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Mental Health and Women : Anxiety and Depression

With the surge of social media, depression and anxiety is surging in women and affecting mental health. Did you knew that women are 2-3 times more susceptible towards depression and anxiety? Read why and signs associated with these mental illness. #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicide #selfharm #women

Loss due to Depression and Anxiety : Mental Health

With the surge of social media, depression and anxiety is surging in women and affecting mental health. Did you knew that women are 2-3 times more susceptible towards depression and anxiety? Read why and signs associated with these mental illness. #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicide #selfharm #women

“I have anxiety. And I’m treating my anxiety. I’m on medication for my anxiety. Why am I saying this? Because it’s a completely normal thing. It’s a biological problem. In my family, there have been cases of depression. More and more people, should talk openly about it. There is nothing shameful about it or something to hide. If you had a constant stomach pain, wouldn’t you go to the doctor? It’s that simple. I want to make this my mission, to take any shame out of this, to educate people about this ~ Anushka Sharma

Exactly, why to disdain Mental health and cover it up with the physical health? I wept on the news of suicide by elegant Kate Spade and it was not enough that the sudden (but not so sudden) news of Anthony Bourdain poured in and twitteratis were taken aback. It was said that Anthony reached out for help before he died, but he did not take the doctor’s advice. A lil later, another news of publicist Jeanine Pepler who committed suicide popped up. All three took nearly the same route for suicide. Why??

Though they had everything in life, an elegant appeal, popularity, well balanced finances, but somewhere they were not emotionally stable and were fighting with something harsh deep inside. And it would have been really hard for them to take this extreme step. Their colourful life was becoming darker and darker which none could see through.

Nothing is more depressing than having everything and still feeling really sad!!

What is Depression ?

Related read : Tips on how to fight depression and anxiety

Celebrities like Karan Johar, Ranveer singh, Dipika Padukone, ​Ileana D’Cruz have faced these saddening black holes in their lives and have openly spoken about depression. Halle Berry spoke about her mental health after her marriage to baseball player David Justice broke off. 

If you or someone you know is in an emotional distress or suicidal, please check out these suicide helplines in India.

Today, Its a talk about Mental Health, why Anxiety and depression is more prone in women, and how to slowly come out of this deadly trap. Depression is  the most common disorder and it is a resultant of biological, environmental, genetic, and psychological factors. It cannot be tagged to a specific age bracket, but usually it can start from adolescence and become more chronic during adulthood. Usually it starts as an anxiety in children and converts into severe depression later on.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety involves very significant feelings of being anxious clubbed with phobia. Normal anxiousness is okay, but in anxiety disorder, people are backed by worry and fear. Here a small anxiety builds up with time and people consistently fear of some “present happenings” and worry about the future ones. These feelings interfere in our daily life activities and handicap them to a high degree.

Why are anxiety and depression more common in women?

With the surge of social media, depression and anxiety is surging in women and affecting mental health. Did you knew that women are 2-3 times more susceptible towards depression and anxiety? Read why and signs associated with these mental illness. #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicide #selfharm #women

Women and men are differently wired not just physically but even psychologically. The approach of a men and women while dealing with success, relationships, feelings, stress is lot different. While women tend to internatize their feelings, men on the same platform externalize them. This creates a huge difference in the way the stress, anxiety gets woven in the lives of women.

Basis ample researches, the symptoms of depression and anxiety, are twice or thrice more common in women compared to men. Also, females have a higher degree of severity when it comes to anxiety disorders. 

Praggatti Rao, a Child & Adolescent Psychologist and Psychometric Analyst says  – “In my experience, anxiety majorly stems from family history of anxiety in one or both parents. It is majorly OBSERVATIONAL in nature where they observe the parents cope in a certain manner. Though there are many factors today from online mediums to real life stressors to being a perfectionist, which add on to the anxiety levels . It will be surprising to know that anxiety is most common even more common than depression. But with timely intervention and a few strategies that vary from case to case , it is pretty manageable.”

