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Depression in women: When to get help and your treatment options

Posted at 8:55 AM, Aug 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-21 11:13:16-04

Dr. Johanna Voutyras with Davis Hospital and Medical Center talked with Fox 13 about depression in women. She discussed when to seek help and your treatment options.

Depression can be debilitating for anyone. Women are twice as likely to experience clinical depression compared to men. Approximately one in four women will have an episode of major depression at some point in her life. Hormone fluctuations can contribute to the increased risk of women developing depression.

Symptoms of depression in women

Depression symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Common symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad or hopeless feelings
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and helplessness
  • Appetite changes including overeating or loss of appetite
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

What is postpartum depression?

After childbirth, some women may experience postpartum depression. Many known factors can increase a woman’s risk including a dramatic drop in hormone levels, emotional factors, sleep deprivation, and lifestyle stressors. It is important for any new mom to speak with her doctor if she is experiencing symptoms of depression after childbirth.

Treatment for depression in women

Treatment depends on the type of depression and the severity of symptoms. It is important to remember that healing from depression takes time; however, taking the right steps and getting the support necessary is the best place to start.

Advisable steps include:

  • Asking for help and support from trusted people
  • Sleeping a normal amount of hours
  • Getting outdoors and/or exercising
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
  • Psychological counseling
  • Antidepressant medications