Table of contents:
- Sadness is a normal reaction to life's difficulties. However, most often the sadness goes away after a while and is replaced by other emotions. Depression works differently: it is accompanied by severe symptoms. Depression affects our feelings, thoughts, and ability to cope with everyday activities. She does not allow to work normally, sleep, eat. Moreover, in women, the disease occurs approximately twice as often as among men. What is the reason for this injustice?
- I'm not afraid of injections
- The illusion of equality
- I work as a mom
- Gifts of nature
- Forewarned is forearmed
Video: Why Women Get Depression Twice As Often As Men - Quality Of Life, Self-development
Sadness is a normal reaction to life's difficulties. However, most often the sadness goes away after a while and is replaced by other emotions. Depression works differently: it is accompanied by severe symptoms. Depression affects our feelings, thoughts, and ability to cope with everyday activities. She does not allow to work normally, sleep, eat. Moreover, in women, the disease occurs approximately twice as often as among men. What is the reason for this injustice?
I'm not afraid of injections
There is an opinion that women, in principle, go to doctors more often and honestly talk about their symptoms. There are beliefs that a man “should be strong” and cope with all difficulties himself. Hence the male tendency to avoid scrupulous medical procedures and hide the truth about his condition even from doctors. It is logical that adherents of such "masculine" models of behavior are also unlikely to share their experiences with psychologists and psychiatrists.
Is that why statistics show that women are twice as likely to get depression than men? Maybe it's just that no one knows for certain about how many men with depression live in the world? Such data distortions really haunt scientists and doctors.
On the other hand, this picture is already changing these days, albeit with a creak (often through the efforts of annoying women who will not calm down until they receive a certificate from a doctor that their husband / father / son is healthy or receiving the necessary treatment). Modern research methods, however, are geared towards such statistical inaccuracies, and, unfortunately, depression is far from easy.
The illusion of equality
Current research into depression agrees that depression is associated with a combination of genetic, biological, social, and psychological factors. I would like to hope that people reading this text live in a civilized society where equal opportunities for people with any gender identity are welcomed. But practice shows that this is still far from reality. Women really have a hard time.
The image of a suffering woman passes from generation to generation, fueled not only by role models from classical literature, cinema and visual arts, but also by the blatant realities of life. We will not delve into statistics on domestic violence, harassment, discrimination and rape. All this happens frighteningly often even in our era, where the future, it would seem, has already arrived, unless the cars are still flying.
The worst thing is that the still widespread public reaction to such incidents is victim blaming, that is, blaming the victim of a crime, violence or harassment for what happened
“I would dress more modestly, they wouldn’t come to you”, “There was nothing to contradict my husband” and everyone's beloved “Your place in the kitchen” - these are, unfortunately, quotes from the lives of our contemporaries, and not black humor from a vulgar movie …
In addition, many of us do not even realize how many social stereotypes are pressing on us almost every minute. The standards of beauty and success require us to be slim, but curvy, graceful, but strong, passionate, but modest, and at the same time always remain young, have children, run a household, earn good money and do everything. Yes, and no depression, you are a wonder woman! But the nervous system, unfortunately, is not rubber.
I work as a mom
Only women who have experience in raising children will truly understand this phrase. No matter how society instills the importance of motherhood in the self-realization of women, many of us remain active, purposeful, business-like even after the birth of a child. Unfortunately, in modern realities, cleverly juggling with household, personal life, work and motherhood is not a matter of whim and personal choice. In many ways, this way of life is dictated by the circumstances.
- Unlike in Western countries, where a woman goes to work as early as two to three months after giving birth, in Russia maternity leave is delayed by one and a half to three years (or even longer). Even if the financial well-being in the family allows you to come to terms with the negligible payments for childcare, over the years, a woman's life becomes completely different. Values, daily routine, requirements for working conditions change, and professional competence most often melts with every month of sitting at home.
- Salaries for women are on average 30% lower than for men, so in most cases the choice of a working parent is obvious. Less than 2% of dads use the opportunity to go on maternity leave instead of a spouse, which once again emphasizes our difference from Europe. For example, in Sweden, out of 480 days of parental leave, the father is obliged to take 40, and in Finland today more than 40% of men voluntarily decide to take maternity leave.
- Relatives are not always and not at everyone's hand, and due to economic situations, a nanny becomes an unaffordable luxury.
