Depression in women is nowadays creating mayhem in lives. Normally people tend to ignore mental health, and in many cases, they are unaware of the great impact mental health plays in our lives. Women are prone to depression more than men for several reasons. Their social status, hormonal and biological issues and psychological health plays a major role in that.
In this article, we’ll discuss those causes because of which the gender gap proves why are women more depressed than men.
What Causes Depression in Women?
As written above, there are several biological and hormonal factors, genetic factors, and social factors that play vital roles when it comes to depression in women.
Biological and Hormonal causes
Studies show depression runs in families. There are scientific evidences which has proved how some genetic structures are responsible for depression more than the others. Some genetic structures are prone to depression while others are more resistant to it. However, outside factors like family support and environment can break this pattern. Despite having a depression tendency, if women find support and love from their close ones, women can overcome these recurrent depression patterns.
Depression symptoms in women can also be found because of other biological and hormonal factors like pregnancy, infertility, PCOS, perimenopause, menopause, and PMS. Depression symptoms in women are seen because of hormonal imbalances and rapid fluctuations for which mainly the reproductive hormones are responsible. Other health problems like chronic illness or disability, frequent and crash dieting, severe consumption of alcohol and smoking–also take active part in bringing depression in women.
Psychological causes are another major reason why women are more depressed than men. Women have a tendency to be more emotional than men. Also, women tend to revisit old traumas more often than men. Women in depression find it hard to forget about the emotional traumas their past lives have imparted to them. Sadness is normal in every human being. In sadness, it is a normal to rethink about your past and cry. But when it lasts longer than normal, that can cause depression in women. Depression, unlike sadness, lasts for a longer duration. The depression symptoms in women are more severe than that of sadness.
While women in depression tend to feel nervous, scared, and anxious, men tend to distract themselves with work, alcohol, and/or sex. Additional psychological factor why women are more depressed than men are women have negative body images of themselves more likely than that of men. Negative body image issues usually begin in adolescence and keep on growing till and beyond the puberty in women.
Women and men have different lifestyle and choice of relationships than each other. Woman are more likely to suffer from depression due to marital or relationship problems, financial problems or work-life balance issues. Women who work outside their home, have to balance between home-life and work life. This adds challenges to women who have to take care of their children as well as other family members. Sometimes they get depressed because of some unfortunate life events like the death of a loved one. Circumstances and cultural factors play a big role in depression in women. Of course, these factors can affect men as well, but usually the percentage is less than that of women.
Also read: Are Women Really More Emotional Than Men?
Why are women more depressed than men?
There are other factors as well which are involved besides the above main three causes.
Unequal Power and Status
Society’s patriarchal norms lead women to depression more than men. Women face gender discrimination both in their personal and professional life. Women who do not have financial freedom or have to depend on men because of it, are more likely to fall in depression than men. Women in depression concern for their uncertain future and less access to health care resources. Some women also face added stress from racial discrimination or intersectional discrimination. These issues collectively cause a woman to feel negativity, low self-esteem and lack of control over her own life.
Sexual or Physical Abuse
Another major cause of why women are more depressed than men is sexual and physical abuse. Women who have suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuses are more likely to experience depression in their lives.
Of course, we do not deny, men also experience such problems and suffer from depression. Because depression is gender irrespective. However, coping mechanism with the problems of life differ in men and women. Men suffering from depression likely to get aggressive, whereas women in depression tend to close in. Also, statistics tell us women are more depressed than men because of gender-based violence, income inequality, low social rank and the added responsibility to look after others alongside work-life.