Commonly, women find themselves depressed at significant life-turning points. The female body indicates through signals that she is becoming a young woman. It tells her when she can become pregnant. She becomes able to give birth to a new human being who conquers her heart.
In her middle age, she leaves the cycle of monthly pain, bleeding, and anxiety. These times are usually happy moments for most females. However, while taking on her life journey, a girl faces many times of hardship as well that initiate a flare of depression in her.
These include the times of hormonal changes. Together with a genetic predisposition, stress, sleep deprivation and responsibilities, these changes enter her into a depression phase.
Therefore, depression in females at the time of puberty is twice as compared to males.
In a human body, levels of different hormones increase or decrease to enter or leave the phase of fertility. However, these hormonal changes also influence the brain parts associated with mood, emotions, and stress.
Causes of depression for females
Dr. Cynthia Rogers is an associate professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Washington University of Medicine. She said that family history is one of the major risk factors of depression. However, genetics don’t serve as a sufficient cause of depression.
There are many environmental risk factors of depression as well. These may include stress, injury, accident, diet, chronic stress, sleep deprivation, and others.
Looking for a single significant cause of depression is not of benefit. This is because hormonal changes interact complicatedly with different environmental, psychological and physiological factors and predispositions.
Hormones stimulate the brain to produce different compounds. New research at the Washington University of Medicine has identified a potential neurosteroid called Zulresso (brexanolone). The FDA has recently approved this neurosteroid.
Our brain utilizes the natural form of brexanolone to control the damage that increases stress levels during pregnancy. However, the natural level of this hormone decreases with a decrease in progesterone levels at the time of childbirth.
It results in depression to the mothers who have a genetic predisposition and a history of depression.
Post-partum depression in women
Dr. Denise Hooks-Anderson is an associate professor (family and community medicine) at St. Louis University. She said that in the post-partum state of depression, the level of progesterone significantly decreases and our body also undergoes changes.
The newborn does not let the mother sleep properly and needs her for his sustenance as he takes breastfeeding. The mother suffers from a lot of pressure. Moreover, the lack of sleep makes her think of all unnecessary things.
Dr. Hooks suggests mothers take assistance from their mothers, mothers-in-law, a maid or a friend. So that they may sleep for four hours of sleep consistently.
When meeting a teenage girl with depression, Dr. Hooks asks her about everything to identify the basic cause. She asks the girls when she is bullied, criticized, sleep-deprived, stressed from home or outside environment, etc.
At menopause, some women have their first onset of depression due to estrogen loss. In this case, doctors prescribe them anti-depressants. If they don’t work, they suggest such women undergo hormone replacement therapy. However, it has its own risks.
Dr. Hooks particularly check the level of thyroid hormones at every stage of the women with depression. She said that their high-level causes anxiety. While their low levels result in depression. She concludes her saying with a single sentence; “We are complicated beings.”