Monday, February 6, 2012

Women, Hormones, Mood Swings, And Antidepressants

It is a little known fact that women are more likely to experience depression than men. Two or three times more likely, according to some scientific data. This stems down to basic biology and the various differences between male and female physiologies, and not that women are supposedly considered as the weaker sex. Things like the levels of estrogen in the bloodstream and serotonin in the brain are among the factors that cause women to be more likely to need prescription antidepressants than men. It isn't just depression that women are found to be more susceptible to, however. A specific form of depression, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is also known to be more prevalent among women than men.

According to some studies, men and women put under the same level of stress will experience and deal with that stress differently. Women are found to be more likely to develop a need for prescription antidepressants and the like, due to their increased probability of developing a more emotional response. Men, on the other hand, often turned to aggression and abuse of various substances, with tobacco and alcohol being the most common. Science now believes that this difference stems from higher levels of certain biochemicals in the body. These chemicals, which may include the female hormone estrogen, are at the root of the more "emotionally attuned" response to stress and pressure. This, combined with the fact that female hormone levels are in near-constant flux throughout their lives, makes them more prone to develop mental disorders that deal with emotions and emotional responses.

It is interesting to note that some health experts believe that the nature of female hormone levels makes women more prone to some forms of depression than men. The female physiology and hormone levels make them prone to a number of psychological conditions that can be treated by prescription antidepressants. These episodes are most often connected to the levels of estrogen in the female body. Unfortunately, the estrogen levels are often at their highest (or in their greatest state of flux) during times when others expect odd behavior from women and girls. As such, these brief episodes of depression are ignored as being part of "that time of the month." On some occasions, these episodes may last longer than normal, but most people will just pass it off as being part of being female, rather than consult with an expert.

Premenstrual syndrome, which has been a problem of women for years, is also sometimes linked with depression. Most women do not realize that this syndrome can be treated, along with the depressive episodes it has been known to cause on occasion. Prescription antidepressants can help alleviate this problem, as well as help a woman deal with the temporary effects of postpartum depression. It should be noted that women who suffer from postpartum depression once are more susceptible to experience it again in the event they have another child. Menopause is also a major concern. Most modern women live nearly a third of their lives after the menopausal period, but the suicide rate for women is highest before menopause sets in. Prescription antidepressants and the right therapy could help lower those numbers.

Author : Harvey Ong
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