Depression In Indian women: With an increasing number of Indian women battling depression, stress, and anxiety, it is more important than ever to build awareness about this silent killer among Indian women.
In 2014, over 20,000 Indian housewives reportedly took their lives. In the same year, 5,650 farmers also took their lives.
But sadly, no media house covers the shocking and ugly truth about Indian women struggling with depression. We wonder why as a society, we shy away from discussing it when so many Indian women struggle daily with depression for multiple reasons.
Another study indicated that suicide is the most common cause of death for Indian women between 15 to 49 years. According to this report, deaths resulting from self-harm by young women rose in India by 126% between 1990 and 2010.
In fact, research suggests that women are twice as likely as men to undergo depression, and there are several reasons for this uneven distribution of mental or psychological disorders among genders.
Here’s a detailed resource on what every Indian Women needs to know about Depression.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a state of constant sadness, feeling low, having a loss of interest or pleasure in daily life activities. Anyone of us can suffer from these symptoms, but if they prevail for a long time it may be depression. Though men and women both can suffer from depression, sadly, women are more likely to be affected by depression.
This leads us to an obvious question.
Why Indian Women Don’t Reach Out For The Required Treatment?
#1: Log Kya Kahengey
Because of being a social taboo, many women tend to either ignore the feeling of depression or choose to suffer in silence. They never gather the courage to get themselves tested and treated.
#2: It Is Expensive
Another cause of many Indian women shying away from seeking treatment or support for depression is a common notion that mental health treatment is expensive. And maybe due to a low number of good mental health experts, there may be some truth in that notion.
#3: Shortage Of Time
With most Indian women juggling between personal & professional responsibilities, they find themselves hard-pressed for time. The whole process of – selecting the right practitioner, traveling to the clinic during peak traffic hours and a long wait till the practitioner, makes it cumbersome. Many women put health-related issues on the backburner due to this.
But sadly, it makes the situation and symptoms only worse.
What Are Common Signs & Symptoms Of Depression In Women?
Symptoms of depression can range from severe to minor, depending upon the effect they are having on one’s physical and mental health. Some common signs of depression in women are as follows.
#1. Feeling helpless and hopeless
You may feel that everything is getting out of your hands and you are not able to do anything.
#2. Inability to relax and enjoy
You are not able to give time to your hobbies and other favorite activities. Even if you do, you are not able to enjoy them. There may be a constant feeling of agitation and restlessness.
#3. Loss of appetite
Your appetite changes, you might lose or gain weight unknowingly.
#4. Lack of sleep
There may be some changes in your sleep pattern. You might sleep for long hours or do not sleep at all.
#5. Drop-in Energy Levels & Increase in Pain
You may be feeling low on energy or sluggish, most of the times. And, there might be an increase in pains, headaches or bloating breasts.
#6 Lack of concentration
You often tend to forget things and not be able to concentrate on things.
#7. Suicidal Thoughts
It is an extreme sign of depression. You may get suicidal thoughts every now and then.
Some other common symptoms of depression that women may experience.
- Criticizing yourself. You start blaming yourself for each and everything even if it’s not your fault, leading to unworthiness.
- Symptoms of atypical depression. Rather than sleep and eating less, you start sleeping a lot and eating a lot which it turns results in weight gain.
As per various studies, Indian women are much prone to depression than Indian men.
And, this fact makes it very important for us to understand the causes behind the increasing women falling prey to this silent killer.
What Are The Causes Of Depression In Indian Women?
#1. Premenstrual problems
With hormonal changes during menstruation, many women struggle with pain, mood swings, and stress. Though more often than not, we tend to ignore the problems during menstruation, many women may be affected severely by the signs causing premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) characterized by depression and irritability before your menstruation starts.
#2. Pregnancy and infertility
The hormonal changes that a woman undergoes during her pregnancy can often lead to depression. Also, infertility, unwanted pregnancy, and miscarriages can lead to depression too.
#3. Postpartum depression
As new moms undergo a lot of hormonal changes, they tend to feel many emotions that could be the early signs of postpartum depression.
Many new moms undergo a fear of not being a good mother or not being able to handle the baby well. These fears may lead them to depression, which is termed as postpartum depression.
Also Read: After struggling for 5 years with postpartum depression, how this mother healed herself
#4. Menopause and Peri-menopause
Women who are at the verge of the ending their menstruation cycle tend to get depressed due to the rapid fluctuation of hormones.
#5. The Effect of Female Sex Hormones
Women are more likely to get depressed because of the hormones they produce which lead to stress and triggering depression whereas in the male the hormones help them to prevent the level of stress.
#6. Negative Body Image
Women have always been conditioned to be more affected by body image than men. Hence, women are so conscious about the way they look that it may trigger stress that could lead to depression in later years of life.
