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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Who is Most at Risk of Depression, Women Or Men?

By Bishop Chanakira
According to statistics, approximately one in six women will experience depression compared with one in four men. While there are factors that can explain this difference, not all is what is seems...
Depression is more common in women than men. Issues unique to women such as hormone, biological and life cycle factors may contribute to this statistic. For example, Researchers have shown that female hormones directly affect the chemistry in the brain which determines consequential moods and emotional responses. Postpartum depression, a more serious condition, may be triggered by the birth of a child although the condition probably existed before.
You many have heard of the "baby blues". This is a term commonly used to describe women with post natal depression. Often this is associated with the burden of responsibility of caring for a newborn child but could be more serious. Postpartum depression, a more serious condition, may be triggered by the birth of a child although the condition probably existed before. Often with this form of depression, women will have experienced depressive episodes before. The birth of a child may just be a trigger.
PMS or premenstrual syndrome, is another form of depression women experience and is often brought about by hormonal change. A more severe form of PMS called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), can also result. This typically occurs during ovulation or at the commencement of menstruation.
Another form of depression women suffer is associated with the onset of menopause. The reasons for this are not yet clear and studies are being carried out to assess the effects of estrogen on the brain and how this might lead to depressive illnesses.
Many argue that women also suffer additional stress in carrying out their role in the home. This might include such things as managing the household budget, raising children, preparing meals, cleaning the house, dealing with relationship issues and more. In addition to this, an increasing number of women are also holding down a job.
Finally, many women face the additional stresses of work and home responsibilities, caring for children and aging parents, abuse, poverty, and relationship strains. It remains unclear why some women faced with enormous challenges develop depression, while others with similar challenges do not.
So there are differences in the function of the womens bodies as well as external environmental influences that make their situation different from that of men.
Men often experience depression differently and often have different ways of dealing with the illness. They are more likely to acknowledge being tided, irritable, losing sleep or lacking in motivation. Women on the other hand are more likely to admit to feeling of sad, worthless or feelings of guilt.
Additionally, men are more likely to consume substances like drugs and alcohol than women. Often men will mask their problems by avoiding social situations and will spend more time on their careers. They are also more likely to become irritable, angry, aggressive and abusive than women.
So it is clear that when we look at the factors that influence depression, women experience many contributing factors that are different to men.
Finally, note of caution. Some researches argue that we should be careful with the data though. Men are more likely not to seek help for depression due to the perceived stigma that society often attaches (e.g. being weak, unable to come etc). So the data may be somewhat skewed.
The statistics show a higher incidence of depression amongst women than men. There are factors linked to depression that affect women differently than men and this could explain the data. However, men are less likely to seek help and this could be skewing the numbers.
Bishop writes about depression in an effort to help people find depression help. He also writes articles about the topic in an effort to grow the body of knowledge on the topic.

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