Depression and anxiety often go unchecked
Did you know women are twice as likely as men to suffer from depression?
Depression and anxiety are two mental health problems commonly experienced by women, but which often go unchecked. Life events such as losing a loved one, going through a divorce or another relationship problem, losing a job and other difficult circumstances can often trigger feelings of sadness, loneliness, fear, nervousness or anxiety. These are normal reactions to the stresses of life.
However, some women experience these feelings on a regular (sometimes daily) basis for no clear reason, making it hard for them to continue with normal everyday life. If you are experiencing these kinds of feelings, it may be a sign that you are suffering from depression or anxiety, or both. In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression and vice versa.
The good news is that if you are struggling with symptoms of depression or anxiety, you are not alone – more women than you might think suffer in the same way. More encouraging news is that both anxiety and depression are treatable.
8 symptoms of depression in women
The symptoms of depression vary from mild to severe, and they are defined by the impact they have on a woman's ability to function. When they last for a short period of time, it may be described as having the ‘blues’. But when these negative feelings last for more than two weeks and affect the ability to work, study, eat and sleep, it could be regarded as a major depressive episode.
Most depression is mild, or moderately disabling, and common complaints include:
- Depressed mood.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy.
- Fatigue and lack of energy.
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness.
- Changes in appetite and weight.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Suicidal thoughts.
Causes of depression in women
There are a number of theories to explain the causes and the factors are broken into three categories: psychological, social and biological factors.
Psychological causes of depression in women
- Focusing on and rehashing negative feelings. Women are more likely to ruminate when they are depressed. This includes crying to relieve emotional tension, trying to figure out why you're depressed, and talking to your friends about your depression. However, rumination has been found to maintain depression and even make it worse.
- Overwhelming stress at work, school, or home. Some studies question show that women are more likely than men to develop depression from stress. Furthermore, the female physiological response to stress is different. Women produce more stress hormones than men do, and the female sex hormone progesterone prevents the stress hormone system from turning itself off, as it does in men.
- Body image issues. The gender difference in depression begins in adolescence. The emergence of sex differences during puberty likely plays a role. Some researchers point to body dissatisfaction, which increases in girls during puberty.
Social causes of depression in women
- Marital or relationship problems.
- Difficulty balancing the pressures of career and home life.
- Family responsibilities such as caring for children, a spouse, or aging parents.
- Experiencing discrimination at work, not reaching important goals, losing or changing a job, or retirement.
- Persistent money problems.
- Death of a loved one or another stressful life event that leaves you feeling useless, helpless, alone, or profoundly sad.
Biological and hormonal causes of depression in women
- Premenstrual problems. Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can cause the familiar symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as bloating, irritability, fatigue and emotional reactivity. For many women PMS is mild, but for others symptoms are more severe and disabling.
- Pregnancy and infertility. The many hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can contribute to depression, particularly in women already at risk. Other issues relating to pregnancy such as miscarriage, unwanted pregnancy and infertility can also play a role in depression.
- Postpartum depression. It's not uncommon for new mothers to experience the ‘baby blues’. This is a normal reaction that tends to subside within a few weeks. However, some women experience severe, lasting depression, called postpartum depression. This is influenced, at least in part, by hormonal fluctuations.
- Perimenopause and menopause. Women may be at increased risk for depression during perimenopause, the stage leading to menopause, when reproductive hormones rapidly fluctuate. Women with past histories of depression are at an increased risk of depression during menopause as well.
- Health problems. Chronic illness, injury, or disability can lead to depression in women, as can crash dieting or quitting smoking.
8 ways to treat depression and anxiety in women
Simple lifestyle changes can boost your ability to deal with stress. These include exercising regularly, avoiding the urge to isolate yourself, eating healthy food and making enough time for rest and relaxation. Other coping mechanisms include:
- Get a little sunlight every day. Sunlight can help boost your mood – aim for at least 15 minutes each day.
- Talk face-to-face about your feelings to someone. Share what you're going through with the people you love and trust and ask for the help and support you need.
- Be sociable. Try to keep up with social activities even if you don't feel like it. When you're depressed, it feels more comfortable to retreat into your shell. But being around other people will make you feel less depressed.
- Get up and moving. Studies question show that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication at combatting depression. You don't even have to hit the gym. A 30-minute walk each day will give you a much-needed boost.
- Aim for 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Depression typically involves sleep problems. Whether you're sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Create a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.
- Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation routine can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress and boost feelings of joy and wellbeing. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
- Find purpose. Dedicating time to a meaningful activity improves mood, reduces stress and keeps you mentally sharp. The activity can be as simple as taking up a new hobby or volunteering your time. You worry less about the aches and pains in your own life when you move your focus to a new interest.
- A doctor may prescribe depression tablets. These work to reduce or take away the symptoms and can be prescribed for up to a year. Like all medications, antidepressants can have negative side effects, including insomnia, sleepiness, nausea, weight changes and sexual problems.
How can natural supplements help treat depression?
Here are some of the benefits of using good quality anti-depression supplements like Herbal Ignite:
- Improved mood and emotions.
- Reduced stress and anxiety levels.
- Better concentration and energy levels.
- Increased productivity and physical and mental performance.
- Better quality sleep.
- Improved health.
How Herbal Ignite for Women helps relieve depression and anxiety
Herbal Ignite for Women is an over-the-counter dietary supplement taken daily with food to support pre-menstrual tension and menopause and to restore hormone levels to a healthy balance. It also helps reduce stress levels and increase libido.
Herbal Ignite for Women contains four key ingredients:
- Damiana is the key fatigue and stress fighter in Herbal Ignite for Women. Known as the ‘ultimate feel-good herb’ for women, it combats fatigue, relaxes the body, reduces stress and anxiety, lifts mood and enhances sexual response. It also helps balance female hormone levels, control hot flushes and is especially renowned for its libido enhancing qualities.
- Dong Quai is known as ‘the women’s herb’ or ‘female ginseng’ because it is recognised in traditional Asian medicine as an excellent all-purpose women’s herb. It is used to calm nerves, relieve anxiety and mood swings, aid in the treatment of various skin conditions, promote youthfulness, reduce stress and is also considered effective in treating cancer. It also helps restore hormonal balance, improve menstrual regularity and relieves PMS and hot flushes.
- Tribulus Terrestris is a general tonic that supports sex drive, ovulation and reproductive health. It also balances hormone levels, boosts vitality and sense of wellbeing.
- Horny Goat Weed has been used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac to increase libido, improve sexual response and function and create a feeling of wellbeing during menopause. It has been used since ancient times to promote physical and mental energy. It stimulates libido by enhancing sexual response and orgasm, relieves symptoms associated with PMS and menopause, balances hormones, relieves stress and aids in the treatment of osteoporosis.
Horny Goat Weed contains a flavonoid called Icariin that assists to increase nitric oxide levels relaxing genital muscles in men and women, promoting erections and orgasms. It also influences the stress hormone cortisol to help relieve stress.
Herbal Ignite has been used successfully by thousands of men and women in New Zealand and Australia to help beat stress and fatigue, boost libido and sexual satisfaction. It is 100% natural and free of unpleasant side effects. It is made in New Zealand to the highest standards, with thorough testing and guarantees of no adulteration or undeclared ingredients.
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Disclaimer. This information is provided for general informational purposes only and does not substitute for the advice provided by your medical professional. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed.