Depression And Gender: Is It Different In Men And Women
When it comes to depression, there is a distinct gender gap. Depression is nearly twice as common in women as in men, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Hormonal and other biological factors play a role in this disparity. After all, only women can have premenstrual or postpartum depression. The same is true of antepartum depression depression during pregnancy which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimates affects one in seven women.
But women also have higher rates of seasonal affective disorder, depressive symptoms in bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder, note Harvard Health experts. The reasons for this are cause for speculation. Some researchers believe that environmental factors, such as the different stressors and expectations that society places on women, are an important factor. Others theorize that men and women actually have depression at similar rates, but that women are more likely to talk about their feelings and seek help.
Recognizing Depression Symptoms In A Loved One
Family and friends are often the first line of defense in the fight against depression. Thats why its important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression. You may notice the problem in a depressed loved one before they do, and your influence and concern can motivate them to seek help.
Be concerned if your loved one:
Doesnt seem to care about anything anymore. Has lost interest in work, sex, hobbies, and other pleasurable activities. Has withdrawn from friends, family, and other social activities.
Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life. Is uncharacteristically sad, irritable, short-tempered, critical, or moody talks about feeling helpless or hopeless.
Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps. Has become indecisive, forgetful, disorganized, and out of it.
Eats more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
Drinks more or abuses drugs, including prescription sleeping pills and painkillers, as a way to self-medicate how theyre feeling.
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Dont Try To Cheer Them Up All The Time
This is one of the worst things you can do because it invalidates their feelings and makes them feel like theyre not allowed to be sad or down in the first place! Its important to let your loved ones know that its okay to feel however theyre feeling, without any pressure from you to change how theyre feeling.
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What Are The Signs Of Depression
Risk factors are just that. Genetic predispositions or having a medical condition doesn’t mean you’ll experience depression. Quite honestly, it can be hard to differentiate sadness from something more serious. Use these signs and symptoms to help you identify if you may have depression. Note that symptoms will vary and can range from mild to severe. Everyone’s experience will differ, there is no one-size-fits-all definition for how depression looks. However, general themes emerge.
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Feelings of sadness or consistent low mood
- Sleep troubles — both insomnia and sleeping too much
- Feelings of fatigue or having no energy
- Loss of appetite
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
To be diagnosed with clinical depression, symptoms must persist for at least two weeks and impede your ability to function in your daily life. According to the DSM-5, a major depressive disorder diagnosis comes after five of the nine main clinical symptoms of depression are experienced. The duration of symptoms will vary, from a few weeks, months to even years.
It’s worth noting that the symptoms of depression overlap with other conditions, like vitamin deficiencies or thyroid issues, so it’s essential to seek medical treatment to confirm a diagnosis. Depression symptoms can also overlap with other conditions like anemia, infection, sleep disorders, neurological disorders and side effects due to medications.
Can You Get Too Much Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin these types of vitamins remain in your body, in fatty tissue and in your liver.
Because your body stores vitamin D, you can consume too much of it. Daily doses that exceed 50,000 IU more than 80 times the RDA may cause hypercalcemia, a buildup of calcium in the body.
- Kidney stones
Very high levels of vitamin D can cause moresevere side effects like kidney failure, irregular heartbeat, and even death.
If you suspect you may have consumed too much vitamin D, check in with your doctor they can order a blood test to check your vitamin D levels.
Important: Make sure to talk with your provider before taking vitamin D if you take statin medications or thiazide diuretics. Vitamin D can reduce statinâs effectiveness, and it may cause hypercalcemia when taken with thiazide diuretics.
Production generally occurs with natural sun exposure some might occur from tanning beds, although tanning beds emit primarily UV A . Light boxes filter out UV rays to deliver bright white light, and their mechanism of action is not thought to be related to ultraviolet light exposure .
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Propranolol Patient Safety Information
Propranolol is a beta-blocker medication. Beta-blockers affect the heart, lungs and circulation . Propranolol is used to treat tremors, angina , hypertension , heart rhythm disorders, and other heart or circulatory conditions. It is also used to treat or prevent heart attack, and to reduce the severity and frequency of migraine headaches.
