How can you tell if you’re suffering from depression or experiencing other emotions? You may feel like you’re noticing potential signs of depression, including consistently low energy, difficulty concentrating, and mood swings.
Above all else, remember that your feelings are valid and important. That remains true whether your feelings are due to depression, or natural waves of sadness that come and go with life changes.
Reviewing common depression symptoms in women can help you decide whether to reach out to a mental health professional — a counsellor that can help you treat depression and support your mental health.
Common depression signs women experience
1. Expressing sadness
While everyone experiences feelings of sadness, an enduring sense of this emotion may indicate clinical or major depression. It’s often characterized by a deep sadness that interferes with your daily life, or your personal and professional relationships, may be a sign of depression.
Medical News Today notes that women are more likely to directly express this possible symptom of depression due to societal expectations and stereotypes. Men, on the other hand, may engage in various behaviours to mask those feelings.
2. Lack of pleasure, motivation, and energy
No symptom of depression is completely limited by gender. While not strictly specific to women, a continuing absence of certain positive feelings can also indicate depression.
The US National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) points out a key differentiator when it comes to symptoms such as:
- A lack of pleasure in activities you normally enjoy
- A general absence of motivation or energy
If you consistently experience these symptoms for two weeks or more, it could be a sign of depression. If the feelings are short term, they could be caused by a number of other factors.
We all experience changes in mood and energy levels — while they’re not always enjoyable, they may not indicate a clinical concern. However, issues that continue over a longer time span could be a sign of depression.
3. Common symptoms in conjunction with life events
Signs of depression in women can be related to certain biological processes. Unlike the symptoms we’ve already covered, these types of depression are specific to women.
The NIMH specifically mentions these types of depression as unique to women:
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: This disorder is similar to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) because it occurs on a cycle, in the weeks before menstruation. It differs from PMS as it’s significantly more severe and debilitating. Take these symptoms seriously and discuss them with your counsellor or medical professional.
- Perimenopausal Depression: The transition into menopause includes a variety of symptoms, but depression shouldn’t be one of them. Perimenopausal depression should not be seen as a standard part of the changes your body can experience during this time.
- Perinatal Depression: This type of depression appears during pregnancy and in the weeks after a woman gives birth. While this major life event can cause emotional changes, they mostly subside after a few weeks. Sustained depression deserves consideration and treatment by a counsellor or other qualified professional.
You don’t need to wait for help with mental health
With Wellin5, you can quickly and easily schedule an appointment with a mental health professional registered in Canada and holding a master’s degree. They can support you with a variety of treatment options, such as cognitive behavioural therapy.
Our counsellors are equipped to help you deal with any symptoms of depression, giving you the support you need to feel better.