Thyroid imbalance could be another reason that could trigger depression in women. Hypothyroidism is one of the conditions that can make a woman feel depressed.
#8. Side effects of medicines
Because of a lack of awareness about medicines, many women find themselves the victim of side effects of medicines taken during the course of pregnancy or hormone replacement therapy. These medicines could lead to multiple side effects, depression being one of them.
#9. Health problems
Problems such as chronic illness, injury or disability can also lead to depression.
Apart from these, some other common causes of depression are as follows:
- Relationship Issues: Breakup, Divorce, Loneliness, In-Laws Harassment
- Childhood Trauma: Suffered through difficult traumatic situations in childhood
- Genetics: Family history of depression
- Substance Abuse: Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
- Marriage Issues: Conflicts with the partners leading to a lack of satisfaction and happiness in marriage
- Family Responsibilities: Not being able to balance work with family
- Career: Problems at work such as not meeting the goals, no appraisals, fear of being fired.
- Finances: Money problems
- Grief: Losing a loved one to death
- Social evils: Gender discrimination, dowry, etc.
Also Read: How Loneliness Affects Your Health & What You Should Know To Cure It Before It’s Too Late
But there’s no need to stress out if you’re finding these symptoms related to yourself. Contrary to the most prevalent sentiment related to depression – fear, it can be cured with proper medication and treatments.
Here’s a list of some tips that can be useful for you to get out of depression.
Tip-1: Find social support
As a woman, we are comforted by the interpersonal relationships during our journey of better mental health.
So, please try to find help from your friends or your social group. Build new relations with people, try to express your feelings to them and seek their support. Contact the person you feel is worthy of your emotions and open up with him/her.
Your loved ones are the ones who can be of great help to get you out of the depression and will be able to understand your situation to the bits.
Now the question that arises here is how to reach out for the social support if you’re in the state of depression for a long time. Here’s a list of some points that you can follow up:
- Contact the person you feel cares for you
- Try to be in touch with regular video calls
- Try to take part in social activities such as volunteering
- Join a support group for depression
- Stay away from people who pull you down or make you feel worse about your mental health
Also Read: People Shared How Stupidly Friends & Family Reacted On Their Depression
Tip-2: Take good care of your health
In order to be out of depression, you need to take good care of your health to be stress-free. Here’s a list of few things that you need to take into account to be health:
- Take eight hours of sleep
- Do not overburden yourself with work
- Try yoga and meditation
- Do things that you used to enjoy. Follow your hobbies
Tip-3: Start exercising
Getting fresh air and stretching is the best way to come out of this depression. Try to get out of bed and start exercising. Begin exercising with smaller goals and then, aim for the higher ones gradually.
Exercise helps you get fresh air which helps in the relaxation of your brain cells and does help you to get rid of depression. If you’re not able to have a walk of 30 minutes in one go, then try to break it up in 10 minutes each. Try to:
- Find an exercising partner
- Get your dog along with you
- Make your exercise more continuous and rhythmic.
Tip-4: Start eating a healthy diet
The food you eat has a direct effect on your mind as well as your body. Dietary modifications and herbal remedies help a lot of women to get rid of depression. Try these tips to modify your diet:
- Do not skip your meals
- Cut out the foods having fats, avoid too much of salt, caffeine, and alcohol
- Add vitamin B in your diet
- Take enough iron in your diet
- Try to add herbal supplements in your diet
Also Read: Diet For Getting Rid Of Anxiety Or Depression
Tip- 5: Daily dose of sunlight
Try to take at least 15 minutes of sunlight. Doing this will help in increasing serotonin levels in your body that will make you feel lively. Try to follow these tips:
- Take a walk outside during your break time
- Try to exercise in sunlight to have direct sunlight
- Have sunlight at your homes and workplace by removing the unnecessary curtain
Tip-6: Think positively
Our negative thoughts usually suppress our positive ones. So, try to have a positive outlook on your thoughts and eliminate the negative ones. Find out the thoughts that are overpowering your mind, and find a positive solution for them.
For instance: Rather than thinking that your boss has given you the most difficult task because he hates you. You may think that he finds you as the best choice to complete that task over others and is trying to push you to your caliber.
Also Read: 36 Simple Things That Will Bring Peace To Your Life
Tip-7: Seek professional help
Don’t feel that it is bad to seek professional help. Experts can help you out with the therapy and the medications that will be helpful for you to get out of the state of depression.
Depression isn’t something that cannot be cured. It can be overcome with the right help and guidance.
Do not look at depression as a disease, but take it more positively and try to get the negatives out of your head. Right steps taken at right times will be of great help to get out of the state of depression.
In case you are an EXPERT, who treats people with depression or if you are seeking for support in your battle with depression, then do connect with us.