Are girls more susceptible to depression?

Are girls more susceptible to depression?

Depression is a mental illness that affects everyday life-the way one might think, feel, and work. It stands in the way of daily activities such as moving around, going out, and carrying on a conversation. Depression comes in many different forms ranging from Perinatal Depression to Bipolar Depression. Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in our world today. It is caused by a number of factors: genetic, biological, and environmental. Depression is characterized by multiple symptoms: perpetual sadness and a feeling of emptiness. And in the most severe cases, Depression can lead to thoughts of death and suicide.

Adolescent Depression is increasing at a shocking rate. One out of every five teens suffer from clinical depression in their life. It is extremely difficult to diagnose teens with this disease because they are often moody and can’t form and share their feelings as effectively. Many teens attempt to ignore their symptoms and often don’t ask for help. Unfortunately, many adolescents turn to drugs and sexual activity to avoid these feelings. These acts can lead to deeper issues and make their depression much worse.

Although depression is common in both genders, it has proven to favor females. After girls go through puberty they are twice as likely to be diagnosed with some form of Depression. Boys and girls process their emotions differently from each other. Girls are far more mature in their recognition of their feelings; boys on the other hand, are still developing this.

Women have been through a lot throughout history but in recent times, they have become much more involved with society. They have taken on new jobs and new activities. Even with this change, the Depression rate has not gone down in females. With this knowledge comes the most common symptom in females: withdrawal. This is when a girl isn’t enjoying what she does anymore. Women take pride in the many things life has to offer. When it seems as if she doesn’t care anymore, that is a large sign of this disorder. This lack of interest is called Anhedonia. A teenager with this disorder linked to Depression no longer feels pleasure from exciting or joyous experiences.

Depression is caused by many biological factors that a girl has no control over. It can also be caused by a number of psychological factors brought about by everyday life. A popular one in teenage girls is social media. Social media has a huge influence on adolescents these days, and  plays a particularly large role in a teenage girl’s life. Many girls try to constantly put their whole life out there for every one of their followers to see. With doing so, they receive a lot of feedback, and not everything they receive is positive. A lot of girls tend to judge and compare themselves to other girls. When seeing other girls experience more and having more exciting lives than them can lead to intense envy. This feeling of not having everything in life can be linked to depression and a feeling of hopelessness. Instead of girls feeling empowered and good about themselves, they feel the exact opposite. “Social media needs to be used responsibly, and often times young girls don’t use it responsibly” Counselor Tom Neighbour says.

“Honestly, society I think is a really huge impact” says student Angelica You. Society can put a lot of pressure on young girls to look and act a certain way. Society can really shape people into a completely different versions of themselves. Society has two different perspectives on girls, that usually fall at two extremes. Girls are told that they have to be perfect and workout or eat healthy all of the time-or they are told that they don’t have to do these things and they can eat whatever they want. Society never contains an answer that meets somewhere in the middle. “You have to be smart enough or skinny enough, or you could either be too smart or too skinny. All girls hear it, and all girls go through it” states You.

Fortunately, Depression can be treated- with quite a bit of treatment options. Therapy is a great way for teenagers to openly talk to someone without the feeling of being judged. Medication is available to those who have more severe cases. Picking up a new hobby that brings about happiness and a feeling of accomplishment is regarded as a great treatment due to being self-sufficient. “If you know of a student that is struggling with depression certainly let a counselor or a teacher know” says Neighbour. The most important thing, is empowering young girls so they never have to feel this way. If we support adolescents throughout their years of change, the empty feeling will slowly decrease.