Depression in women

“Feminine character” or a special tendency towards illness? 

Depression is a painful condition that manifests itself with characteristic symptoms. Depression is not in any way a sign of weakness of character. This is a serious disease, which is accompanied by disorders of all mental and even bodily (sleep, appetite, body weight, etc.) human functions. Loss or decrease in volitional qualities is one of the symptoms of a depressive illness. Therefore, one should not advise a person suffering from depression to “pull himself together” – he will not be able to overcome the disease without medical help. Depression significantly affects performance, study, social life, relationships with others, including loved ones.                  

There is a relationship of depression with a female?  

Doctors are well aware that women are more likely to suffer from depression than men. This fact is confirmed by the results of numerous fairly large epidemiological studies in different countries, including in Russia. The frequency of depression in women 2- 3 fold higher than in men. In modern medicine, the female sex is one of the factors predisposing to the development of depression.             

With what is connected with women’s predisposition to depression?  

Depression is largely associated with changes in hormonal levels that occur in the female body during childbearing years. The so-called reproductive (childbearing) cycle goes through a number of stages, starting with the appearance of menstruation and ending with their disappearance: the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, childbirth, premenopausal and climacteric periods. At each of these stages , significant changes occur in the composition and quantity of hormones, which are accompanied by physiological changes in all functions of the female body, including the mental sphere. Therefore, such changes in hormonal levels are associated with an increased risk of developing depression.              

How does depression manifest in women? 

As stated, the risk of depression increases at every stage of the reproductive cycle. In clinical medicine, there are different variants (syndromes) of depression characteristic of each of the stages of the reproductive cycle – premenstrual syndrome, depressive syndrome of pregnant women, sadness in women in labor, postpartum depression and depression in the premenopausal and climacteric periods. The manifestations of depression can be different. A depressive mood can be manifested as depression, depression and apathy, as well as increased irritability, tearfulness, anxiety, and a feeling of inner tension. Changes in mood are usually accompanied by a decrease in activity, a feeling of loss of energy, increased fatigue, and distraction of attention. Depression in women is often accompanied by a variety of somatic disorders: changes in sleep (insomnia or increased sleepiness), appetite (decreased appetite or increased appetite). Unpleasant sensations of tension and a feeling of pain in the mammary glands, headaches, pain in joints and muscles, pain in the heart and periodic palpitations, weakness in the body, fluctuations in blood pressure, etc. may appear . The duration of depression associated with the reproductive cycle may vary. … Premenstrual depressive syndrome is usually short-lived, about 2 weeks (1 week before and 1 week after menstruation), but has a recurrent nature with monthly exacerbations corresponding to the menstrual cycle. Postpartum depression and depression of the climacteric period can be more protracted and last for several weeks or even months.        

How can female depression be treated?

Depression is a treatable disease. With the correct choice of the appropriate drug and its dose, complete relief from the symptoms of depression is possible . Depression is treated only with drugs called antidepressants. Treatment for depression should only be prescribed by a doctor. It is necessary to remember that each person’s depression has its own characteristics associated with both disease severity and with its clinical manifestations. The correct choice of treatment in each specific case requires an assessment of many features of the patient’s condition. Only a doctor – psychiatrist or psychotherapist can correctly identify, evaluate and qualify such features . Nor in any way necessary to resort to the advice of relatives or friends, or to choose a treatment on their own, on the basis that one or the other drug to help someone whom you know. This rule must be observed, especially if the change in mood is accompanied by pronounced changes in general well-being, impaired bodily functions and pain, which is most characteristic of depression associated with the reproductive cycle. In such cases, only a doctor can correctly assess the nature of the symptoms, determine the real state of the internal organs and choose a drug that will be not only effective, but also safe. It is strongly discouraged to take antidepressants on your own during pregnancy and lactation. On Today, there are a large number of anti-depressants. All modern drugs of this class are effective and safe means. However, each of the drugs has its own distinctive features associated with both the therapeutic effect and the methods of its administration and dosage. Depression treatment takes time. You should not wait for a complete cure already in the first days of taking the drug. It must be remembered that all modern antidepressants begin to act on depression no earlier than 1-2 weeks after the start of treatment. During this period, the selection of the required dose of the drug is also carried out. Cancellation of the antidepressant, as well as its appointment, should be carried out only by a doctor. Even after the complete disappearance of all symptoms of depression, it is necessary to continue taking the antidepressant for a certain period of time. This is due to the fact that the risk of exacerbation of depression in case of premature discontinuation of therapy is very high – up to 60-80%. Moreover, exacerbation of depression associated with early discontinuation of treatment tends to be more difficult to treat. The duration of such an additional period of treatment, the purpose of which is to prevent exacerbation, is determined only by the doctor based on the individual characteristics of each patient. Remember that even if you decide to stop treatment before the time specified by the doctor, you must always consult with him.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *