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Depression In Women Essay, Research Paper

An article in Scientific American called "Why are so many women

depressed", by Ellen Liebenluft, focused on the reason why females are more

depressed than males. First, Depression comes with a variety of symptoms. For

example, a person suffering from depression may experience sleep disturbances,

hopelessness, and feeling of worthlessness, difficulty concentrating, experience

fatigue and sometime even delusions. Depression is very common among women. If

affects nearly 20 percent of women worldwide. Now we have to focus on the

reasons that would factor to Depression. Researchers may say that the women have

suffered a form of Physical, sexual abuse, harassment or discrimination is to

blame for the depression. But it does get more complicated than that. More

things can lead to depression too. The article points out that the increased

risk for depression in women today might come from genetics, the effects of

stressful events in their lives, social pressures, or the combination of all

three. Modern neuroscience uses neuroimaging by PET and MRI scans can reveal

that anger and sadness have a biological basis. It can see the circuits of the

brain becoming activated when these emotions change and arise. The first step in

figuring out why depression is more common in women, scientists have to study

how genetics and the environment divide us, men and women, which influence

depression. The environment can have positive and negative Affects on an

individual. It’s the fact that the environment can make a person feel stressful,

such as having a stressful job that they dislike. Therefore, keeping his/her

feelings bottled up inside which can may result in depression. The differences

between the X and Y-chromosomes between men and women affect them in different

ways. The differences affect brain development so that men and women have

different needs, different reactions to everyday environmental stressors. Post

pubertal men and women have different levels of circulating gonadal steroids

which somehow puts women more at risk for depression. Girls become more

susceptible to depression after puberty because the girls begin to menstruate

therefore, they experience hormonal fluxes. Another study has shown that

estrogen also might cause depression. When a women is stressed, the adrenal

glands that are controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain-secretes high

levels of a hormone, called Cortisol. Cortisol’s duty is to increase the

activity of the body’s metabolic as well as its immune system. If the stress

increase cortisol secretion, it tends to have a negative affect on the pituitary

gland. For example, during menstruation, women experience mood swings. The

higher the cortisol and estrogen levels, they’re most likely to suffer from

depression. There was a study done at the Medical College of Virginia. In a

study of 2,060 female twins, the researchers wanted to see if genetics had to do

with their depression. Some twins in both groups had recently lost a loved one

or had a divorce. In contrast, the women who didn’t have a family history of

depression, the stressful events raised their risk of depression by only 6

percent. The same study showed that 14 percent of women who did have a family

history of depression had become depressed due to the crisis that occurred in

their lives. Researchers also pointed out that the hormones estrogen and

cortisol aren’t the only hormones that lead to depression in females. The next

hormone is known as Melatonin. The Pineal gland secretes the Melatonin at night.

In the morning the melatonin level drops. It explains why many people suffer

from Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD). Seasonal changes change a person’s

mood as well as change his/her outlook on life. For example, in the winter we

tend to stay indoors. As a result we feel trapped and isolated, while in the

summer there are many things to do such as going on vacation with family and

enjoying life outdoors. Just when you think nothing else is to blame for

depression, there are more reason’s to add to the list. The difference’s in

gender is another characteristic. The women tend to keep things inside,

resulting in depression and anxiety. On the other hand, men tend to use alcohol

and use severe aggression, causing them to act out their feelings. Nowadays,

Scientists are treating patients with drugs, such as Prozac. Prozac is an

antidepressant. The patient responds to the medication or psychotherapy or both.

Depression is increasing so much that the cost of treatment throughout the US

Economy is $30.4 billion each year. The more depression spreads, the more

studies and treatments are to derive, which provides us with more logical

reasons for the causes of depression.


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