Women And Depression Essay, Research Paper
An article in Scientific American called “Why are so many women depressed”, by Ellen Liebenluft, focused on the reason why females are more depressed than males. First, Depression comes with a variety of symptoms. For example, a person suffering from depression may experience sleep disturbances, hopelessness, and feeling of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, experience fatigue and sometime even delusions. Depression is very common among women. If affects nearly 20 percent of women worldwide. Now we have to focus on the reasons that would factor to Depression. Researchers may say that the women have suffered a form of Physical, sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination is to blame for the depression. But it does get more complicated than that. More things can lead to depression too.
The article points out that the increased risk for depression in women today might come from genetics, the effects of stressful events in their lives, social pressures, or the combination of all three. Modern neuroscience uses neuroimaging by PET and MRI scans can reveal that anger and sadness have a biological basis. It can see the circuits of the brain becoming activated when these emotions change and arise.
The first step in figuring out why depression is more common in women, scientists have to study how genetics and the environment divide us, men and women, which influence depression. The environment can have positive and negative Affects on an individual. It’s the fact that the environment can make a person feel stressful, such as having a stressful job that they dislike. Therefore, keeping his/her feelings bottled up inside which can may result in depression.
The differences between the X and Y-chromosomes between men and women affect them in different ways. The differences affect brain development so that men and women have different needs, different reactions to everyday environmental stressors. Post pubertal men and women have different levels of circulating gonadal steroids which somehow puts women more at risk for depression. Girls become more susceptible to depression after puberty because the girls begin to menstruate therefore, they experience hormonal fluxes.
Another study has shown that estrogen also might cause depression. When a women is stressed, the adrenal glands that are controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain-secretes high levels of a hormone, called Cortisol. Cortisol’s duty is to increase the activity of the body’s metabolic as well as its immune system. If the stress increase cortisol secretion, it tends to have a negative affect on the pituitary gland. For example, during menstruation, women experience mood swings. The higher the cortisol and estrogen levels, they’re most likely to suffer from depression.
There was a study done at the Medical College of Virginia. In a study of 2,060 female twins, the researchers wanted to see if genetics had to do with their depression. Some twins in both groups had recently lost a loved one or had a divorce. In contrast, the women who didn’t have a family history of depression, the stressful events raised their risk of depression by only 6 percent. The same study showed that 14 percent of women who did have a family history of depression had become depressed due to the crisis that occurred in their lives.
Researchers also pointed out that the hormones estrogen and cortisol aren’t the only hormones that lead to depression in females. The next hormone is known as Melatonin. The Pineal gland secretes the Melatonin at night. In the morning the melatonin level drops. It explains why many people suffer from Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD). Seasonal changes change a person’s mood as well as change his/her outlook on life. For example, in the winter we tend to stay indoors. As a result we feel trapped and isolated, while in the summer there are many things to do such as going on vacation with family and enjoying life outdoors.
Just when you think nothing else is to blame for depression, there are more reason’s to add to the list. The difference’s in gender is another characteristic. The women tend to keep things inside, resulting in depression and anxiety. On the other hand, men tend to use alcohol and use severe aggression, causing them to act out their feelings.
Nowadays, Scientists are treating patients with drugs, such as Prozac. Prozac is an antidepressant. The patient responds to the medication or psychotherapy or both. Depression is increasing so much that the cost of treatment throughout the US Economy is $30.4 billion each year. The more depression spreads, the more studies and treatments are to derive, which provides us with more logical reasons for the causes of depression.
Scientific American, Why are so many women depressed?