Statistics report that women are twice as likely to experience a major depressive disorder as men and upto three times more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders or to attempt suicide. We agree that these stats are alarming but let us highlight a few findings that can put some light on why the same could be possible:
- Basis various studies or researches conducted globally, it has been found that the differential risk may primarily stem from biological sex differences and depend less on race, culture, diet, education and numerous other potentially confounding social and economic factors.
- The fact that increased prevalence of depression correlates with hormonal changes in women, particularly during puberty, prior to menstruation, following pregnancy and at perimenopause, suggests that female hormonal fluctuations may be a trigger for depression.
- Another study suggests that estrogen may have a protective effect on the pathology that underlies depression and that decreases in estrogen may increase the risk for depression.
- Women tend to be more involved in personal relationships than men and suffer more when they are disrupted. More married women and housewives have increasingly entered the workforce and find it difficult to juggle job and family responsibilities, such as caring for an elderly relative.
- Women live longer than men and extreme old age is often associated with bereavement, loneliness, poor physical health, and other factors that predispose to depression.
- Women are more likely than men to consult a physician if they do not feel well or have symptoms of depression, and are therefore more likely to be diagnosed with the problem.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD syndrome) is four times more common in women than men.
While all of the above are references taken from various studies that continue to explore the reason behind women suffering more from depression than men, no particular case can be generalized on basis of the same. Hence, for knowing whether a man or woman may have depression, it is best advisable to seek guidance from a qualified mental health professional who can do a thorough study of the symptoms and recommend what needs attention.