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Marjorie Gies, M.D. Psychiatrist & Medical Director

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Our Depression & Addiction Treatment

Depression is a struggle that impacts the happiness and well-being of thousands of people of all ages and genders every day. Although everyone feels a little down or has a case of the blues once in a while, depression is a far more significant mental health struggle that can lead to overwhelming and debilitating symptoms. It is not uncommon for everyday sadness to be referred to as "depression" or "being depressed." Unfortunately, this sometimes reduces the severity of the experiences of someone with a major depressive disorder. For most of us, when we experience sadness, the feelings are temporary or short-lived. In general, these feelings are resolved within a couple of days, once the initial event or situation that led to sadness has passed. Depression, clinical depression, or major depression (terms often used interchangeably) is different. When someone struggles with a diagnosable depressive disorder, the emotions and struggles they feel are long-lasting, intrusive, and have a detrimental impact on their ability to function in their day-to-day obligations.

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Types of Depression

There are several different types of depression; however, they all share certain symptoms. Symptoms of depression include overwhelming sadness, emptiness, and mood alterations that inhibit your ability to be a part of day-to-day obligations or activities you once enjoyed. Without the help of a depression treatment center, depression symptoms can persist to the point where they take over and have lasting impacts on your physical and psychological health. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists criteria for multiple depressive disorders, including persistent depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, psychotic depression, bipolar disorder, and postpartum depression.

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Women's Mental Health

Depression in Women

Depression does not solely affect women. However, research indicates women typically experience depression more often than men. Some studies suggest women are nearly twice as likely as men to struggle with symptoms of a depressive disorder. Research also suggests women experience depression and associated symptoms in different ways. Also, symptoms of depression that occur across the genders may present differently for women. 

Common symptoms of depression in women may include a wide range of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes and struggles. Frequently noted symptoms include:

  • Difficulties focusing
  • Lack of desire to participate in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed
  • Significant, unplanned weight loss
  • Oppressive feelings of guilt, shame, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Chronic exhaustion and weakness (without a known cause)
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Talking about or thinking about death or suicide

Although both men and women may experience any or all of the above symptoms when struggling with depression, women often feel or experience symptoms differently or for different reasons. It is not uncommon for women to experience more intense depression symptoms due to hormonal differences between the genders. Women often experience significant shifts in mood and emotion during times of notable hormone changes such as pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, and menstruation. When dramatic hormonal changes are combined with stressors or trauma that trigger depression, the depressive symptoms one experiences may be worsened. 

Women may also experience depression at more significant rates due to social norms or expectations placed on women. Women often express feelings differently than men. This is also true when women experience depression. Instead of acting outwardly, which is sometimes seen with men struggling with depression, women are more likely to exhibit sadness, turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as eating or substance abuse), or blame themselves for the circumstances that led to their depression.

Depression in women may also stem from biological factors unique to women, such as menopause, perimenopause, pregnancy, and childbirth. Postpartum depression is a form of depression unique to women who have recently given birth. Also called perinatal depression, this form of depression results from the dramatic hormonal shift that occurs during pregnancy and after childbirth. During this time, women may experience elevated sensitivity to life events such as stress, lack of support, and relationship issues. Research suggests that as many as one in seven women experiences postpartum depression during the first year after giving birth. Additionally, up to 300,000 women who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth experience postpartum depression. Perimenopausal depression occurs as a women transitions into menopause. Again, during this period, women experience significant hormonal changes. General life stressors, personal struggles, and other factors can all increase your risk of developing depression during perimenopause and menopause. 

In addition to gender-specific factors, women can also develop depression from various factors that are seen across all genders. Examples may include seasonal changes, chemical imbalances in the brain, a family history of depression, illness, loss, and trauma. Regardless of the cause, seeking help at a depression treatment center for women can help you learn how to manage and safely cope with depression symptoms. 

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What to Expect in a Women's Depression Treatment Center

Seeking help to overcome depression is the safest and most effective way to learn how to manage and reduce the intensity of symptoms. However, some women may find that seeking treatment in a gender-specific environment is far more beneficial and comfortable as they learn to process their emotions and find relief from the struggles of depression. At a women's depression treatment center, you will find the treatment programs are geared specifically towards the unique treatment needs of women seeking to overcome depression. Although there is no "perfect" depression treatment model, at a gender-specific treatment like Casa Serena, the treatment staff is trained in addressing the unique nature of depression as it affects women.

As noted above, although men and women both experience depression, the symptoms and experiences women struggle with as they work to manage their symptoms while still actively participating in family and community obligations are different than those of their male counterparts. At a women-focused depression treatment center, you can expect to receive caring, supportive, compassionate care. Our depression treatment programs at Casa Serena are designed with your specific needs and goals in mind. As part of treatment, you will participate in a range of one-on-one and group therapy sessions with other women who share similar struggles. Together, you can develop and practice essential coping skills to help you manage depression triggers and symptoms outside of the treatment environment.
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Our Women's Depression Residential Treatment Can Help You

Each day, thousands of women face struggles related to managing a depressive disorder. Without treatment, depression symptoms can become unmanageable and put you at a greater risk for physical and psychological harm. The adverse effects of untreated depression extend far beyond the individual struggles someone with depression faces. Depression can lead to new or worsening physical and mental health conditions, substance use disorders, and struggles with your family and social relationships.

Although complex and challenging to manage without help and support, depression is a highly treatable illness, and fortunately, the rate of people seeking help to overcome their symptoms is increasing. Some statistics indicate as many as 72% of those who reported experiencing major depressive disorder also reported seeking and receiving treatment for their symptoms. Like many mental health conditions, depression does not have a “cure.” However, with treatment at a depression treatment program for women, you can learn safe and effective ways to manage and significantly reduce the impact of depression symptoms.

If you struggle with depression, know that you are not alone. Although your symptoms may feel overwhelming, with help, they can become manageable and far less impactful on your day-to-day life. At a women-focused depression treatment program, you will work with other women who share the same experiences as you begin your journey to recovery. With treatment, depression is a highly manageable condition. Let the team at Casa Serena help you start your journey to a healthy, fulfilling future free from the cloud of depression. To learn more about our programs and how treatment at our women's residential depression treatment program can help you (or a loved one), contact a member of our admissions team today.
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