The Important Facts on Depression in Women

July 20, 2017 - - 0 Comments The Important Facts on Depression in Women

Feelings of depression are more overwhelming than just feeling a little down in the dumps and can be heightened significantly when addiction is at play. Depression, just like drug or alcohol addiction, is a mental illness that requires specialist treatment to deal with the associated feelings of helplessness. If women are suffering addiction issues, they are four times as likely to develop depression and anxiety as a result, according to medical research, which is when gender-specific depression treatment for women can be particularly effective.

Symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • Persistent and prolonged anxious or ‘empty’ mood
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in sex
  • Irritability, restlessness or excessive emotional outbursts
  • Guilt feelings mixed with pessimism, worthlessness and extreme vulnerability
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings, possibly even attempts
  • Loss of concentration and focus
  • Persistent physical symptoms including headaches, digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and chronic pain

Women’s depression during addiction is more common approaching their 30s and 40s and can result in damaging antisocial behavior that distances them from others in a position to support them. The social stigma women with addiction face are more pronounced than for men and can often result in them retreating further into substance abuse rather than risk the shame of bringing their issues into the open.

Stigma is a significant factor in women’s depression among addicts because their socioeconomic status makes them more vulnerable to being judged harshly.  Another major difference between depression in men and women is that women often develop mood disorders before they start abusing substances, whereas men frequently become addicted before going on to developing mood disorders as a result.

In general, research has shown that women are far more likely than men to self-medicate for depression and anxiety by using alcohol and drugs. It is because women are more susceptible to alcohol dependence if they have a history of depression; it is one of the most common triggers of alcohol use and abuse in women.

When it comes to drug use and gender, researchers have found that women are more likely than men to use alcohol and other drugs in order to self-medicate. Because women are more than twice as likely as men to develop alcohol dependency if they have a history of depression, it is the most significant trigger for alcohol use and abuse in women.

Treatment for Addiction and Depression in Women

Gender-specific drug and alcohol addiction treatment deal with the physical, emotional and psychological issues that are unique to women. The focus in single-sex rehabilitation programs is on the social and health challenges that are specific to women with addiction issues, in an all-female environment. There are several modalities of treatment offered at women’s recovery centers that incorporate tried and tested methods including individual, group, and family therapy sessions to provide a more dynamic treatment approach to the unique challenges women face.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Addiction and Depression in Women

This refers to a condition where a woman in rehab has both addiction issues as well as mental health problems such as depression. Although each condition has its own diagnosis, the two are very much linked and have a correlation in terms of treatment approach. By treating both issues individually, a more holistic result is achieved.

When it comes to addiction and depression in women, although the two are inextricably linked, there’s still a chicken-or-the-egg issue to deal with. Whether depression led to addiction or the results of substance abuse produced chemical changes to cause the mental disorder, the most effective way forward is to treat both conditions simultaneously.

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