In such circumstances, depression is always around the corner. A general state of exhaustion due to prolonged stress, self-criticism due to the impossibility of self-realization, lack of social and emotional support, a feeling of helplessness and often hopelessness are a guaranteed recipe for depression. It remains to add hormones and genetics to the common pot.
Gifts of nature
In girls between the ages of 14 and 25, depression occurs twice as often as in their male peers, but this difference gradually fades with age. Puberty is an important risk factor for depression and other mental disorders. In boys and girls younger, depression is equally common (and, I must say, depression in general is getting younger), and among people over 65, depression is generally less common in both women and men. How can this be explained?
The answer is obvious and very depressing. Along with the ability to bear children, nature has presented us with some "female" mood disorders:
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder;
- perinatal, postpartum and climacteric depression.
All of them are associated with changes in the production of female hormones.
For example, unlike the well-known PMS, premenstrual dysphoric disorder can cause many unpleasant and sometimes dangerous symptoms: joint and muscle pain, loss of appetite or overeating, uncontrolled aggression, and even suicidal thoughts.
Pregnancy and childbirth are also not a test for the faint of heart. Along with normal for this period nausea, swelling, weight gain and emotional instability, pregnant women prone to depression find themselves chronic fatigue, pronounced anxiety or sadness, making even simple daily activities unbearable.
The same applies to postpartum depression: the general shock of the birth of a creature in need of round-the-clock service, a sharp change in the daily routine, social circle and interests, tension in relationships with a partner and difficulties in intimate life - this is not so bad.
The icing on the cake are disorders in the regulation of serotonin and dopamine and all the other delights of postpartum depression. She is truly dangerous with that illusory hopelessness, negative thinking filters, and sometimes suicidal intentions that are born in the head of a newly-made mother
Therefore, postpartum depression poses a risk not only for the life of a woman, but also for the baby, who is infinitely dependent on her during this difficult period.
Finally, all women age despite hyaluronic acid creams. Menopause is a normal phase in the development of the female body, but even here we are in for adventure. Sleep disturbances, mood swings, physiological changes, hot flashes. Plus worries about the transition to a new age category - all these consequences of hormonal changes make women extremely vulnerable to depression.
At the same time, the symptoms appear in everyone in different ways, and their severity, frequency of occurrence and duration depend on the individual characteristics of the organism, genetic predisposition, psychological stability and environment. So we all need to be on the lookout.
Forewarned is forearmed
So what is it worth knowing about depression to prevent biological, psychological, and social factors from playing a trick on you?
1. Depression is a real illness
Often, well-meaning relatives and friends urge people with depression to simply "pull themselves together" and "start enjoying life." But many don't really realize that depression is not laziness, weakness, or character flaw. Most people with depression do need treatment to get back to normal.
Therefore, if you are a friend or relative of a depressed woman, offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement. But never discount her experiences. It is better to help her see a psychologist or doctor in order to carry out the correct diagnosis and receive recommendations on the necessary treatment, and remind her that she will definitely get better soon.
2. Depression hurts
Sadness is just one aspect of depression. In fact, many people with depression don't even feel sad. Instead, physical symptoms such as muscle or headaches, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, and general fatigue may appear.
If you observe any physiological or psychological symptoms that interfere with your daily tasks and enjoyment of life, you should seek the advice of a psychologist, psychiatrist, or general practitioner. A competent specialist will certainly tell you how your symptoms correspond to depression and whether you need psychotherapy or medication.
3. Depression is treated
Even the most severe cases of depression are treatable. To date, effective protocols have been developed for dealing with this common disease. Research continues relentlessly to make treatments more and more successful. So the worldwide epidemic of depression is not at all connected with the fact that it is incurable, but with the fact that too few people seek help.
The main thing to remember is that depression manifests itself in different ways in every person. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment recipe. Depression can be treated with medication
There is a large selection of modern drugs that a psychiatrist chooses to reduce or completely avoid side effects.
Do not forget about conversational psychotherapy - for example, cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy in many countries around the world is recognized as a first-line treatment for depression and, according to some studies, is not inferior to the success of medication.
Many experts also recommend combining psychotherapy with medication to ensure a speedy recovery
Electroconvulsive therapy remains the last resort for severe patients, but in most cases this can be avoided by seeking help in a timely manner.
Don't underestimate the hardships of a woman's life. Do not succumb to other people's pressure, devaluation and discrimination, because, unfortunately, depression becomes their companion too often. If you feel that you need rest, support and help from specialists, take care of yourself so that in a more resourceful and stable state you will continue to take care of those who are dear to you.