What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Women?

Women are known for their strong emotions when dealing with relationships, struggles, sickness or any other ups and downs of life. Being sad, upset or crying is an absolutely normal reaction of any person towards any unfortunate event taking place in their life. Depression is when the feeling of sadness takes over the mind with or without any reason to the depth from where no light is visible. Women are twice more likely to go through depression than men; moreover, they do not seek and get proper help to overcome their depression, making them silent sufferers of blues.

The signs and symptoms of depression in women are different from men, though the feelings of being worthless, sad, vulnerable, hopeless and losing interest in things they once enjoyed is common for everyone. Knowing that they are suffering from a disorder which can be corrected with proper medication and counseling can help women seek relief, which is the first step towards dealing effectively with depression.

The initial signs like irritability, insomnia, fatigue, loss of concentration and interest in activities, being isolated from friends and family, sudden change in weight are ignored by women as they do not recognize it as symptoms of depression.

Early Indicators

depressed-womanFollowing are some of the early signs of depression in women:

  • Tiredness and fatigue even after good night’s sleep
  • Going through guilt for no apparent reason
  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty in focusing or concentrating
  • Inability to make decisions
  • Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping
  • Irritation and crankiness
  • Extreme mood swings without any cause
  • Physical pain that does not respond to pain killers
  • Losing interest in once preferred and enjoyable activities
  • Change in weight, often related to change in eating pattern

Signs of Advanced Depression

Any of the following symptoms can be an indication that depression has reached an advanced stage:

  • Feelings of persistent sadness, anxiety and vulnerability
  • Being apathetic and indifferent to people and activities once cherished
  • Neglecting hobbies and interests
  • Loss of libido
  • Extreme form of pessimism, helplessness and feelings of utter despair
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts
  • Often being guilt-ridden for no obvious reason
  • Physical ailments like chronic aches and pains and digestive disorders that do not respond to treatment
  • Hyper-somnia or insomnia
  • Low level of tolerance leading to irritability, anger and violent behavior
  • Feeling physically drained with no energy for work
  • Inability to take care of family and self
  • Being highly critical of self and others
  • Social isolation, by not attending parties, classes or any kind of gathering
  • No control over negative thoughts that bombard the mind
  • Changes in appetite leading to drastic changes in weight

Suicidal Hints

Feeling suicidal is an extreme stage of depression. Following symptoms may be a hint that the patient has lost interest in life:

  • Sudden interest in death
  • Giving hints about own death with sentences like, “It makes no difference whether I am alive or dead”
  • Talking about self injury
  • Sudden interest in connecting with people and saying goodbyes
  • Organizing things and tying up all loose ends
  • Sudden positive change in depressive mood
  • Expressing feeling of being trapped and craving for freedom
  • Craving for relief from pain and suffering at any cost
  • Reckless and risky behavior

Since women with depressive disorders do not seek treatment themselves, it is important for anyone who notices the above symptoms to guide them towards treatment. Though a serious ailment, even the most severe cases of depression can be treated with proper medication and counseling.