Depression in women. common and potentially devastating.

 

flickr.com/photos/ 7920247 @N04/4580968760

flickr.com/photos/ 7920247 @N04/4580968760

How prevalent?       10% of US adults have a mood disorder. 45% of them are classified as severe. Women as compared to men are 50% more likely to experience a mood disorder during their lifetime, and 70% more likely to have depression.
Risk factors for major depressive disorder are related to age/life cycle.

  • Pregnancy and postpartum periods have specific life stressors: financial and relationship strife.
  • Midlife stressors may include physical health limitations, menopausal symptoms, prior anxiety disorder and stressful life events.

Laboratory tests to be considered… Blood work may confirm under-functioning thyroid, anemia or electrolyte/kidney or liver abnormality– all which may cause symptoms similar to depression.
Treatment options. Are varied.

  • Depression-focused psychotherapy can be used as initial treatment.
  • Medications may be prescribed.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy is reserved for severe depression, unresponsive to medications or those with catatonic features.

Then, there is a question of how, when, and if to discontinue medication. This will be a discussion with your physician. Number of depressive episodes, severity, and continued life stressors will need to be taken into consideration.

Hope this helps.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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