Reasons why women are more susceptible to mental disorders as Anxiety and Depression:

1. Hormonal factors :

The hormonal changes in the life of a women makes them more vulnerable towards Mental Illness. The cyclic shifts in women’s life can result in malfunction and create mental diseases. Starting from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (onset of periods) to Mental disturbances during late pregnancy to menopause, these cyclic hormonal changes sometimes are devastating. Women experience PostPartum depression usually during late pregnancy and after baby birth. The feelings of extreme exhaustion, sadness, less time for self, more anxiety and worries related to caring the new born often grips a new mom.

Later, menopause causes lots of emotional and psychological drains. Often menopause is accompanied by depression and a woman needs to have a strong support and an optimistic environment at this moment.

It is also said, that Women are more prone to stress than men because their increased levels of progesterone. Progesterone prevents stress hormones from being flushed out.

2. Social factors :

Life of women is often accompanied with lots of sacrifices at various stages of life. Women usually internalize their thoughts and feelings, while men distract themselves or shake off when such feelings grip in their thoughts. This results in greater susceptibility of women towards these disorders.

3. Psychological factors :

Often abuse, physical violence, harassment, work-life balance, Financial troubles, loss in relationships or disturbances in relations create a deep impact on the mindset of a women. Harassment, abuse, violence can all lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).These factors often lead to depression in adulthood and mid life. Even girls from nuclear families and women who get married at a very young age are at a higher risk of depression and prone to self-harm.

With the surge of social media, depression and anxiety is surging in women and affecting mental health. Did you knew that women are 2-3 times more susceptible towards depression and anxiety? Read why and signs associated with these mental illness. #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicide #selfharm #women

4. Life stressors & Societal Factors :

Women face a lot of Life stressors as child birth, being a carer to child, caring for elders and sick in the family. Even in the professional world, women have to fight when it comes to the wages, promotions, recognitions, no matter how diligently they put across their work. Things are changing, honestly, but a lot more needs to be done at workplaces. Their personal and professional struggles drain them emotionally and loads them with stress. With consistent saddening environment and these hormonal changes, Mental illness easily grips a women’s life.

Also, in Indian society, women have less autonomy when it comes to decision making, be it personal, family or professional decisions. These gaps along with other stated pointers when associated results in occurrence of depression.

5. Impact of Social Media :

Praggatti shares, “Stuart Crabb , a Director at facebook gave the following analogy to TIMES for social media and its impact on mental health.” IF YOU PUT A FROG IN COLD WATER AND SLOWLY TURN ON THE HEAT IT WILL BOIL TO DEATH”. Its important to understand that the time spent on social media affects our perceptions around life and it affects our relationships, our performances at work and overall quality of life. With social media, The pressure to be popular or cool, higher expectations from life, unabated competitiveness accrue and is overloaded with stress. All inadequately managed stress can lead to withdrawal, anxiety, aggression and physical illness.

Social media is causing more harm to relations now than ever in the past.

Symptoms of these mental disorders  :

  • Persistent sadness or hopelessness along with loneliness
  • Changes in Appetite (usually it enhances) and weight changes
  • Lack of energy for even day to day activities
  • Consistent fear in the back of mind
  • Feeling of being a failure or a loser or unloved
  • Changes in sleeping habits, often accompanied by Insomnia
  • Resorting to drugs, liquor for mental satisfaction
  • Too frequent mood fluctuations, mostly irritation, guilt, sadness
  • Social phobia and withdrawal
  • Anxiety on what “others” will say and having feelings of embarrassment or rejections from “Society”.
  • Unable to speak to friends or make new friends
  • Getting anxious at work or while working in a group.
  • Panic attacks and suicidal thoughts

For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and many of the time, if left untreated, it worsens with time. These negative feelings interfere with daily activities such as house work, professional performance, school work, way of handling kids and a downfall in relationships. 

Let’s all understand that mental illnesses are not uncommon. Visiting a psychiatrist is not a crime, it is a step to sort out the negatives early in the life. If left untreated, mental illness can result in multitude of other problems. Thus, identifying them and treating them is extremely important. In our next post, we take on the Solutions for Anxiety and Depression.

Read the solutions for anxiety and depression here.

Be Happy, this life is yours, Be the true yourself.

