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You’ve probably seen depression in women handled on a TV show or in a movie. The modern Hollywood picture of a depressed woman may indeed be one sitting on her couch watching episodes of “Sex and the City” while crying over a lost lover, inadequate job, or a host of other reasons but that’s not the way most women suffering with depression function.
Most of them in fact are working, living and going out with us and aren’t sitting on their couch all day. She may be good at masking the symptoms of depression or maybe her friends feel that something is “off” or “wrong.”
Women most at risk for depression are between the ages of 25-44, the age range in which most of us are advancing in our careers, building relationships and taking exciting steps into marriage, parenthood or life.
Women suffering from depression may feel guilty not feeling “happy” during these life cycle events, but they should not feel alone. It’s estimated that one in eight women will suffer from clinical depression in her lifetime- a staggeringly high number.
Like we learned from the girls on “Sex and the City” the most important thing friendship gives us is support. Women suffering from depression feel more than just occasionally “blue.” They’re suffering from a serious illness.
As a friend, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of depression in women, and to reach out and give a friend the support she may need for seeking treatment. More than half of women suffering from depression don’t seek out treatment. Often depression is associated with substance abuse so it’s important that women recognize the symptoms of depression- it may be a symptom of something else.
When you can’t find joy or happiness in friends, family or activities, you may be suffering from depression. It’s more than just feeling sad, it’s a serious illness that is twice as likely to affect women as men. Feeling unsatisfied at your own wedding, graduation or with friends may be a sign of depression.
Women may suffer from depression for a variety of reasons, often emotional, hormonal or environmental. They may be stressed about an event or a traumatic experience, this can lead to short-term depression, or it may be caused by chronic feelings of inadequacy, low self esteem or unsatisfactory relationships.
Destination Hope: The Women’s Program provides treatment for depression to our clients. Almost 100 percent of our clients with a substance abuse problem are also suffering from depression. Drug addiction and alcoholism are mental illnesses.
If you get to a point in your life where you are addicted to something, more often than not you are also suffering from depression or anxiety. The drug or alcohol abuse is a coping skill to attempt to control your negative feelings. When depression and substance abuse are present together, they should be treated at the same time at a drug or alcohol rehab that also specializes in treatment for depression.
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please call and speak to our counselors at 866-808-7111. We are here to help.