A Woman’s mental health and overall health is a critical determinant of a family and society’s well-being. The patterns of psychological distress and psychiatric disorder among women can be different from those in the other gender. Women have a higher chance of internalizing disorders like self-blame, isolation, worthlessness etc. while men show a higher chance of externalizing disorders – anger outbursts, irritability, and such.
There are other types of depression that are unique to women. Some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change – such as perinatal depression (around pregnancy and before birth of a child), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (around monthly/ menstrual periods), and perimenopause (at time of stopping of menstrual cycle) depression.
Some studies report that women with bipolar depression report frequent premenstrual mood disturbances and bipolar depression may worsen during the premenstrual phase.
More women than men experience depression. Nearly 1 in 4 women suffer from depression that requires treatment. This is likely influenced by social factors, poverty, isolation and possibly hormonal factors.
In addition to being more common in women than men, thyroid dysfunction is more common in patients with mood disorders. Both mixed mania and rapid cycling have been associated with elevated rates of overt and sub-threshold thyroid abnormalities.
With women being primary caregivers for their older parents, high rates of depression are noted.
Woman over the age of 85 years are at high risk of depression.
Post-natal depression also, has high rates of about 8-15% of women that is, depression after child birth.
A woman’s willingness to talk about their feelings and their strong social networks can help protect their mental health.
A complete assessment of women with bipolar depression is an integral part of management that includes a psychiatric and medical history, family and social history.
Depression can follow trauma which about half of all women experience, during their lives as attempted or completed sexual assault, or being abused by a domestic partner. Trauma is a risk factor for not only depression but can also, lead to post traumatic stress disorder.
Pregnancy, Birth & Parenting
During pregnancy and even after child birth a mother have various physiological changes which likely cause 41% of women to suffer from some form of depression also, called postpartum depression.
Bipolar Depression is also, prevalent in women nearly same as in men, at rate of nearly 1% of general population. It is more likely to happen during pregnancy or after child birth though, can be unmasked with other stressors of life.
All forms of depression can be treated and with newer medicines, side effects are non-habit forming and do not affect day to day life. For complete assessment, please contact Dr. Vikrant Mittal MBBS, MD Psychiatry at Oasis Health. He is one of the best psychiatrists in New Delhi/ NCR, trained from top US Ivy league hospitals.