The Agonizing Effects Of Depression In Women
While no one is immune from suffering from depression and it can affect both genders, depression in women is more prevalent than in men. Women battle with the mental illness nearly twice as often as men. It is important to know why women seem more susceptible to depression and which symptoms seem to be more common to women sufferers. There are are also certain risk factors that may increase a woman’s chances of developing the disorder. Having the proper information about depression in women can hopefully help someone seek help and get the effective treatment they deserve and hasten their recovery back to their normal selves.
Common Symptoms of Depression In Women
Women may exhibit any of the common depression symptoms, however there are some symptoms that women experience more often than others. While these are tendencies, no symptom should be ignored. Some symptoms often seen in women may include:
- Feelings of guilt, blaming themselves for their problems
- Intense sadness
- Crying spells
- Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
- Feelings of anxiousness
- Fatigue and loss of interest in activities
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Changes in sleep habits
- Unable to think clearly and concentrate
- Thoughts of suicide or death
Suicide is always a risk for those battling through depression. While men commit suicide at a higher rate than women, women attempt suicide more often. Men tend to use more violent methods in suicide attempts, such as with the use of a gun, thus they are more successful. Women tend to use less violent methods of suicide, such as an intentional overdose, which tend to be less successful. Anyone in immediate crisis where suicide is a real concern should seek professional help or call or visit their nearest medical emergency center right away.
Why Is Depression in Women More Common Than in Men?
While the exact cause of depression is unknown, it is believed that the changes to a woman’s body throughout her lifetime and the fluctuations in hormone levels may play an important role in why women are more susceptible to depression.
Women are physiologically different than men. Before puberty, the occurrence of depression in young boys and girls is close to the same rate, however during and after puberty, the rates of depression in women dramatically increase to roughly twice that of men. Once these changes to a woman’s body start to occur, their chances of battling depression increase. From menopause, to giving birth, to their normal monthly menstrual cycle, a woman is constantly experiencing a rise and lowering of certain hormones throughout their body. These changes can lead to mild cases of depression, such as that of PMS, or it can lead to more severe cases of depressive episodes such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression (depression associated with giving birth) or major depression that can develop at the time of perimenopause or menopause.
Biological factors are not the only influences that may increase a woman’s chances of suffering from depression. Psychological differences between the genders may also play a role.
While men typically try to distract themselves from their problems, with work or watching TV, women tend to fixate and lament over their problems or the issues that are bothering them. This constant rehashing does nothing to alleviate the depressive feelings and may only maintain the depressive mood or make it worse.
Some research has found that women may respond to stress differently than men.
Women are more likely to develop issues with their body image. This may start at an earlier age as puberty starts to set in and girls become more aware of their bodies and the differences between the sexes. Cultural pressures play a role as media influences (TV and magazines) are more geared toward young and older women. The inability or desire to live up to these unobtainable standards may cause a woman to feel bad towards her body and may lead to the development of depression.
Although these are some factors that may produce depression more often in women than in men, there are a host of other factors common to both genders that may lead one to suffer a major depressive episode. Physical or sexual abuse, social, work or family stress and financial problems are some examples of factors that can play a role in depression. Having a family history of mental illness also increases the risk of developing the same disorders. It is important to be able to recognize the signs of depression in women so that one can get effective help and treatment.
Treating Depression in Women
Despite the fact that depression in women may have different symptoms and causes than that of men, treatment is typically the same for both genders. Clinical depression is usually treated with either antidepressants, psychotherapy or some combination of the two.
Antidepressants work to alter the level of certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine in particular, are believed to play a role in depression. Antidepressants have to be prescribed and are usually done so and monitored by a licensed, trained psychiatrist.
Psychotherapy, talk therapy, focuses on the root causes of a person’s depression. It gives support to the patient while trying to show them how their current thinking and behavior may be having a negative impact on their mood. Depending on the method, it can give the patient he ability to realize certain triggers to their depressive mood and give them problem solving skills to avoid and work through stressful situations more effectively.
Patients who seek treatment have an estimated 80% success rate of treating their depression when working with trained and qualified mental health professionals using the methods above.
Some Facts About Depression In Women
- Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression than men.
- Women are more likely to attempt suicide than men, although men are more successful in their attempts at suicide.
- An estimated 1 in 8 women in the US are expected to develop clinical depression at some point during their lives, with nearly 12 million battling clinical depression every year.
- Depression in women happens most frequently between the ages of 25 and 45.
- Women’s depression symptoms may be misdiagnosed between 30% and 50% of the time.
