Symptoms of Depression in Women

Symptoms of Depression in Women

Depression in women can manifest in many different ways, so it is possible for different women to have entirely different symptoms. Some women may experience a myriad of severe symptoms, while others may experience them on a much less severe level. In general, women are more prone to depression than men, mostly because of the numerous hormonal changes women experience throughout their cycle and lives. Understanding the symptoms of depression in women can go a long way to helping alleviate suffering from the condition.

Common Symptoms of Depression in Women

  • Feeling blue. It goes without saying that one of the most common signs of depression in women is a depressed mood itself.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities, sexual intercourse, and human interaction. Women who are suffering from depression tend to close in on themselves and shut the rest of the world out. If you or a woman in your life suddenly stops finding pleasure in activities that used to bring her joy, it is generally cause for concern.
  • Changes in sleep patterns. Some women suffer from insomnia when they are depressed, while others seem to want to sleep all the time. Any major change in sleep habits can signal depression in women, especially when combined with other symptoms.
  • Irritability or moodiness. These symptoms are most common in depression caused by hormonal changes. While everyone is entitled to a few days of mood swings during that particular time of the month, if your moods are constantly changing from one extreme to another, it could be a sign of depression.
  • Appetite changes. Like sleep, changes in appetite can go either way. For some, the very thought of eating is just too overwhelming and weight loss can occur. In other cases, women may eat more and gain a significant amount of weight from depression.
  • Difficulty focusing. Depression can steal your ability to focus on even the most mundane tasks, let alone those that require a significant amount of thought.
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions. When depression in women gets extreme, the woman may become preoccupied with thoughts of death, and may even attempt suicide. If you feel like you may hurt yourself or others, seek immediate medical attention.

Physical Symptoms of Depression in Women

While most people think of depression as a psychological illness, it can also manifest in physical symptoms. The most common include:

  • Headaches, especially migraines.
  • Back pain.
  • Muscle aches, especially if the woman is constantly tensing up.
  • Digestion problems, such as heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, or constipation.
  • Dizziness, which may be caused by lack of sleep, anxiety, and other issues that accompany depression in women.

It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms can be part of many other different types of illnesses, so if you suddenly develop any of them, talk to your doctor before assuming they are related to your depression. Also, not every woman will experience physical symptoms, so a lack of them does not mean depression doesn’t exist. Bottom line: if you think you may be depressed, then talk to a medical professional. You know your mind and body better than anyone, so listen to your instincts.

About the author

Nicole Etolen is a former nursing student. She is a contributor at OurFamilyWorld: an online magazine for busy parents trying to raise awareness a silent epidemic depression in women and its causes.

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7 Responses

  1. This is a great post and glad it’s posted on the lovely interweb, I think more people need to be aware of all the symptoms and signs of depression many people overlook these, it’s more common then many people think.

  2. Knowledge is half the battle… so knowing what the signs are is a great first step to making sure our mental health is in good order. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hi julie,

    We see that depression is often co-occuring with addiction. One infulences the other and both must be treated fo successful recovery. So grateful you are putting out such helpful information on depression. If we can recognize the symptoms of depression early so much pain and difficulty can be avoided.

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