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Complications of being a woman

As women, we are burdened with innumerable responsibilities- that of a mother, wife, employee, friend, caregiver, and the list goes on. These roles can often prove to be taxing and the innumerable duties a woman has to perform goes for a toss. The ups and downs she faces might be due to mood swings, but if the sadness is persistent, it often takes the shape of depression where everything seems to be at an all-time low.

Many people tend to think that this happens due to hormonal changes, sleep deprivation or genetic predisposition. However, these are just mere triggers for the bigger picture causing depression in women. Women experience these changes in their body typically during puberty when the hormone levels are on a roller-coaster ride and the body is preparing for fertility. Many would blame family history for depression but research found that genes are not the sufficient cause.

Women become more prone to depression during or after childbirth. The brain alleviates the stress caused during pregnancy by using its damage control measures. Women with genetic predisposition or history of depression are more vulnerable to this type of depression, known as postpartum depression. This depression is not only triggered by the high progesterone level but also the changes that your body has undergone and the introduction of a new being in your world, altering your prior habits. This puts immense pressure on women; unable to get an adequate amount of sleep, doing all the chores all by themselves, and failure to seek any help.

Dr. Denise Hooks-Anderson, an associate professor of Family and Community Medicine at Saint Louis University, says that she makes teenage girls visiting her undergo a thorough examination to make sure that the most obvious causes of their depression can be ruled out. She says, “I want to know if a teenage girl is being bullied. Is she getting enough sleep? Are there stressors at home; is there any abuse; does she feel safe? Kids are more stressed now—in some cases, to the point of suicide.” Hooks-Anderson also checks the thyroid hormones of women of all age groups to make sure that their levels are normal for its fluctuations can either cause depression or anxiety. She concludes by saying that women are indeed complicated beings.

Subarna Basu