Statistics gathered by National
Institute of Mental Health show that 6.5% of women have a major
depressive disorder in the United States. There are many events
in a woman's life that could cause depression. Fluctuating hormone
levels during puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, and post menopause
can contribute to depression in women, according to the leading
authorities on the etiologies and treatments for depression. Depression
is more common than many people think. Recent burgeoning research
shows at least 15% of women take an antidepressant at some point
during their life.
Some of the possible culprits of depression are genetic factors,
hormones, life stress and trauma. Based on recent data compiled,
women suffering from major depression have a first degree relative
with depression. Depression can develop in anyone, regardless of
race, culture, social class, age, or gender. It is unclear why more
women suffer from depression than men. Some contributing factors
to these statistics could be that men are less willing to admit
and recognize they have problems than women.
Depression is a serious medical illness that is much more than temporarily
feeling sad or blue. Although depression is a treatable illness,
it is often a life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate
with recurrences of illness. Around 60% of depressed women will
experience one or more episodes of depression. An even higher percentage,
75% to 80% will experience recurrent depression if not monitored.
With each reoccurring episode, there is a strong chance of complete
Most women can treat mild depression by implementing changes to
their lifestyle. A healthy nutritious diet and exercise along with
supplemental therapy can help overcome mild depression. If proper
measures are not taken there is potential of developing major depression.
Major depression can impair a person's social and physical function.
The World Health Organization Report found, "depression presents
the greatest disease burden for women when compared with other diseases."