Depression is not “one size fits all,” particularly when it comes to the genders. “Not only are women more prone to depression than men, but also the causes of female depression and even the pattern of symptoms are often different,” says Pat Rabjohn, MD, PhD of Rabjohn Behavioral Institute. Many factors contribute to the unique picture of depression in women—from reproductive hormones to social pressures to the female response to stress. Learning about these factors can help you minimize your risk of depression and treat it more effectively.
What is Depression?
Sadness or downswings in mood are normal reactions to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness.
Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don’t feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Common Complaints Include
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, and worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts or recurrent thoughts of death
- Sleep disturbance (sleeping more or sleeping less)
- Appetite and weight changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of energy and fatigue
There are many effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you decide what measures are most likely to work best for your particular situation and needs. If even the thought of tackling your depression seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change!
Dr. Patrick Rabjohn is a Mansfield, Texas Psychiatrist, and Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Dr. Rabjohn is Medical Director of Rabjohn Behavioral Institute treating psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, adult ADD and more. Dr. Rabjohn has been named Top10MD for two years an honor only 1-in-3 Doctors in the United States succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule your appointment contact Dr. Rabjohn at 817-539-2282.