Causes of depression in women – 1: Genes

Causes of depression in women – 1: Genes

Clinical depression is among the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States that affected around 16 million American adults in 2015, as highlighted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). It contributes to significant morbidity and consequent disability in people from all over the world. Feeling sad at times is normal but living with sadness for days and months may indicate that something is not right. Ignorance can be dangerous as it may cause a delay in identifying the problem and treating it.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), women are more vulnerable to developing depression than men. About one in 10 women between 18 and 44 years old suffered from major depression in 2016, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In women, heredity has been reported to be a major cause of depression. An old study reported that around 29 percent women have heritability-related depressive symptoms. Another study suggested a 36–44 percent contribution of genetic factors in causing depression in women.

Role of genetics in causing depression in women

According to the Stanford School of Medicine, having a parent or sibling with major depression increases the risk of developing depression by two to three times compared to a normal person. The likelihood of developing depression is further affected by factors including recurrent depression or multiple occurrences of depression in a parent or sibling and onset of depression at relatively younger age (childhood, teens or twenties). It is a less common scenario but if it happens it increases the risk of developing depression by 4 to 5 times compared with the average person.

Similar to health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, depression is also influenced by genes. Though researchers are not sure how many genes are involved in causing depression, they speculate the involvement of more than one gene in causing depression in a large number of people. It is not like that a woman “inherits” depression from her parents and will definitely have it. In fact, she inherits a unique set of genes from her parents, which forms a unique combination to cause a particular illness in the recipient.

Tips for women to cope up with depression

Along with genes, a host of other factors also triggers depressive symptoms, such as pre-and post-menstrual problems, prenatal and postnatal anxiety, and personal life experiences. It is difficult to avoid taking stress but women can learn and practice effects ways to cope up with depression at different stages of life as given below:

  • Learning to express: Sharing feelings with people women love and trust can help relieve stress. It is important to have occasional cathartic moments to calm the mind. Women should not hesitate to ask for support at difficult times.
  • Taking out time to socialize: Socializing can help women vent negative energy while helping them avoid feelings that evoke anxiety and depressive symptoms. Social gatherings are a way to rebuild self-esteem, foster positive relationships and friendships, and express one’s opinions.
  • Sparing time for physical activity: Staying indoor and reminding oneself of the problems in loop would only make women more depressed. It’s important to get up and moving. Studies recommend regular exercise as an effective means to feel enthusiastic and overcome negative thoughts. It charges up the energy levels and decreases fatigue.
  • Having a sound sleep: Depression and sleep problems are interrelated with each other. Practicing healthy sleep techniques can help women enjoy a sound sleep and overcome stress. 8 to 9 hours of sleep makes one feel rejuvenated.
  • Practicing relaxation techniques: Practicing relaxation techniques including yoga, deep breathing, meditation, muscle relaxation etc. in which women find pleasure in, can prove to be great techniques. Such activities help alleviate depressive symptoms, reduce stress, and induce feelings of joy and well-being.
  • Eating healthy food: Making dietary modifications such as cutting back on fatty foods, caffeine, salt, and alcohol, and adding nutrients including Vitamin B-6, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium can also help reduce symptoms of depression.

Getting help when needed

It is always better to prevent any illness at first place. However, if a woman is facing problems with mental health, she should immediately see an expert. This could help prevent progression of the illness and ensure fast recovery.

If you are looking for the best depression treatment clinic in Texas, contact the experts at the Texas Depression Treatment Help. You can chat online or call our 24/7 helpline 866-827-0282 for information on state-of-the-art depression treatment centers in Texas.

Read the other articles of the series “Causes of depression in women:”

  1. Genes
  2. Psychological reasons