Women are two times more likely than men to experience depression. In fact, about 20% of all women will experience depression at some point during their life. This article will educate you about the symptoms of depression seen specifically in women and how these symptoms may look in a woman’s daily life.
Symptoms of Depression Experienced By Women
Depression in women is characterized by feelings of inadequacy, lack of energy, and anxiety. The following are symptoms reported by women experiencing depression:
- Being overly emotional, more than normally experienced.
- Having difficulty enjoying things they used to like.
- Feeling inadequate as a wife, mother, and at work.
- Thoughts of being a burden to others and wondering what it would be like if they were not in the picture.
- Sleeping too much or not at all.
- Not taking care of their body or being overly anxious about how they look.
- Increased worry and anxiety over everyday tasks and decisions.
- Lack of energy for daily tasks.
The information below contains a more in-depth overview of how these symptoms look on a daily basis in the lives of women experiencing depression:
1. Being overly emotional, more than normally experienced
Women experiencing depression report not feeling in control of their emotions. Things they could normally shrug off can trigger a mood of sadness and hurt, or even bring them to tears. As much as they try, it feels impossible to be in control again.
2. Having difficulty enjoying things they used to like
Things a depressed woman used to enjoy do not seem appealing even though she knows they were enjoyable in the past. A depressed woman may know she enjoys spending time with friends, but it can be difficult to manage just getting out of bed and getting dressed.
3. Feeling inadequate as a wife, mother, and at work
A lack of confidence defines a depressed woman’s life. She may not feel like she is desirable to her husband. She may feel like she does not take adequate care of her children, or she may feel incompetent in her workplace. These thoughts can be untrue, but a depressed woman will often still believe them and feel this way.
4. Thoughts of being a burden to others and wondering what it would be like if they were not in the picture
These thoughts are not necessarily suicidal, but they still indicate that the woman questions her worth to others. Feeling like a burden or nuisance to others is significant. Depressed women often do not feel valued or feel that they have let down the important people in their life.
5. Sleeping too much or not at all
When depressed, some women report being tired all the time. They can sleep 8, 10, or even 12 hours and still feel like they need a nap. On the other hand, some women have difficulty falling asleep due to worry, troublesome thoughts, and extreme emotion.
6. Not taking care of their body or feeling overly anxious about how they look
It is important to note that all women feel insecure about their bodies at times, but with regards to depression, this feeling can be amplified. In many cases, depressed women want to take care of themselves, but have difficulty actually doing it (i.e. they are held back by the other symptoms of depression). On the other hand, some women become overly obsessed with how they look to a harmful degree. This symptom may be characterized by exercising and eating (or not eating) to an obsessive degree.
7. Increased worry and anxiety over everyday tasks and decisions
Women who are depressed a prone to excessive worry about many aspects of their lives. These include how they are viewed by others, social interaction, job performance, and parenting skills. Making decisions can also be difficult due to questioning their thoughts and instincts. A simple decision—such as where to have dinner—can be too difficult to find a solution.
8. Lack of energy for daily tasks
Tasks that used to be easy can be daunting and take much longer to complete for depressed women. Cleaning the house or playing with the kids may feel like an enormous task (even if they would like to do these things) because of a lack of energy. For many women, it can be difficult just to get out of bed and get ready for the day.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please contact us. The Relationship Center has therapists who specialize in counseling women and the issues they face. We are here to help and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Harvard Health Publications. (2011, May). Women and depression. Harvard Mental Health Letter. Retrieved August 12, 2012, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2011/May/women-and-and-depression
About the Author:
September Trent, MS, PLPC is a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor with The Relationship Center. She has a heart for “Showing God’s love through serving others.” September obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and Master’s degree in counseling psychology from Evangel University. She specializes in marital therapy and working with individuals struggling with a variety of issues, including eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. September’s experience includes working with children and adolescents residing in inpatient facilities as well as completing an internship working with adults struggling with severe mental illness. She also has experience in gerontology where she has counseled individuals residing in nursing homes, provided in-home mental health services to elderly individuals, and assisted families in coping with mental illness. September and her husband have one daughter and reside in Springfield.
September Trent sees clients in Springfield Missouri.