Remember when these actresses spoke about their depression? Everyone was applauding their courage to come out and share their battle. And rightly so. However, ironically, this same society still finds it difficult to accept if someone in their circle is being treated for the same. People are afraid of colleagues or seniors getting to know if they are being treated for any mental issues (lest they are skipped in case of promotions etc). But it’s time that as a society we talk more about depression, increase our awareness and if required get treated – just like you treat every other disease.

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. It causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness.  But it’s not just limited to a sad and empty feeling.

DepressionHere’s a list of common symptoms of depression (source:http://www.webmd.com)

  • 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 waking
  • 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

A year-long survey conducted in eight major Indian cities has revealed that an incredible 70% of urban Indians (age group 15 to 50 years) have suffered from spells of depression in the past two years, and most of them – 90% – have contemplated suicide in the same period. (Source : https://aasrasuicideprevention.blogspot.com/2012/10/)

Depression statistics

Possible triggers

Different stages in life and different events can trigger depression. Some of the common triggers recorded for women are conflicts, serious illness or death of someone close, and stressful events like marriage, divorce, separation, personal illness or injury, dismissal from work etc.

Along with this, there are certain types of depression that are unique to women. These are the specific times when women are most vulnerable.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

As many as 3 out of 4 women experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome).during PMS  women experience moodiness and irritability, bloating, cramps headaches just before the periods. PMDD is a very severe form of PMS. It is a serious condition with disabling symptoms such as irritability, anger, depressed mood, sadness, suicidal thoughts, appetite changes, bloating, breast tenderness, and joint or muscle pain. 3 to 5%of menstruating women experience PMDD

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal pregnancy is depression during or after pregnancy (postpartum depression).  During pregnancy, women often experience morning sickness, nausea and lots of physical changes to their body which comes with breast soreness, aches, pains and weight gain. Mood swings caused by hormonal changes accompany this is as well as thoughts of how things will change post the baby. These feelings are generally mild but sometimes they can get much more serious, which can again induce some or more of the symptoms of depression

Similarly, post the baby, the hormonal surge often causes a feeling of sadness and something known as “baby blues”. Postpartum depression is much more than just baby blues. It is a feeling of anxiousness, sadness, exhaustion which makes it difficult for a new mother to do activities. If you experience any of these symptoms or notice a loved one experiencing them, please encourage a visit to the doctor. Coz often after the baby is born, new moms want to feel capable of being able to handle the little one. At this time taking care of her own self, makes her feel like it is not right or she’s being incompetent

Perimenopausal Depression

Perimenopause is the stage of a woman’s reproductive life that typically begins in her 40s (or earlier for some) and lasts until menstruation has ceased for a year (and a woman is considered to be in menopause). The drop in estrogen levels during perimenopause and menopause triggers physical and emotional changes — such as depression or anxiety. But it is a myth that it is “normal” to feel depressed. If you are struggling with irritability, anxiety, sadness, or loss of enjoyment at the time of the menopause transition, you may be experiencing perimenopausal depression.

Why Women

Depression

Women are approximately two times more likely than men to suffer from major depression. (Research Agenda for Psychosocial and Behavioral Factors in Women’s Health, 1996).  This is because of the social conditioning which leads to lower self-worth and self-confidence. Women often play multiple roles and everyone expects them to excel at all. A working dad who is unable to make it to a school event for kids is not subjected to any negative judgment as a working woman who would be in the same situation.  A working woman is still expected to be the primary caretaker of the house and children. This coupled with bias at the workplace adds to increased pressure.

Remember: Depression affects each individual differently. And you can treat even the most severe cases of depression. With medication, psychotherapy (where a person talks with a trained professional about his or her thoughts and feelings), or a combination of the two. It is time we change our outlook about depression. Just as we visit the doctor for every other illness, we should for depression too.
This post is a part of the #womenwellness blogathon. We have some wonderful bloggers write about topics like periods, breast cancer, PCOS and other women centric issues that are sometimes hushed or even considered taboo

Our previous blogger in the series was Deepika Verma from makeupmagique.com  (thank you for handing over the trail to me)… You can also follow her on Instagram and  Facebook

Next we have Misha who blogs at Freshlybakedhead, you can catch up with her on Instagram and Twitter

Happy Reading!
Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash, Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Sources: https://www.nimh.nih.gov & http://www.webmd.com/depression

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Author

I am a stay at home mom, having worked in the software technology services space for over 10 years. In my professional life I used to enforce quality standards like CMMi & Six Sigma to make developers and testers jobs easier & process oriented. In my current stint I am using similar techniques coupled with age old wisdom from my mom and grand mom to make our living healthier and medicine free. To start any new stint it helps if you read and train and so I got myself a diploma in Naturopathy from Mumbai.

