Twice as many women as men suffer from depression. Several factors can increase a woman’s risk of depression. Depression can occur at any age. Some mood swings and depressive feelings occur with normal hormonal changes. But hormonal changes alone do not cause depression. Other biological factors, hereditary traits, and personal life circumstances and experiences are associated with a higher risk of depression.

Here’s what contributes to depression in women


Hormonal changes during puberty may increase the risk of depression in some girls. However, temporary mood swings related to hormonal fluctuations during puberty are normal, these changes alone do not cause depression.

In contrast, puberty is often associated with other experiences that may play a role in depression, such as:

  • – The emergence of sexuality and identity issues
  • – Conflicts with parents
  • – Increasing pressure to do well in school, sports, or other areas of life

After puberty, rates of depression are higher in women than in men. As girls generally reach puberty before boys, they are more likely to develop depression at an earlier age than boys. There is evidence that this gender difference in depression may continue throughout life.

Premenstrual problems

For most women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), symptoms such as abdominal bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, anxiety, irritability, and the blues are minor and short-lived.

But a small number of women experience severe, disabling symptoms that interfere with their studies, work, relationships, or other areas of their lives. At this point, PMS can turn into premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a type of depression that usually requires treatment.

The exact interaction between depression and PMS remains unclear. It’s possible that cyclical changes in estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones can disrupt the functioning of brain chemicals, like serotonin, that control mood. Hereditary traits, life experiences and other factors seem to play a role.


Dramatic hormonal changes occur during pregnancy and can affect mood. Other problems can also increase the risk of developing depression during pregnancy or during pregnancy attempts, such as:

  • – Changes in lifestyle or work or other life stressors
  • – Relationship issues
  • – Previous episodes of depression, postpartum depression or PMDD
  • – Lack of social support
  • – Unwanted or unwanted pregnancy
  • – Miscarriage
  • – Stopping the use of antidepressant medications

postpartum depression

Many new mothers find themselves sad, angry and irritable, and experience crying spells shortly after giving birth. These feelings, called the baby blues, are normal and usually subside within a week or two. But more severe or long-lasting depressive feelings can indicate postpartum depression, especially if the signs and symptoms are present:

  • – More frequent crying than usual
  • – Low self-esteem or feeling like a bad mother
  • – Anxiety or feeling of numbness
  • – Difficulty sleeping, even when your baby is sleeping
  • – Day-to-day operating problems
  • – Inability to care for your baby
  • – Thoughts of harming your baby
  • – Thoughts of suicide

Postpartum depression is a serious illness that requires prompt treatment. It affects about 10 to 15% of women. It is thought to be associated with:

  • Major hormonal fluctuations that influence mood
  • The responsibility of caring for a newborn
  • Predisposition to mood and anxiety disorders
  • Pregnancy and birth complications
  • Breastfeeding problems
  • Complications or special needs of infants
  • Poor social support

Perimenopause and menopause

The risk of depression can increase during the transition to menopause, a stage called perimenopause, where hormone levels can fluctuate erratically. The risk of depression may also increase at the onset of menopause or after menopause, two times when estrogen levels are significantly reduced.

Most women who experience bothersome menopausal symptoms do not develop depression. But these factors can increase the risk:

  • Interrupted or poor quality sleep
  • Anxiety or a history of depression
  • stressful life events
  • Weight gain or higher body mass index (BMI)
  • Menopause at an earlier age
  • Menopause caused by surgical removal of the ovaries

Living conditions and culture

The higher rate of depression in women isn’t just down to biology. Life circumstances and cultural stressors may also play a role. Although these stressors are also present in men, the rate is generally lower. Some of the factors that can increase the risk of depression in women include:

– Unequal power and status. Women are much more likely than men to live in poverty, leading to concerns such as uncertainty about the future and reduced access to community resources and health care. These issues can cause feelings of negativity, low self-esteem, and a lack of control over life.

– Work overload. Often women work outside the home and still take on domestic responsibilities. Many women face the challenges of single parenthood and multiple jobs to make ends meet.

– In addition, women can care for their children while caring for sick or older family members.

– Sexual or physical abuse. Women who were emotionally, physically, or sexually abused as children or adults are more likely to experience depression at some point in their lives than those who were not abused. Women are more likely than men to experience sexual abuse.

Other conditions that accompany depression in women

Women with depression often have other mental health issues that also require treatment, such as:

-Anxiety: Anxiety is often associated with depression in women.

– Eating disorders: There is a close link between depression in women and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

-Abuse of drugs or alcohol. Some women with depression also have some form of unhealthy substance use or addiction. Substance abuse can make depression worse and harder to treat.

Recognize Depression and Seek a Solution

Although depression can seem overwhelming, there are effective treatments. Even severe depression can often be successfully treated. Seek help if you have signs and symptoms of depression, such as:

  • – Constant feelings of sadness, guilt or hopelessness
  • – Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
  • – Significant changes in your sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • – Unexplained fatigue or pain or other physical symptoms with no apparent cause
  • – Concentration or memory problems
  • – Appetite changes leading to significant weight loss or gain
  • – Physical pain
  • – Feeling that life is not worth living, or having suicidal thoughts

Remember that depression is both common and treatable. If you think you are depressed, do not hesitate to seek help from your doctor, therapist or any proven health and wellness approach in this area such as: EMDR, acupuncture , essential oils or meditation.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.