Love, Jhilmil

[Disclaimer : This piece of information should not be taken a medical advice. If you any such symptoms, do refer a medical practitioner. The views here are basis the author’s experiences and discussions with Psychiatrists.]

References :

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

41 comments
  1. Vasantha Vivek

    I could relate well to your post. I had these pains earlier which pushed me to make two suicide attempts. But thanks to my family and friends, today I’m a proud survivor. Professional counselling, yoga and meditation helped me a lot to bounce back into my life. Now I have no regrets about my past since I decided to focus only on my present. Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Jhilmil

      That was an honest speak up Vasantha, I’m really happy that you are out of that phase. Yoga, family and counselling are the things which have biggest impact on mental health.

  2. Addy Brown

    Memory loss due to depression is typically managed with regular counseling or therapy and antidepressants. Leading an active lifestyle and getting involved in your community can also elevate your mood.Medications that can improve memory and brain function in people.

  3. Megha Patni

    That’s so true… In this day and age depression is touching every age that it can find… A little bit of help and awareness can go a long way… Jhilmil indeed an insightful read and need of the hour.

  4. Neha

    This is a great detailed post and something that every woman should read. Many times people don’t know how to understand and even help a person with anxiety issues.

  5. Gurjeet Chhabra

    Even in one of my relative suffer from depression and attempt suicides. Depression seems not dangerous but it actually like slow posion which drag you towards death or law confidence in u

  6. Siddhi Palande aka book_gobbler

    Depression is really really bad because other disease the symptoms are visible but wake the depression one has to delve deeper into the personality to understand that the person is depressed. This is one insightful article thank you for sharing

  7. Sayeri

    Sometimes we dont even feel that depression is gulping us slowly. We have stress, work pressure and all. Thanks for sharing the symptoms so that people can understand and treat this properly.

  8. Mri

    I tried getting medical help.. but the psychiatrist didn’t understand anything.. he kept on saying you cannot do this.. you cannot achieve that without even me trying..
    I always had anxiety but now I am having a hard time coping with it
    Sometimes it is because I keep thinking over a thing (has happened or is purely imaginative) and sometimes i don’t have any reason but i just feel caged in this life, body and world
    It has been 3-4 days or more.. I am Just crying.. i don’t know why.. i am not suicidal because i know that is not the way out.. but these things are eating me up from within
    I will wait for your next post but i have a request.. please don’t say just smile or eat healthy or watch movies as most of the articles say, it doesn’t help.. please give a remedy that actually reduces that sadness and depression

    1. Jhilmil

      Mrinal, you spoke up so honestly, my another post is already up and here is the link to it https://www.mommyinme.com/10-tips-on-how-to-fight-depression-and-anxiety/
      Yes, I need to say that many things play a role and the best cure can be found by the person who feels about it. Sometimes removing toxic people and going slow on social media helps ample people, while for others going spiritual, writing journals work. Eating healthy is indeed an important point, but it alone can never help as you have to find remedy for your soul. Pls read this post and let me know if you found some genuine help from it.

  9. Jiya B

    Depression and stress is on the rise. Very recently have seen many people dealing with the issue. I am sure this post will enlighten them to overcome it soon will share with few people I know.

  10. Judy

    Great and in depth article about a very less talked about problem. Well I have been here too. But thankfully I understood that it is the brain that does the game and cured it at an early stage.

  11. Manisha Garg

    I think we all go through it, whats needs to be done is acceptance. I am glad that we are creating more awareness this will help people to learn and share about it instead of just suffering.

  12. Roma

    You are right buddy it only takes being happy to rid you of it but I wish it was that easy. The only sibling has it and I know how difficult it is to pull him out every time he hits his low.

  13. Shilpa Garg

    Mental illness affects a lot of people around us but very few receive treatment, often because of the stigma attached to mental health. It’s time we start taking the mental illness like any other illness of the body and see the specialists for the treatment. Thanks for an informative post.

  14. Geethica Mehra

    Actually women don’t take their health seriously. They react very late on any issue regarding their health. And yes, visiting a psychiatrist is seriously not a crime but a great help.

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