Sometimes sadness is feeling blue where someone just needs a caring friend or family member who can offer encouragement. Sometimes sadness is much more. Severe sadness can cause frequent crying spells, sleeping too much, or eating too much or too little. Women may resort to drugs or alcohol to make the pain lesson. What starts this kind or severe sadness? It can begin with a painful experience such as divorce, the death of a loved one, a lost relationship, or a troubled marriage. It can also begin with an event from childhood, such as, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Some women have Chemical Imbalances which cause them to be severely sad, and complicates them being able to solve everyday problems. Severe sadness is a type of illness called depression, and can be treated. Twenty-five percent of women are expected to experience depression at some point in their lives. Depression effects many women in today’s society, and many of them do not understand what it is. Women also do not know how to identify the signs, or symptoms of depression. No one is immune from depression, and it affects everyone, from personal experience to depression in a family member. Depression is defined as the act of being sad, the state of being depressed, or low in spirits. Depression interferes with normal functioning, and can cause problems with work, family, and friends. Serious depression can destroy a family life as well as their own life.
Melissa’s life was going very well for her. She was recently married, and starting her new life. Melissa’s life starting falling apart as she got news about her mother. Her mother had cancer, and wasn’t going to make it. Soon her mother passed away, and she was left feeling abandoned, and alone. She felt as if a part of her was gone, and that she wouldn’t be able to go on. Melissa and her mother were very close. They shared everything together, and were viewed as best friends. Soon Melissa didn’t feel like getting out of bed, or going to work. She felt tired all the time, and felt as if she would never get herself back again. Things she enjoyed before no longer seems pleasing to her anymore. Her husband, and friends didn’t understand what she was going through, or how to help her cope. The loss of a loved one triggered Melissa into depression. Soon after deciding she needed counseling, Melissa was back to her old self, feeling she could cope, and move on with her life. Counseling helped her to cope with the lost of her mother, and understand her depression.
Depression changes how a woman thinks and feels. Many women feel sad at one time or another, but that is not the same as depression. Sometimes we feel tired from working hard, or from stress, but that is not depression either. Low self-esteem, a sense of having no control over life, and having excessive worries are characteristics of women that are more likely to develop depression. Women who overwhelm themselves with stress are also more likely to develop depression. Women who experience divorce can develop depression because they feel lonely, abandoned, and unable to cope. Effects from divorce can cause women to be very stressed, and unable to face the world because they are scared people will just try to counsel them. Besides being stressed, many women, like Melissa, feel unable to go to work, or get out of bed. They can’t sleep, or don’t sleep soundly. They awaken many times during the night, and stare at the ceiling. Other women sleep many hours, even most of the day, although they still feel tired. Some are restless, and can’t sit still. Depression also involves the whole body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. Women who are depressed can’t simply pull themselves together, or snap out of it. Depression causes changes in thinking, feeling, behavior, and physical health.
There are a variety of symptoms of depression which depend on the seriousness of the depression, and vary from person to person. Women may experience problems with concentration, and decision making. Some have problems with short-term memory. Women may also feel sad for no reason at all. Other symptoms include having trouble controlling their temper, or temper outbursts. They have changes in behavior that cause negative feelings in which they do not feel comfortable around people, family, and friends. Many women stop caring, and neglect their personal appearance, and hygiene. The following is a list of symptoms that could help determine if a woman might be suffering from depression:
-Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
-Loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
-Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying.
-Feeling of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness.
-Sleeping too much or too little, early morning waking.
-Appetite or weight loss, or overeating, and weight gain.
-Decreased energy, fatigue, and feeling “slowed down”.
-Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts.
-Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or decision making.
-Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.
Depression can happen at any time, at any age, it is treatable, and common. There are many new medications that can help with depression. Physicians often focus on the physical side of depression, and may prescribe medication without referring women for psychological counseling. If a woman feels that she might be depressed then she should talk with a family doctor, or a professional psychologists. A good Physician will evaluate a complete history of a woman’s symptoms. Such as when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether they were treated, or what treatments were received. Also other history should include family members and whether they have had depression, if treated, and what treatments were effective. A woman should never try to work through it alone, because depression is a difficult thing to go through, experience, and understand. They should know there are other women that have gone through, or are experiencing the same thing they are. They should never put it helping themselves, because it’s the best thing they could do for themselves, their family, and their future.