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Know The Facts

Depression is more common among women than among men. Biological, life cycle, hormonal and psychosocial factors unique to women may be linked to their higher depression rate. Researchers have shown that hormones directly affect brain chemistry that controls emotions and mood. For example, women are particularly vulnerable to depression after giving birth, when hormonal and physical changes, along with the new responsibility of caring for a newborn, can be overwhelming. Many new mothers experience a brief episode of the "baby blues," but some will develop postpartum depression, a much more serious condition that requires active treatment and emotional support for the new mother. Some studies suggest that women who experience postpartum depression often have had prior depressive episodes.

Some women may also be susceptible to a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), sometimes called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a condition resulting from the hormonal changes that typically occur around ovulation and before menstruation begins. During the transition into menopause, some women experience an increased risk for depression. Scientists are exploring how the cyclical rise and fall of estrogen and other hormones may affect the brain chemistry that is associated with depressive illness.

Finally, many women face the additional stresses of work and home responsibilities, caring for children and aging parents, abuse, poverty, and relationship strains. It remains unclear why some women faced with enormous challenges develop depression, while others with similar challenges do not.

Find out what you can do about depression in your personal life:


Visit The Reawakening Center!

The Reawakening Center is a powerful Internet resource for helping you cope with and overcome depression. You’ll find Online Coaching tools that use artwork, characters and metaphor to encourage new ways of thinking. You'll also find a quick Self-Test to help you determine if you are at risk of depression.

Last updated January 19, 2010




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