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Feeling sad and sometimes unhappy is a common experience among people. Many people describe this as depression. In this case, the description is loose or casual unlike what medical professional may refer to as depression. There are some situations that people get extremely sad, which may persist for a long time. This may sometimes affect the normal functioning of the individual. Sometimes, the productivity may be reducing up to zero in extreme cases. It is observed at times that sadness affects the relationship between the affected person and others. Clinical depression is said to occur when sadness affects one’s productivity, as well as his relationship with others. This paper studies different factors that cause stress and ones that may worsen an episode of depression. Additionally, this paper explores the main reasons as to why women are more vulnerable to instances of depression compared to their male counterparts. It also deals with main effects of depression among women.

According to medical professionals, clinical depression occurs when sadness affects one’s productivity, as well as his relationship with others (Mazure & Keita, 2006). It has not been easy to pinpoint one factor as the cause for depression. An array of factors has been seen to contribute to or even make depression worse. In life, there are many struggles that people go through. Some ups and downs that people go through include setbacks, pitfalls and disappointments which are extremely common occurrence in people’s lives. In many cases, people’s moods are affected significantly by their day-to-day encounters. Causes and effects of depression are varied (Chrisler & McCreary, 2010). There is a significant variation in causes and effects of stress across the gender. Women encounter depression in their lives more frequently than their male counterparts. Depression occurs in most parts of the world, and is not restricted to geographical boundaries. Even in the most developed parts of the globe, a large percentage of women are depressed.

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There has been observed that this number is on the increase. There are other parts of the world in which no records of such events are available, as the community does not reorganize their importance. On the contrary, effects of such on the society are vastly evident as the productivity of depressed women is substantially eroded. Statistics show that around 16 million people experience depression every year (Keyes & Goodman, 2006). Around 67 percent of these cases are encountered by women. Research shows that only less than a third of these cases are able to access professional assistance, while the remaining two thirds cannot get this much needed help. This is despite the fact that nearly one in four women is likely to encounter an occurrence of depression at a point in her life.

There are many factors that have been found to cause stress and later depression. Some can act singly, while others act in a complex relationship that eventually makes one depressed. Most people who suffer from depression are not able to describe what caused it, while others do not understand that they are depressed (Belle, London).

Researchers have found out that the main cause of depression in women is genetics. Depression has been found to occur more in a family that has a history of depression. Family history has been a critical determinant of whether one may end up suffering from depression or not. Women who have not had episodes of depression can pass it to their offspring, when their family history had cases of depression. Some of these people who did not suffer from depression, but passed it to their children are left puzzled unless the cause is explained to them. Genetics control depression in several ways; the first way is through inheritance, and the second way is through the functioning of the body, especially through hormones and enzymes which are regulated by a person’s genetic makeup (Steiner & Yonkers, 1998).

Brain chemistry controls all activities of the brain. This is mainly caused and controlled by the formation of the brain. Through procedures, such as CT and MRI, brains have been observed while functioning. Brains of people who have had incidences of depression have been found to have significant morphological difference from other people. People have different inherent ability to prevent and avert eminent depression; that is why various women exhibit varying susceptibility to depression.

Another main cause of stress among women is female hormones. There are numerous researchers who have concentrated their research on effects of female hormones, considering that their hormones vary continuously throughout their lives. These hormones affect the brain chemistry and other activities in lives of women, considering the fact that they must adapt to changes occurring in their hormones. Scientists have also concentrated on stages that are characterized by greatest variations in female hormones. Some stages that have been recognized as ones that have the greatest changes in hormonal fluctuations are; stages just before periods, when a woman is at puberty, after birth and during different phases of menopause (McElvaine, 2000).

Menstrual cycle is preceded by a period that is identified as having the greatest fluctuations in hormonal levels. These variations occur in the relative proportion of various female hormones circulating in the blood system. This fluctuation triggers changes in moods of women. The above occurs in a form of premenstrual condition that is referred to as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is sometimes abbreviated as PMDD. In most times, this syndrome has been seen to cause serious clinical depression in women. Some women become irritable; others become anxious, while others experience a complex combination of feeling that even they cannot explain. PMDD is given as the reason why most mood swings are experienced a week before the menstrual cycle. This in some women is severe enough to affect their productivity, as well as their relationship with other people. However, this does not mean that women with devastating PMDD have extraordinary hormonal changes. This may indicate that such women have a different response to this phenomenon (PMDD) (Jack, 1991).

In most cases, women with the above disorder have a history of mood disorders. The reason why these women respond more to their hormonal changes have been established as the complex relationship of factors that makes their brain chemistry extremely responsive to changes in their bodies. The cyclic nature in which levels of estrogen vary in bodies of women has been shown to have a direct effect on brain chemistry, hence affect its responsiveness to various factors (Formanek & Gurian, 1997).

