According to reports, in 2014, approximately 20,000 Indian housewives took their lives. That same year, around 5,650 Indian farmers also claimed their lives. Depression doesn’t distinguish between genders when assaulting one’s peace of mind. It could be likened to a silently gnawing pain. You can’t see it physically but can sense its impact. Depression doesn’t lead to a physical jolt. Nor does it cause an agonising injury. But often, it impacts the well being of women like no other disease.
Unfortunately, the ramifications of suffering from depression are such that they spread into one’s personal and professional life, leading to a rather dismal state of affairs.
As you are reading this piece, approximately 12 million women in the United States are battling clinical depression (according to WHO, the number for India was 5 crore, a majority of which are women). In 2014, a Lancet study suggested, one of the biggest after-effects of depression among women is suicide; it is the cause of death for many an Indian woman between the age group of 15-49.
So what are the problems women face when they battle depression?
1. SOCIAL ISOLATION
One of the major problems women face when suffering from depression is social isolation. You tend to become more inwardly driven and isolated from the world around. There’s hardly an interest to explore what is happening in one’s immediate circle of affairs. Temporary voids begin to surface in one’s relations, whether with friends or family. Depression compels you to withdraw from societal responsibilities and happenings and it can be a painful experience.
2. INABILITY TO EXPRESS ONESELF
Ever been in a vast space engulfed in absolute silence? While it may seem peaceful initially, after some time, the silence turns haunting. Does it not?
Women, often perceived as the quieter and sensitive of the two genders, find trouble in expressing themselves. That’s just one of the problems women face when suffering from depression. When one is unable to express herself — rather express herself clearly — one’s likely to feel left behind or ignored. It can get confusing.
3. DISCORD OR DISARRAY IN PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
One of the aspects of life dearly affected on account of depression is one’s personal relationship. A young wife diagnosed with depression may not want to interact or communicate openly or frequently with her husband. How can one interact peacefully when all’s not well? Matters can get very tough especially when depression afflicts young mothers. Tasked with the responsibility of bringing up young children, depression can dissuade from focusing on the child’s well being. It is therefore pivotal that young women diagnosed with depression get all the help and consultation possible. Depression can hamper one’s physical life and intimacy. In the 18-32 age group, this is one of the major problems women face on account of depression.
4. DISORDERLY EATING HABITS
When you’re afflicted with depression, you more likely tend to lose control of your eating and dietary habits. Moodiness and anxiety can derail one’s normal eating behaviour. This manifests itself either through excessive eating, leading to scenarios like a compulsive eating disorder. Or announces itself through situations like abstinence from food. In either case, the results can be ominous for an individual.
5. JEOPARDY OF ONE’S PROFESSIONAL CAREER
Depression and professional endeavours constitute a relatively simple math. How can you focus and be sincere to your work when you are ailing from a mental issue?
Your professional life is more likely to suffer when you are depressed than when you are not. It’s common to hear of scenarios where one lacks the will to work. In other cases, it quite simply boils down to losing focus to progress in the direction of achieving professional goals. Women are, as ambitious as men, if not any less.
When struck with depression, one of the problems women face is standing the risk of losing their job. In other cases, when bright careers are to peak, they inadvertently hit a downward spiral.