Depression: The Top Mental Illness Affecting Women
Everyone feels sadness; it’s a normal reaction to difficult situations in life and usually passes over time.
However, a lingering sadness that affects other areas in your life may be depression. It is understood as a period of two weeks or longer in which there is a depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure and at least four other symptoms such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, self-image or recurring thoughts of self-harm.
In 2016, the National Institute of Mental Health reported that an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. Not only that, but it was higher among adult females at 8.5%.
Depression is still the top mental illness affecting women, with those most affected being between the ages of 18-25 years old, and the second between the ages of 26-49.
No two people are affected the same way and while there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment, it is treatable, and you are not alone. There are millions of women out there just like you whose life is being affected by depression. The good news is, there are also millions of people out there who can help you and who want to help you break free.
The first step in treating depression is removing fear around talking about it so you can connect with people that are equipped to help you.
Don’t be afraid to put a name to what you’re feeling because talking about it will not only remove the secrecy that tends to surround depression but it’s going to bring the right people into your life that can help you find the right treatment. By bringing it out of the shadows and into the light, you will start to shrink its control over you. These people will be in your life to help you learn what treatment works best for you so you can overcome depression.
The second step is finding what works for you to overcome depression.
Again, there is no “one-size-fits-all” treatment. The great thing is, there are millions of people who have experience and qualifications to come alongside you and be your guide and together you’ll find the right treatment. This can look like, light but consistent exercise or stretching, acupuncture, natural oils, hypnotherapy, chiropractic treatment, emotional freedom technique, a regular dose of sunshine, proper nutrition, improved sleep techniques, incorporating your passions into your work or career, therapy, finding a hobby that fills you with joy, reconnecting with a higher spiritual power, creating healthier relationships in your life, etc.
Sometimes it’s going to be a combination of treatments that help the overall picture and address the areas in your life that are causing you to feel depressed. Other times, just adjusting one thing may be the key to unlocking your personal brand of freedom.
Whatever the case may be, those are just some of the hundreds of possible treatments you can invest in to take back control from depression.
God, the universe, whatever spiritual being you feel connected to, does not want you to live miserably and neither do the people in your life that love you! You are here for a reason, for a specific purpose and to shine wherever you are. No one has the unique gifts and talents that you do and the world needs to see them. Don’t let depression hold you back from your greater purpose, talk about what you’re feeling so the right people can bolster and support you as you find treatment and freedom.
Remember, you are not alone, and it is possible to live a life free from depression. A life filled with happiness, joy, peace, purpose and one in which every day you get to live as the best version of yourself.
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