Women are twice as likely to experience major depression as men, according to The American Institute of Stress. To better understand why this is the case, let’s examine depression and how it affects both women and men.
Depression: Here’s What You Need to Know
Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It disrupts your ability to enjoy life and perform everyday tasks. Depression affects millions of Americans, as reflected in the following statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health:
- An estimated 17.3 million U.S. adults — or 7.1% of the U.S. adult population — experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2017.
- Among U.S. adults, 8.7% of women were prone to major depressive episodes as compared to 5.3% of men.
- In the U.S. 13.1 % of adults between the ages of 18 and 25 years old were susceptible to major depressive episodes — more than any other age group.
There are many depression symptoms such as:
- Loss of interest in everyday activities
- Weight gain or loss
- Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and guilt
- Difficulty concentrating
If you experience depression symptoms, consulting with a doctor offers a great starting point for addressing them. You and your doctor can work together to find a safe and effective solution to treat your individual depression symptoms.
A Closer Look at Depression in Women
Some experts believe that women are more susceptible to depression due to the hormonal changes that take place over the course of their lifetime. Pregnancy, menopause, and other life events trigger hormone changes in women that sometimes cause depression. These events may also trigger mood swings, anxiety, and various mental health conditions.
There are risk factors associated with depression in women, and these include:
- Family history of mood disorders
- Loss of a parent during childhood
- Persistent psychological and/or social stress
- Lack of a social support system
- Physical and/or sexual abuse
In addition to major depressive disorder, women may experience postpartum depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Postpartum depression can affect women after childbirth. Its symptoms include anxiety, restlessness, loss of energy, and other depression symptoms that may last for months after the birth. SAD depression symptoms are seasonal and often occur in late fall or early winter, with symptoms eventually subsiding in spring and summer.
A Closer Look at Depression in Men
Like women, men sometimes experience depression symptoms. However, men may be more prone than women to try to hide sadness or other depression symptoms. Men may also be more likely than women to use alcohol or drugs to cope with depression.
There are many risk factors for depression in men, too. These factors include:
- Genetics: Men with blood relatives who experienced depression are more susceptible than others to depression symptoms.
- Environmental Stress: Stressful situations like financial worries or the loss of a loved one sometimes trigger depression in men.
- Illness: Men dealing with Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease, or other serious medical illnesses may be prone to depression.
When it comes to addressing depression in men, it often helps to consult with a doctor. Once a man meets with a doctor, he can work toward finding a long-term solution to treat depression symptoms.
How to Treat Depression in Women and Men
The best depression treatment varies based on the individual, regardless of gender. Common depression treatments for both men and women include:
- Psychotherapy: “Talk therapy” enables patients to work with a mental health professional who offers insights into depression symptoms. This professional also helps their patient work through thoughts or feelings that contribute to depression symptoms.
- Medications: Antidepressants are sometimes used to treat depression symptoms, but they may require several weeks before they start working. These medications may cause headache, nausea, and other side effects as well.
- Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) therapy involves the use of a magnetic coil placed on a patient’s head to create a current that stimulates neurons in the brain responsible for mood.
If you are struggling with depression symptoms, some of the best ways to help alleviate these symptoms on your own include:
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Discuss your thoughts and feelings with family members, friends, and other loved ones
- Avoid alcohol and drugs
- Seek out professional help
There are also many things you can do to help a family member, friend, or colleague dealing with depression, such as:
- Provide encouragement and support whenever possible
- Serve as an active listener
- Ensure he or she attends doctor’s appointments on schedule
For those who are dealing with depression symptoms, Achieve TMS is available to help, too. Our dTMS therapy is non-invasive, and each treatment session usually only requires about 20 minutes per day to complete. Deep TMS therapy is completed over the course of several weeks to help each patient achieve long-lasting relief from depression symptoms.
Achieve TMS is happy to provide depression resources and teach you everything you need to know about dTMS therapy, how it works, and its benefits. To book a free consultation, please call or text us today at 877-296-4968.