Depression in women is thrice as common as in men. But before we proceed one must know the exact meaning of depression since most people get confused with normal stress and anxiety with depression.
Being anxious is the fear of something that practically does not exist. For instance, if your child hasn’t reached home on time the type of thoughts that most mothers encounter are their child getting molested or kidnapped, or such dreadful thoughts, is what we call anxiety, worrying about uncertain things. Being stressed out is based on the real situations like most people face many times like if they are to meet the deadlines at workplace, or when someone of one’s own family gets severely sick. In the latter case, it is quite possible that both stress and anxiety take place. For example, thoughts of your loved one dying in front of you, or getting to a worse health condition etc. will be known as anxiety.
Depression is completely different story. It is a mood disorder that have impact on your thinking process the way you look at your life’s situation on overall basis. Depression causes hopelessness, worthlessness, helplessness and extreme sadness and frustration. The reasons could be biological, psychological, and/or socio-cultural. When I talk about biological reasons the most common factors associated with it are hormonal fluctuations, probably during the onset of puberty, pregnancy, post pregnancy and menopause. Women also experience psychological issues more as compared to men because they get more emotionally involved. They invest more time in relationships and so their expectations get heightened, which if not fulfilled or if they somehow get convinced that they were wasting their entire time on wrong individual(s), they likely get overwhelmed and overly frustrated. Also the social situations are responsible in which they feel boycotted, whether the situation is real or imaginary.
There is no specific age when we talk about depression. It could occur to teenage girls as well as young women of 25 years to old ones of 67 years of age as well. Most young girls are into studies and career and there are cases in which they do not meet their goals. This ultimately leads to severe frustration, a kind of belief that without getting through so and so competitive exams there is nothing left to them. The society has much to do with it. Whatever your neighbour’s daughter or son has achieved does not imply that your child must also try to accomplish the same. The parents have a huge role in handling that. Most often they pressurize their child in getting selected into renowned engineering or medical examinations, which not necessarily is the case that they get through it.
Women also likely face scenarios like acid attack, physical and/or sexual abuse. Certain life situations such as loss of a loved one, divorce, some chronic illness, etc. can also lead to depression. These factors cause long term depression and suicide attempts. Common symptoms that are found in a depressed individual are as under:
1. Not enjoying activities in which you were once interested such as dance, sports, singing, listening to music, reading novels, etc.
2. A perception that your life is extremely worthless.
3. Suicidal thoughts or actually planning to attempt for that due to hopelessness.
4. Sleep disorder, meaning, getting troubles in falling asleep and/or maintaining that, or sleeping too much and too often.
5. Feeling fatigued, exhausted, tired or lethargic most often even without apparent cause.
6. Physical aches and pains such as headache, backpain, etc.
7. Eating disorder, i.e. eating too much or too little than normal.
8. Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain.
9. Problems in concentrating anything, and remembering recent events as well.
10. Being over sensitive and getting offended even on small things.
11. Crying spells.
If most of these statement resemble your behavior or your loved one’s behavior then you must seek external help. Being a responsible relative or closed friend one must observe the changes in the respective individual since as a woman she is more inclined to substance abuse if not treated on time. As a mother to a teen or young daughter you must always make a constant communication with your child, understand their needs, their expectations and accordingly give them emotional support whenever needed. Your lack of understanding your child’s behavior may lead to loss of a life! Going through mental illness is still not considered as a serious issue.
Many people are also bound by the relgious sentiments and due to that if someone attempts for suicide it is considered as a sin. No one actually understands the real reasons behind it and even if someone listens to the issue they would rather act as if such circumstances could be handled well without getting depressed. Therefore, I would like to share some of the activities that can be accomplished by the woman candidate in order to overcome that successfully.
1. Accept the present:
Whatever occured to you has already happened and cannot be undone. Therefore, it would be best if you accept this fact and move on following the next action. Understand that it is the state of your own mind that is leading you towards negative thoughts, convincing you that this is the end. For example, you failed to pass an examination. This is not the end. Re-appear in that exam and clear it with more enthusiasm. Forget what people comment behind your back. They will be the ones who won’t stop praising you if you get success ever.
2. Understand that the situation changes with time:
The phase that you experience at present is temporary and never will be the same forever. Failures are part of our life. This absolutely doesn’t mean that you are never going to experience the success. Do not let your past attempts control your present. You need to be patient and wait for better.
3. Do not compare yourself with others:
This is the most common thing that most women would relate to. Statements like her husband earns more, she has less struggles than I had, she is more successful than I am at present, everyone likes her, she is more beautiful than I am, etc. are used to compare which ultimately causes depression. You have to accept the fact everyone’s journey is different and most importantly everyone goes through some level of struggle you have no idea about. People do not show on their exterior what kind of battles they actually fight for. So, stop complaining. If some other woman’s husband earns more does not mean she gets the same level of attention and care you are getting from your spouse. She is more successful than you probably because she was more passionate and most importantly extremely positive about her career. Our thoughts play a huge role in getting what we think we deserve.
Rather than comparing yourself with those who are at better positions, look around those whose life is ten times more miserable. There are people who do not get food, abused constantly for life, mistreated more often, have physical disabilities. Struggles have absolutely no limits.
4. It is never too late:
If you ask a successful businessman or a musician or a cricketer that what made them successful, the most common replies would be their utter dedication towards the target. Such types of people keep on trying till they don’t get what they want.
Now what if you had limited attempts for entrance exam and you were never selected? Know what drives your interest or what kind of things in which you are the best and accordingly plan something related to that. I discovered that I am good at expressing my views through writing so I started writing the blogs. Blogs weren’t in my dictionary when I completed my high school. There are many people who do something and end up doing something else. People go for engineering and still have no clue what must be done next, M.Tech. or M.B.A., or even off the track entrepreneurship!
5. Join something that involves physical activity:
This could be anything like swimming, dancing, cycling, mountain trekking, etc. Such activities are scientifically proved for balancing the stress levels to a great extent. Most depressed people have no interest at all in these but you have to at least initiate such things so that there is some kind of routine on daily basis, and later you will develop interest.
6. Attach with the natural surroundings and detach with people:
Most people won’t understand your circumstance and hence seeking their advice or any other means of help will be of no use, rather will make you confused. Conversely, the natural surroundings such as trees, mountains, sunrise, etc. will help you provide the positive energy. Therefore, make a habit to wake up early in the morning and witness the beauty of nature.
7. Get a positive company:
Get involved with positive entities such as puppies, dogs, cats, kittens, birds, fish, etc. or infants, babies or toddlers. Such living beings are innocent and do not mess with the mind. It is a proven fact that pets play a huge role in calming down the mind, so do the happy and active babies.
8. Listen to music:
Here I do not mean to refer the songs only. There are several kinds of other music such as that of flowing river, birds chirping, etc. Avoid sad songs. If you feel like you are drawn towards listening to sad songs only then do not listen to music at all.
9. Seek help:
Talk to someone who you find most close to you such as parents, siblings, cousin, or best friend. If you feel that there is no one who would actually understand your situation, seek professional help. You simply need somebody to listen to you and get practical advices. You might also be prescribed with anti-depressants that tend to make you forget most of the things. This is done in order to prevent the patient from over thinking. Also whoever takes these medicines sleep more often and eat more due to increased appetite. It would be best if you limit your medicine intake, else you may get addicted forever. Talk to your doctor for seeking natural remedies for depression rather taking allopathic temporary relief.
Last but not the least, always remember that you are not the only one who is dealing with it. There are numerous cases in which the individuals have gone all phases of depression to a journey of successful treatment. So, if they are able to cope up with, why not you? You are no different, are you?