33 Comments

  1. I have been through this phase though it was just a post partum depression but it took me about a year to get out of the depressing time and thoughts.. I still get shivers when i look that time.. Great post.. Gonna help every woman who reads it. Thank you so much for the efforts..

  2. Depression is like slow poison, it kills you each day. Since lot of taboo is associated with depression people try to hide it. When Deepika Padukone came out openly about depression, people were surprised. The think one need to understand about depression is that its an illness like any other. Women have to face it more bcos of hormones. Great post. Hope this post reach lot of women.

  3. Depression is one thing where people don’t want to talk about it…if they talk then they don’t want to address the issue to themselves…they will address to somebody else…

  4. My mom is in this state of depression. We never come to know that what Situation forced her to go in this state of depression. She also dnt know anything about her problem. Even doctors have not much knowledge how to come out of it. She even forced herself to cry louder without any reason.still your tips can be helpful for her. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Depression is so common in today’s society. However, the stigma attached to it hasn’t faded. It is nice to learn more facts about depression. Wish our society changes its opinions on this.

  6. Unfortunately we don’t want to talk about it much.. One of my friend is going through it.. She also knows it but afraid sharing it with family.. Don’t under why we need to hide abt it.. Love you fro writing on this :)

  7. O Sabeeka .. this is such an imp post. Depression did hit me too. Its so tough sometimes u know., but i was blessed with a supportive husband and family who preferred to take help and we fought it out together.

  8. This is such an important topic to talk about. Depression is the most amongst women and majority times we can’t recognise it because there are no visible symptoms. Its a great article Sabeeka. Congratulations!

  9. This is an amazing post Sabeeka! you have touched every point that leads to depression! I had depression after my 3rd baby and thank fully complete support by my family helped me overcome it! It is important to seek help if you know you are depressed!

  10. I think it’s really important to realize the symptoms and accept the fact that one is under depression. Living with it day and day out can really hamper a person in long run. It was about time Sabeeka that some addressed this like this. High respect for you. Really amazing posts.

  11. I myself have faced depression in my life. I think if you keep yourself busy you do not get to think on depressing thoughts and being. I loved the way you have mede the post so informative. thanks for sharing

  12. Papri Ganguly on

    Many people face depression these days, it is very common in today’s life. Some time I go through it some time recover. This post will help someone in need definitely.

  13. Depression is so common and as serious as any other life threatening disease, sadly it is also highly underrated. Acknowledging it in the right tine is very important.

  14. You highlight a very serious area in your post. I was very depressed during my pregnency but I over come I engaged myself into blogging. It’s work as a medicine. Our society our family doesn’t accept this emotional disorder.

  15. Depression may be acceptable , but people start to sympathise more than empathise. They will try and make life easier for you, maybe as you said take away your responsibilities and not promote at a job. It is still a condition people hope will go away if we watch happy movies and dance. Well it doesn’t robin Williams for example. Medication is important mode of treatment.

  16. Well, what can I say when the stats say it all – India is the most depressed country in the world, as per WHO (2015) with over 34% Indians going through depression at least once in their lifetime. On one side, there are such staggering stats and on another here are us, Indians, calling it a rich man’s disease or comparing it to laziness, arrogance, bad temper, a phase, and what not.
    On top of that, we are quick to call temporary moodiness a depression and run away and isolate the depressed person when it’s for real.
    I applaud you for taking up this subject and speaking about it especially with reference to working women and postpartum depression. Having gone through that myself, I understand the pit that forms in your stomach and your own people turn against you.
    Sensitisation of the masses and support for the depressed is the need of the hour!
    Thanking for this post. :)

  17. This article is extremely relevant for me personally. In today’s world, where everyone’s in a mad rush to get ahead, we often overlook small details of life. Mental health is nothing short of an epidemic and mostly overlooked. There must be more awareness about depression.

  18. What bothers me about the conversations around depression is that the word is thrown around casually. Just like OCD – just because someone likes neatness they don’t suffer from OCD and just because some one is sad they are not depressed. With celebrities coming out with their stories, it has also become fashionable to say one is going through depression. But yes, awareness matters.

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