5 Unique Signs of Depression in Women

Women experience depression at higher rates than men. While there is no definitive answer as to why, there are several contributing factors that may account for the higher rate of diagnoses. Women are expected to juggle multiple roles at once, both inside and outside the home. Furthermore, many women are socialized to take responsibility for problems that are not really their fault. Additionally, women deal with hormonal shifts throughout their lives that men simply don’t experience.

While there are no specific symptoms of depression that are completely unique to women, certain symptoms are more common in women. Here are a few signs of depression that women are more likely to experience.

1. Hormonal Connection

Many women struggle with symptoms of depression that develop in conjunction with hormonal and biological processes. Women can be affected by forms of depression that men do not experience, such as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, perinatal depression, or perimenopausal depression. This does not mean that depression in women should be dismissed as “just hormones.” Hormones have a powerful effect on your mood and mental health, and symptoms that crop up in connection to hormonal shifts can be a warning sign that something is wrong.

2. Frequent Crying

Both men and women with depression may find themselves crying unexpectedly. However, it can be more socially acceptable for women to openly express their emotions and cry in front of others. Therefore, they may simply feel more comfortable crying, or even find it somewhat cathartic. Women with depression may feel weepy, and they might end up crying more often than they used to.

3. Intense Fatigue

Women tend to take on long to-do lists, and this is not always by choice. For example, many working women, especially working mothers, end up doing more domestic tasks around the house than their partners. Women also tend to manage their household’s social calendar, which is a form of work that typically goes unnoticed.

Lots of women also feel obligated to volunteer their free time. They may take on unpaid work with different organizations in their community, get involved with projects at their children’s schools, or offer to help their relatives with care work. All of these responsibilities can take a toll and contribute to burnout and depression. Women with too much on their plates might find that sheer exhaustion is a prominent depression symptom.

4. Feeling Guilty

Female socialization teaches women that other people’s emotions are still their responsibility. Women may internalize guilt for problems that they did not cause and are not responsible for solving. And if they do happen to make a mistake, it can be harder to practice self-acceptance and forgiveness. For many women, feeling guilty or worthless is a common depression symptom. Even women who work hard in every area of their lives may find themselves wondering if they have much to offer.

5. Anxiety

Yes, anxiety is a separate mental health condition from depression. But for many people, particularly women, anxiety and depression can go hand-in-hand. Women with depression are also highly susceptible to anxiety. In fact, anxiety symptoms can fuel their depression. They might worry about what other people think about them, their performance at work or their responsibilities as a parent, how they look, or other insecurities. It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes, anxiety is not just anxiety—it can also be connected to depression and an overall low sense of self-worth. This symptom can be indicative of a larger problem.

Are you struggling to cope with symptoms of depression? Working with a therapist can help you heal. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling your first session for therapy for women.