Reasons Women Are More Prone to Depression

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Reasons Women Are More Prone to Depression

Depression is a common mental health condition that affects over 18 million adults each year. However, statistics consistently show that women are more prone to depression than men. In fact, women are about twice as likely as men to develop this serious mood disorder. 

Read on as Jeanne Nicholson, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, and our expert team at Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, in Bellevue, Washington, explore some of the key factors that contribute to women’s increased risk of depression.

Biological factors

Hormones play a crucial role in mood regulation, and it’s no secret that women experience hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives. Hormonal changes during both their monthly menstrual cycle and significant hormone-related events like pregnancy and menopause can affect women’s mood and increase the risk of depression.

In addition, postpartum depression, which affects some women after giving birth, is a clear example of how hormonal changes can lead to depressive symptoms.

Societal expectations

Women often face greater pressure to conform to societal standards related to appearance, behavior, and success. These expectations can create stress and feelings of inadequacy, contributing to depression. 

The "superwoman" phenomenon, where women are expected to excel in multiple roles, such as being a caregiver, career professional, and homemaker, can be particularly taxing.

Discrimination and gender inequality

Unfortunately, women still face discrimination and gender inequality in many aspects of life, including the workplace and home. These injustices can lead to feelings of powerlessness, frustration, and low self-esteem, all of which increase the risk of depression. 

Experiencing any degree of sexism, harassment, or unequal treatment can take a real toll on a woman's mental well-being.

Trauma and abuse

Women are more likely to experience various forms of trauma and abuse, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and childhood abuse. The psychological scars from these traumatic experiences can lead to long-term emotional distress and, in many cases, depression.

Coping strategies

Men and women often have different coping strategies when faced with stress and emotional challenges. Women tend to be more expressive and open about their emotions, seeking support from friends and family. While this can be beneficial, it can also make them more susceptible to depression as they may ruminate on negative feelings. 

In contrast, men often use avoidance or substance use as coping mechanisms, which can mask depression and make it less noticeable.

Lack of access to health care

In many parts of the world, including in the United States, women often have limited access to health care, including mental health services. This lack of access can result in undiagnosed or untreated depression, further exacerbating the gender disparity in depression rates.

Social stigma

Women might be more willing to acknowledge their struggles and seek help, while men might be reluctant to do so due to the stigma associated with showing vulnerability or admitting to mental health issues.

Expert mental health care

The factors mentioned here don’t affect all women in the same way, and individual experiences can vary greatly. As mental health experts, we’re working to address the gender gap in depression through awareness, support for policy change, the creation of accessible support systems, and expert care. 

If you suffer from depression, regardless of your gender, we can help. We offer consultations, evaluations, diagnoses, and various forms of treatments tailored to your specific needs.

Don’t put your mental health needs off any longer — make an appointment with our team by calling 425-245-5240 today or using our easy online booking feature to schedule your visit at Nicholson Psychiatry, PLLC, in Bellevue, Washington, any time.