Elyse Slaine reviews the facts about depression in women

Here are the facts about depression in women.
By: Greg Miller
Feb. 23, 2011 - PRLog -- Here are the facts about depression in women. In the U.S. about 15 million people experience depression each year. The majority of them are women. Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of those women do not get the help they need.

"Depression in women is very common. In fact, women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men. And as many as one out of every four women is likely to experience an episode of major depression at some point in life," said Elyse Slaine.

Depression is a serious and pervasive mood disorder. It causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. Depression can be mild to moderate with symptoms of apathy, little appetite, difficulty sleeping, low self-esteem, and low-grade fatigue. Or it can be major depression with symptoms of depressed mood most of the day, diminished interest in daily activities, weight loss or gain, insomnia or hypersomnia (oversleeping), fatigue, feelings of guilt almost daily, and recurring thoughts of death or suicide.

Symptoms of depression in women include:

* persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood

* loss of interest or pleasure in activities, including sex

* restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying

* feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism

* sleeping too much or too little, early-morning awakening

* appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain

* decreased energy, fatigue, feeling "slowed down"

* thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

* difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

* persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Mania is a highly elevated mood that sometimes occurs with bipolar disorder. Moods in bipolar disorder swing from the lows of depression to the highs of mania. Even though mania is an elevated mood, it is serious and needs medical assessment and treatment.

The symptoms of mania include:

* abnormally elevated mood

* irritability

* decreased need for sleep

* grandiose ideas

* greatly increased talking

* racing thoughts

* increased activity, including sexual activity

* markedly increased energy

* poor judgment that leads to risk-taking behavior

* inappropriate social behavior

Before adolescence, the rate of depression is about the same in girls and boys. However, with the onset of puberty, a girl's risk of developing depression increases dramatically to twice that of boys.

Experts believe that the increased chance of depression in women may be related to changes in hormone levels that occur throughout a woman's life. These changes are evident during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause as well as after giving birth, having a hysterectomy, or experiencing a miscarriage. In addition, the hormone fluctuations that occur with each month's menstrual cycle probably contribute to premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD -- a severe syndrome marked especially by depression, anxiety, cyclical mood shifts, and lethargy.

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Source:Greg Miller
Tags:Elyse Slaine, Health, Women S Health, Medical
Location:New York City - New York - United States
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