Is depression affected by gender?


Posted by admin | Posted in Gender issues, Mental health | Posted on 11-12-2017


A number of psychiatric studies have confirmed that women are at least twice as much predisposed to depression as men are. Gender differences reveal mostly during reproductive years, which proves that hormones play a considerable role in regulating mental health. Nevertheless, a hormonal change alone does not cause depression. There must be a major life event or a stressful occasion triggering the disease. There are more gender-specific factors behind depression.
Puberty is a major change in boys and girls, but girls are the first to reach it, thus, more likely to develop depression at this age. Occasional mood swings are normal for teenagers, but issues like emerging sexuality, increased academic pressure, and common appreciation often trigger depression in girls. The gender gap in depression that arises in puberty lasts until menopause. The thing is cyclical changes in estrogen and progesterone disrupt the interchange of chemicals in the brain which makes it harder for women to control their mood.
But still, puberty is nothing compared to pregnancy. At this time, a female body undergoes dramatic changes that a risk of developing depression during pregnancy. Woman’s lifestyle changes as she stops to take in any medication and becomes rather vulnerable and isolated. Postpartum depression is another female-only condition. Having given birth to a baby, women undergo another major change in their body, and depression can last for months from this moment on.
Transition to menopause is the final point where women are more likely to experience depression than men. On the wrong side of 60, both men and women are highly vulnerable to developing the condition due to a weak physical health, isolation, or neglect. Life circumstances and social factors may also cause depression in women of reproductive age. Unequal status, work overload, and physical abuse are more likely to happen to women than to men.