- What is depression?
- What are the different forms of depression?
- What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
- What causes depression in women?
- How is depression treated?
- How can I help a loved one who is depressed?
- How can I help myself if I am depressed?
- Where can I go for help?
- What if I or someone I know is in crisis?
What causes depression in women?
Several factors may contribute to depression in women.
Genes—women with a family history of depression may be more likely to develop it than those whose families do not have the illness.
Brain chemistry and hormones—people with depression have different brain chemistry than those of people without the illness. Also, the hormones that control emotions and mood can affect brain chemistry.
During certain times of a woman's life, her hormones may be changing, which may affect her brain chemistry. For example, after having a baby (postpartum period), hormones and physical changes may be overwhelming. Some women experience postpartum depression, a serious form of depression that needs treatment. Other times of hormonal change, such as transition into menopause, may increase a woman's risk for depression.
Stress—loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger depression in some women.