Women, Hormones, and Depression

Did you know that women are more susceptible to depression than men? This is in part due to the rising and falling hormone levels that they experience every month. This means that women must take extra care to notice the signs of depression and seek help when needed. In fact, there are two specific types of depression to watch out for: seasonal depression and postpartum depression. Therefore, during this time of year you must be extra vigilant about your mental health.

Seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a form of depression that can be triggered by the longer nights and lack of daylight in the winter. Even SAD is more prevalent in females. In fact, in adults seasonal depression is reported in four times as many women than men. Once a woman hits menopause, the rate of SAD increases. This is due in part to the decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s cycle, linking the hormones to depression.

Postpartum depression is another type of mental illness that affects only women. It is a temporary type of depression that some females experience after giving birth. This milestone wreaks havoc on the hormones and emotions of a woman. Therefore, it is no surprise that many women are left with some lingering effects after delivery. Postpartum depression affects approximately 15% of mothers. This is a common, yet overlooked condition that needs to be treated seriously. Postpartum depression can begin anytime before or after birth and can last for months. If left untreated, it can develop into suicidal thoughts/actions, or an extreme case of postpartum psychosis.

Again, we see how depression and mood disorders are influenced by hormones and the ever-changing levels that exist in female bodies. This means that women must pay attention to their mental health and be aware of times where they might be more susceptible to depression. While mood swings are to be expected, if you notice a long term change in yourself or another seek the help of a medical professional.

Simple Steps Toward a Healthier You

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with change, and changing parts of your routine can seem daunting.  Keep it simple.  A few small steps can make a huge difference in our overall health and well-being.

  • Eliminate clutter.  A cluttered environment can impact our brains, and ultimately our health and wellness.  Clutter is akin to emotional baggage.  And while you’re cleaning your closet, clean your cupboards, too.  Rid yourself of things that aren’t good for you.
  • Add Water. You’ve heard it before, over and over, and it’s still true.  Drink more water.  It will keep you hydrated, eliminate toxins, and get your body working more efficiently.
  • Stop Complaining. And start creating.  Set clear goals, and work toward them.  Setting achievable goals, and reaching them, gives us a boost of confidence to tackle bigger and more challenging tasks.
  • Take 10 minutes. Do something small, just for you, every single day.  Whether that’s drinking your favorite tea, reading a chapter of a book, meditating… it doesn’t matter.  Make sure you’re devoting time to yourself.
  • Stay in Motion. Exercise keeps you fit, boosts your mood, and even improves your sex drive. It’s doesn’t really matter what you’re doing as long as you stay moving.
  • Eat Your Veggies. Make sure you’re including vegetables in your daily diet.  Give your body that boost of vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and energized.
  • Get Some Shut-Eye. Most people need eight full hours every night.  Sleep reduces stress and inflammation and allows our body to repair itself.  Unplug from your devices at least one hour before bedtime to help you get optimal rest.


It’s a new year, and a new decade.  Now is the time to create a new you.  Do the things you’ve been putting off.  Make those changes.

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