Last Updated on
Depression. It has become such a casually used word that we use it in almost every context – from our mood on a winter morning, to how a certain movie made us feel. But in reality, depression is a far more serious condition than everyday sadness that can be dispelled with good food and sleep. In recent years, the stress and chaos of day-to-day life has increased the depression risk for women. As wives, mothers and daughters-in-law, we go through so much every day that our mental health takes a backseat.
As per health and wellness experts, the following 4 kinds of depression are the most common among Indian women. Many such cases go undiagnosed, and women silently struggle for years. It is high time we start accepting depression as a health condition just like any other, and start seeking help for it without shame or social stigma.
1. Post-marital Depression – Depression After Marriage
This may come across as odd – after all, isn’t marriage one of the happiest occasions in a woman’s life? Well,it is also a time of great anxiety, fear and trepidation, especially in many Indian households. Post-marital depression is a common problem among many Indian brides.It is usually caused the pressure of expectations from the family and the society, which includes behavioural change,dowry, and learning to live with, in some cases, a virtual stranger. Some women become victims to this problem due to altered living conditions and on account of moving away from loved ones.
- Feeling socially anxious
- Feeling a sense of disappointment about new family, home or spouse
- Paranoia about new family and their behaviour toward you
- Anxiety around new family members
2. Antenatal Depression – Depression During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a vulnerable time for every woman, full of ups and downs and mood swings. But some of us may face the brunt of hormonal changes worse than others – a condition that can give rise to antenatal depression.Depression during pregnancy is one of the most common types of depression in Indian cities, and also one of the most dangerous.Emotional stress during pregnancy can be very harmful for the health and development of the baby.
Note: This form of depression is more common in obese women and women having high-risk pregnancies.
- Persistent sadness
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Food cravings far stronger than other pregnant women without depression
- Insomnia and other sleeping problems
- Unexplained feeling of guilt
3. Post-partum Depression – Depression After Childbirth
Baby blues are very common in many women after childbirth. They happen simply because of the immense mental and physical transformation that the woman has gone through during pregnancy and delivery.However, baby blues can sometimes get so severe that they last for several months or even a year after delivery.Women who go through postpartum depression feel the ‘blues’ far more intensely than their counterparts, and this can affect their physical health, relationships and self-concept.
Alert: These signs of depression in women are very easy to overlook as the postpartum time is when the baby becomes the centre of attention.
Do not take the below signs lightly if you suspect any of them in yourself or in a loved one.
- Feelings of sadness and emptiness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Crying at the smallest of things, and often, without reason
- Feeling incapable of looking after the baby
- Feeling an emotional disconnect with the baby
4. Dysthymia – Persistent Depressive Disorder
This is a long-lasting depression that develops and continues over several years. It usually begins with mood swings and blues, but over time, it can lead to persistent sadness that never goes. Many women suffer from it silently and secretly on a long-term basis. This remains one of the most ignored and under diagnosed forms of depression in India.
Note: This form of depression is more common among homemakers and can get worse during season/weather change.
- Feeling pessimistic and bored
- Change in appetite (over or under-eating)
- Sleep disorders
- Lack of confidence
Depression, especially among women, remains ignored and made light of in India.If untreated, it can have severe repercussions on your physical and mental health and also take a toll on your family relationships.If you suspect any of these signs in yourself, or in other women you know, please discuss with a loved one or a wellness expert. Take care.