Research has indicated that women have dejection after birth. The classical understanding of this was that women were overwhelmed by the new responsibility, or raising and nursing the new born. Others thought that this was caused predominantly by physical changes that occurred in the woman’s body after birth. Scientists have found out that the underlying cause of this observation is hormonal changes that occur at this period coupled with a combination of other factors discussed before. The case in which a woman gets depressed after delivery is called postpartum depression. In some instances, women experience only a short period of gentle changes in mood. This condition was referred to as 'baby blues’ which is a bit different from postpartum depression in terms of the intensity of depression (Dell & Newton, 2004).

Postpartum depression is serious, and necessitates intervention by trained medical practitioners. The new mother also requires emotional prop up, as nursing is emotionally demanding. As a result of this responsibility that may overwhelm a mother, it is necessary to offer assistance to mothers so that they are not affected by various mental disorders, such as depression. This help should be extended for some time after birth, so that mother is able to raise the children well without being affected adversely. Although disorders, such as postpartum depression, are associated intimately with effects of the childbirth, research has established that these problems occur to women who previously had been affected by depression (Blehar, 2003). This makes it viewed, not as a cause, but as a factor that aggravates depression.

A transitional phase in which women transit from sexual fertility to infertility can be referred to as menopause. These two phases are characterized by distinct proportions of hormones in their blood system. In this transitional phase, hormones fluctuate in a serious way and women may have a difficult time coping. The most distinct changes occur between two phases; pre-menopause and menopause. However, not all women have problems while shifting, while others may experience only slight changes. In menopause, many women who never had any instances of depression may be affected in a profound way. The increased prevalence to depression occurs in pre-menopause and menopause, while that is not the case with post menopause period.

Stress is a condition in which somebody is constantly thinking about an issue that seems to have no solution. Contrary to many people’s belief, a single case that may affect one for a few minute or hours can not be termed as stress. The term stress is most appropriately applied when somebody is affected to a point feeling of powerlessness. This culminates into life of such an individual being adversely affected. Doctors associate stress with serious symptoms, such as loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss of weight abdominal pains and other serious problems.

There are events in life that lead to stress. These events include the loss of a relative, traumatic occurrence, among others. The above have been found to be among leading causes of depression in women. Daily chores and responsibilities, such as work or child rising, aging parents and extreme cases of poverty also cause depressive incidences. The response of men and women to various incidences is remarkably different. The women’s response to events causes them to have prolonged feeling of dissatisfaction and discomfort, which is different from the men’s response. This is the reason why women may have more episodes of stress and subsequent depression. Research shows that a group of women are affected most by depression, while a small section shows more resistance than men. Research conducted so far has not given an explanation to this phenomenon.

A person’s attitude determines the occurrence of stress and depression. Many people think that depression is only caused by complex factors and medical reasons. On the contrary, research has shown that issues as simple as attitude are highly instrumental in causing stress and, ultimately, depression. Issues such as pessimism and low self esteem cause people to be affected worse by stressor factors. Such instances of stress in most cases end up in depression in pessimistic women; this is because they take a pessimistic view of this situation and do not visualize themselves overcoming.

Another cause of depression is changes happening in the environment, and more specifically, in a person. This is mainly because physical changes do not occur singly, but are accompanied by mental changes that people may find had to adapt. One of changes that one may not adapt to easily may include diagnosis diseases, such as heart problems, cancer, hormonal diseases and Parkinson’s disease. These instances may provide the affected person with hardship in adapting and, hence, depressive illnesses. Such extreme cases come with complicated emotional disorder. One is not able to distinguish fundamental things in life. Others become disoriented and find themselves not motivated to better their situations. Most of them may feel unworthy to live, and powerless over the situation at hand; all this culminates to a severe depression.

The above reasons cause stress to both men and woman. Scientists have established a combination of factors that makes women more vulnerable from the above. Some factors that cause or aggravate stress and depression do not affect men at all. Good examples of causes of depression that do not affect men are the ones that are caused by the fluctuation of female hormones. Various concentrations of all male hormones are a bit constant, and this does not put men in a critical condition of adapting to ever-changing levels of hormones. All factors discussed above have caused depression in women for a long time. Some may act singly, while others may work in a complex relationship with others.

All above causes of depression and stressor factors require women to be assisted by a specialist. The ones caused by the brain chemistry throw women of the balance, as it is not easy to control brains’ functions. Research shows that a woman with these conditions may be better equipped to deal with it, if the necessary information is provided. This would be instrumental in assisting women to avoid feeling helpless about behaviors they cannot explain.

Once a woman has already experienced depression, it is common for the situation to worsen dramatically, as she tries to understand the creepy feeling. In this instance, a medical practitioner’s assistance is required so reverse the situation or mitigates effects of depression. The treatment and intervention to this varies from medical to other forms that may include counseling of the patient

In conclusion, women and depression cannot be alienated. Research shows that severe consequences that affect women can be reversed to make many women lead a productive life without being interacted by this devastating sadness.

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