In urban Singapore, the roles a woman has to play is a complex one. A woman is expected to care for her family while still having to do well at the work place. The stressors faced by a working mother with young children in the family can sometimes be overwhelming!
Depression in Women
Women are twice more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression than men. The reason is not well understood but may be due to biological, psychological and environmental risk factors.
Biologically, women tend to go through more fluctuations in their hormones due to periods, pregnancy and menopause and this can be a risk factor for depression.
Psychologically, women are more likely to be in touch with their emotions and to admit to their difficulties than men. As such, they are more likely to seek help early and be diagnosed. Men on the other hand resorts to alcoholism and substance abuse and are more likely to be severely depressed by the time they seek help.
Environmentally and socially, women are subjected to more gender bias and inequality in power and status. In the past, women are more likely to be considered a weaker sex and this can lead to low self esteem and a sense of lack of control over their life. In modern days whilst women are more likely to be working, discriminations continues in the work place. Women also are more likely to have to juggle between work and family which often leads to dilemmas and guilt.
A person with depression will have some of the following symptoms including persistent low mood, a loss of interest in work, social life or hobbies, sleep disturbances, weight disturbances, poor concentration and attention, easy fatiguibilty, excessive guilty feelings, loss of confidence, irritability and suicidal thoughts or behaviour, for at least two weeks. One should seek help if the symptoms are causing significant problems in one’s social life or at work, or if there are any sucidal thoughts or tendencies.
It is important to detect depression early as early treatment will bring about better long term outcomes. A depressed person is unable to handle the stress in her life and this can lead to more problems and more stress and increase the severity of depression resulting in a vicious cycle. The consequences of depression is dire when u treated and can result in loss of job, failure of marriage and even completion of suicide. Depression can be treated and there is really no reason why any depressed person should suffer the terrible symptoms and consequences.
Myths of Depression in Women
Depression is an “irrational woman thing” and that it is something that sufferers can “snap out” of.
This is absolutely false. Clinical depression is a medical condition that anyone can have. When a person has clinical depression, her judgement may become impaired and her views unduly negative due to the condition. As such, she will not be able to “snap out” of depression just by herself. Depression requires treatment for one to recover and the treatment may be medications and/or therapy.
Depression will go away if I leave it alone.
Depression is a medical condition and may last up to one year or even longer if left untreated. The consequences of depression can be dire leading to a loss of job, divorce and even suicide! One should seek treatment as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome. Depression can be treated and there is really no reason why any depressed person should suffer the terrible symptoms and consequences.