Over eight percent of Americans said they had experienced symptoms of depression between the years 2013 and 2016.
Early studies from the Mayo Clinic suggest that the normal hormone fluctuations that occur during a woman’s puberty, reproductive years, pregnancies, and eventual menopause are why women are more prone to getting depressed than men.
Around 80 percent of both men and women were of the opinion that depression affected their ability to function on an everyday basis; meaning, they probably had problems dealing with people socially, or they had problems performing well at work, or they found it difficult to function well at home or in their family lives.
“The most interesting was that it affects men and women equally, about four out of five had these difficulties, even though the prevalence was much lower among men than among women, we found that impairment was the same for both of them,” said Debra Brody, the study’s lead author.
“Maybe people think of women being more depressed, having more symptoms and being more affected, but in fact it seems that both [sexes] are affected – in terms of daily activities – similarly,” Brody added. (Related: Western diet promotes depression in women.)
Men are more prone to feeling hopelessly downtrodden in their old age, after they turn 60, while depression is most common for women between the ages of 40 and 59, though these rates were not “statistically different.”
Aside from gender, rates of depression differ among income brackets, with the highest income groups having the lowest rates of depression, and the lowest income brackets having the highest rates of depression.
“It’s not something new, but it could be related to treatment or access to care. Overall, that report tells you in some ways how difficult it is for people to live with depression and symptoms of depression,” Brody said.
More on depression in women
Clinical depression is not “a normal part of being a woman” nor is it a “female weakness.” Depressive ailments affect more than 19 million American adults age 18 and above annually. Each year, around 12 million women in the U.S. are affected by depression.
Sometimes, aside from biological factors, women can become prone to depression due to social factors. These factors include family responsibilities, increased rates of sexual abuse, poverty, roles and expectations from women, and stress from work, among others.
For more stories regarding women’s general well-being, visit WomensHealth.news.