatment are antidepressant medications and psychotherapy but they are not the only available treatments. The milder the disorder the more numerous are the options of treating it, often times the treatment is simpler if discovered earlier on, someone suffering from possible depression should make an appointment with their family doctor and discuss further treatment options.
Depression is a serious illness and should not be left untended; there are serious side effects and possible loss of life if it gets severe enough. Depression is not a personal weakness or something to be ashamed of; depression is as serious an illness as any other medical illness. Often the person suffering from depression can get so deep in their depression they may be unable to seek help believing that there is nothing that can be done, which very untrue. Depression is more than just feeling a ‘little down’. It is not a personal failing, and it is readily treated. If you believe you may be suffering from depression it is important that you seek help, these conditions do not simply go away, nor will simply adopting a positive attitude cure you. Depression is as much an ‘infection’ as any other and needs professional help for proper treatment. With proper therapy and treatment you can feel better within weeks.