Every woman gets “down” occasionally. But if your blue mood is lasting longer than a few days or is very intense, you might be dealing with depression.
Depression is not a “normal” part of being a woman.
Here are the common symptoms of depression:
- Feeling sad or empty
- Feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Feeling very tired
- Not being able to concentrate or remember details
- Not being able to sleep, or sleeping too much
- Over eating, or not wanting to eat it all
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
If you are a woman, there are some specific types of depression that can affect you. These types of depression include:
- Major depression – severe symptoms that interfere with a woman’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. And episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s life time. But more often, a person can have several episodes.
- Peripartum depression – the symptoms of depression began during pregnancy.
- Postpartum depression – The symptoms of depression began either during pregnancy or in the month after giving birth. Women who have had episodes of depression before they become pregnant are at increased risk of postpartum depression.
- Persistent depressive disorder – depressed mood that last for at least two years.; May have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder – symptoms include severe mood swings, depressed mood, and anxiety that appear consistently in the week before a woman’s menstrual period and lift within a few days. Symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily activities and relationships.
There are many things you can do to help yourself if you are depressed. Fortunately, all types of depression are very treatable. More than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. For more information, check out the National Institute of Mental Health.
Check out the first part of this series for more information.
Stacey Wald, LPC, RD
Swald @ growcounsleing.com