According to Marla Ahlgrimm, this is partially because women are less afraid to talk about their feelings. But, a large portion of women experience depression as a direct result of an underlying hormone disorder. While all humans have changing hormones throughout their lives, women are more affected.
From about the age of 11 through 50, women experience a monthly fluctuation in their hormones. This begins at puberty, says Marla Ahlgrimm, when a girl’s body begins to develop into that of a woman. Once her menstrual cycle begins, she can experience the effects of changing hormones for approximately one week out of every month. Later, often in her 20s, a woman will start having children.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that pregnancy is a significant hormone event that lasts from the moment of conception until long after birth. Toward the end of a woman’s reproductive years, she will experience another drastic shift in the way her body produces hormones. Menopause can also trigger hormonal ups and downs that can cause or worsen depression.
Unfortunately, some women are also prone to PMS and, in extreme cases, PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder. The former may feel like depression for a few days, the latter can last much longer and has a profound effect on a woman’s ability to perform daily functions.
Marla Ahlgrimm explains that women who believe they are depressed, whether due to an emotional problem or hormone imbalance, should talk to a qualified healthcare provider. Depression is treatable, and many women can overcome this debilitating disorder with support.