But research is showing some of the more complex reasons for depression in women.
“Depression is not ‘one size fits all,’ particularly when it comes to the genders,” according to Helpguide.org. “Not only are women more prone to depression than men, but the causes of female depression and even the pattern of symptoms are often different.”
Here are five reasons why women get depression:
According to research, depression can result from a combination of multiple genes with environmental and other triggers. That’s one reason why your mom might have depression and you might not. Of course, it’s not that simple.
It’s not a definite, but if a woman has a family history of depression, she is at an increased risk.
2. Hormones, chemicals, and PMDD
Research shows that brain chemistry plays a big role in the possible development of depression.
MRI scans of depressed people actually look different than non-depressed. The parts of the brain that regulate behavior, eating, sleeping, and mood appear to be working differently, and neurotransmitters are out of balance. Scientists determined that hormones directly affect the chemicals in the brain that control emotion and mood.
In women, studies also show that the more severe form of premenstrual syndrome called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) can make women depressed to the point where it changes their day-to-day activities.
Women are very susceptible to developing depression after giving birth.
Postpartum depression develops when a combination of hormonal and physical changes merge with the added responsibilities of raising a newborn. This can be very overwhelming for women.
It is fairly common for new mothers to experience a brief period of mild moon swings after birth, but that does not mean they all suffer from postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is serious and requires treatment.
“Many new moms experience the baby blues after childbirth, which commonly include mood swings and crying spells and fade quickly,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as postpartum depression. Rarely, an extreme form of postpartum depression known as postpartum psychosis develops after childbirth.”
Stress is dangerous for both genders. In women, the loss of a loved one, ending of a relationship, birth of a child, maintaining a home, and other situations, even welcome ones, can trigger depression.
Researchers at the University of Michigan found that women respond to stress in a way that prolongs their negative feelings than men do, which can lead to depression.