Women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men may experience depression in unique ways. This is due to many factors including biology, hormones, culture, gender roles, and societal expectations.
If you believe you may be struggling with depression and are looking for support tailored to your experiences and needs as a woman, therapy may help.
“When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” -Alexander Den Heijer
Depression in Women
Signs & Symptoms
Depression in Adolescent Girls
Some common symptoms of depression that may be different for woman than men include:
Feeling scared or anxious
Blame themselves for their depression rather than blaming others or external events
Feeling apathetic or question their self-worth
“People pleasing” or avoiding conflicts with others
Turning to food, alcohol, or romance to self-soothe
Women are also two times more likely to experience Atypical Depression, a type of depression different than more well known depressions categorized by persistent sadness. Women are not only more likely to experience Atypical Depression but the age of onset may be earlier than men and the feelings more chronic. Despite its name, Atypical Depression is quite common.
Symptoms of Atypical Depression include:
Sleeping more often (hypersomnia), fatigue
Increased appetite or weight gain
Interpersonal sensitivity, increased reaction to rejection or criticism
Feeling weighed down, heaviness in the arms and legs
Research suggests that adolescent girls are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression compared to boys. Although the cause of this is still unknown, contributions to teenage depression in girls include social comparisons, bullying, impacts of social media, high personal standards and expectations for achievement, friendship stress, identity issues, and lowered feelings of self-worth, and issues in romantic relationships. In general, girls tend to internalize their problems, often blaming themselves for setbacks and challenges leading to more emotional turmoil, stress, anxiety, and depression. Oftentimes, the goal of therapy is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for adolescent girls to express their emotions, explore their unique strengths and identity, and discover effective ways of coping.
I received specialized training in Women's Health through the Neuroscience and Women’s Health Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine. I have studied women's mood and anxiety disorders, completing my dissertation study on the relationship between self-compassion and depression symptoms in postpartum.
What we know about depression in women and girls is that it's often caused or worsened by a multitude of factors including genetic predisposition, biology and hormones, level of social support, lack of harmony in friendships and/or romantic relationships, difficulties at work or school, and family discord. That is why I focus on treating the whole person, rather than just a list of symptoms. In my office in Orange County or San Diego, I provide non-judgmental, client-centered therapy to women and teenage girls, focusing on each individuals unique strengths and abilities. This humanistic approach to therapy helps you find more peace in your life, realign with your goals and values, and improve your relationship with yourself and others.