- More than 50% of women who suffer depression will never get proper treatment for it.
Depression is not a “woman’s disease” nor is it a normal part of being a woman. Women may be more prone to developing this mental illness so they should be vigilant and keep account of how their feeling and if they may be experiencing or showing any of the common signs of depression. No symptoms should be ignored. Treatment can have a profound effect on depression, so no one should feel they need to suffer through it. If you or a loved one feel as if depression is taking over your lives, then reaching out to a mental health care professional for help is highly encouraged.
The Tantalizing Benefits Of Juicing With Cherries
Cherries are believed to have originated from Asia, and they were brought to America by the English colonists during the 1600’s. Cherry production is relatively high the northwestern part of the United States. Cherries have a short peak season, and they are the most favorite summer fruit in America, which provides vital nutrients. According to the United States’ Department of Agriculture, a bowl of cherries contains approximately 90 calories, and ample amounts of vitamin C, A, protein, and fiber, which is essential for proper digestion. Cherries are often eaten raw, made into juices, or they may act as a cocktail garnish or dessert fruits in pies. The cherry fruit, which belongs to the same family as apricots, plums, and peaches has numerous health benefits that are outlined below.
The first positive benefit of cherries comes from their powerful antioxidants, which include cyanidin, quercetin, and anthocyanins. Clinical studies conducted by the University of Michigan have revealed that consuming tart cherries increases the amount of antioxidant levels in the bloodstream. Analyses of the subjects of the study also revealed that the increased amount of antioxidants led to an increased level of antioxidant activity, which is essential in reducing the potential occurrence of cancer.
The abundance of antioxidants in cherries also helps reduce inflammation with conditions such as osteoarthritis, gout, and post-work-out soreness. Cherries and their extracts have a high ORAC value, which is linked to the lowering of circulating factors such as C-reactive protein. The C-reactive protein made in the liver is responsible for the inflammation of body tissues. The antioxidants in the fruit have also been directly associated with the reduction of nitric oxide, which is linked to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
The consumption of tart cherries also increases the body’s melatonin levels, which in turn helps in improving sleep. Cherries are the only natural source of the compound melatonin, which is an important sleep-enhancing chemical. An intake of tart cherry juice or tart cherries before bedtime can help in improving the quality of sleep and increase the time of sleep as well. The melatonin in tart cherries is linked to the regulation of the circadian rhythm of the sleep-wake cycle. Tart cherry juice consumption can thus help in fighting insomnia.
Blood Sugar Levels
The anthocyanin antioxidant in cherries also helps in lowering blood sugar in diabetic patients. These chemical compounds that give the cherries their color have been found to increase insulin production by half the normal rate in pancreatic cells used in scientific animal study models. As such, cherry consumption provides a dietary benefit that helps in regulating insulin in a natural manner that is better than invasive processes of regular artificial insulin injections.
Tart cherries also lower the risk of cardiovascular conditions when used with prescribed medication aimed at regulating glucose and fat among patients that have metabolic syndromes.Studies in the Cardio-protection Research Laboratory from the University of Michigan have revealed that the consumption of cherries can reduce the risk of getting a stroke. A high body mass index (BMI) is often a predisposing factor to cardiovascular problems. Cherries help in reducing belly fat, and this finding was proven in a study in which rats fed on cherry powder and a high fat diet were found to have gained less weight than the ones on a diet with a high fat diet and no cherry powder. In addition, lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol were observed in the bloodstream.
The relatively high dietary fiber in cherries also helps in improving digestion and reducing the risk of getting colon cancer. The fiber helps in weight control, which is one of the significant factors that contribute to cancer development. Excess weight predisposes one to the risk of various cancers. In experimental studies, mice that were given a diet of cherries had fewer tumors when compared to those in the control groups that were fed on diets with no cherries.
The consumption of cherries also helps in improving the memory. The memory enhancing the capacity of cherry consumption is attributed to anthocyanin, which is found in plenty within the fruit. Experimental models of studies documented in the Journal of Neuroscience have shown that consumption of anthocyanin found in cherries can lead to improved motor functions that require the use of memory among rats.
As you can see, this little fruit has a wide variety of ways that it can help maintain your overall health. While we usually only get our fill of cherries in our favorite pies, there are better ways to consume this food without over indulging. The best way, of course, is to eat them raw. You get the 100% of the benefits of the nutrients and the fiber from the skin. You can also add them to a juicing recipe for a delicious and tart kick that can help add flavor to bland green vegetables. Whichever method you choose to add these to your diet, cherries are going to be extremely beneficial to your long term health goals.