Doctors may prescribe propranolol to control some of the more physical signs of so called performance anxiety. For example, mild shaking or tremor, racing heartbeat and sweating. The more you have these symptoms, the more anxious you may feel.
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Know The Different Forms Depression Can Take
Depression often involves sadness or a low mood, but it also has other, less well-known symptoms.
For example, many people dont realize depression can involve:
- confusion, difficulties with memory, or difficulty focusing
- excessive fatigue or sleep concerns
- physical symptoms such as stomach distress, frequent headaches, or back and other muscle pain
Your friend may often seem to be in a bad mood, or feel exhausted a lot of the time. Try to keep in mind that what theyre feeling is still part of depression, even if it doesnt fit into the stereotypical versions of depression.
Even if you dont know how to help them feel better, simply saying Im sorry youre feeling this way. Im here to help if theres anything I can do may help.
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Build A Support Network
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself with depressionother than medication and therapyis to develop strong social support.
For some, this may mean forging stronger ties with friends or family. Knowing you can count on supportive loved ones to help can go a long way toward improving your depression.
For others, a depression support group can be key. It may involve a community group that meets in your area or you might find an online support group who meets your needs.
A Simple Approach To Personalized Care
Were an online doctors office. Our mission is to help you get convenient, affordable great care regardless of where you are in the US. Thats why we operate nationally.
Youre unique, and your care should be too. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, our team of experienced doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists provide the personalized care you need at a fraction of the cost of seeing a doctor or nurse practitioner in person. Well help you achieve your personal goals and help you work out how long you should be on treatment given your situation.
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Depression Treatment: Lifestyle Changes Talk Therapy Antidepressants
If you suspect that depression is interfering with your life, talking about what youre experiencing and discussing treatment options with a medical professional is essential. As actress Taraji P. Henson, who describes her depression as suffocating darkness, recently explained in an interview with Self magazine, When youre quiet, things arent fixed. It gets worse.
The good news is that theres abundant evidence that people with depression who seek treatment will find significant relief from lifestyle changes, talk therapy , medication, or a combination of all efforts, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Avoid Using Alcohol And Drugs
If youre using alcohol and drugs to cope, you could actually be making your symptoms worse. Sometimes, drugs and alcohol make us feel worse straight away other times, they might make us feel better initially but later can bring our mood down even lower over time. Get some tips on how you can reduce your alcohol or drug usage.
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How Can Vitamin D Deficiency Lead To Depression
A vitamin D deficiency can potentially lead to depression in a few critical ways. First, vitamin D can inhibit specific proteins associated with emotional health issues. These proteins are called cytokines and are involved in cell-to-cell communication in the body.
A 2014 study in Sweden discovered that people who have attempted suicide had high levels of these pro-inflammatory cytokines. Vitamin D is known to reduce the level of these cytokines. Some researchers believe that by maintaining healthy levels of these proteins, Vitamin D may prevent depression from progressing to suicidal thoughts.
Second, serotonin levels are affected by Vitamin D. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps brain cells relay messages to each other. Serotonin is involved in the regulation of mood, sleep, appetite, memory, and learning. Many scientists believe there is a connection between low levels of serotonin and depression.
There are many theories to explain this connection. Some researchers believe that depression occurs when the brain fails to regenerate cells. Since serotonin seems to play a role in this regeneration process, low levels of the neurotransmitter may help inhibit the production of new brain cells. This could then pave the way for depressions onset.
Studies have found that exposure to sunlight can increase dopamine levels in the body. This is likely due to increased vitamin D levels that come from sunlight exposure.
What Are Some Possible Causes Of Depression
Did you know that depression is actually one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders? And its not just a phase or something you can snap out of like some might say. A variety of factors can contribute to the development of depression, including but not limited to:
- a big life change
- a family history of mental disorders
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How To Talk To Someone About Depression
Sometimes it is hard to know what to say when speaking to someone about depression. You might fear that if you bring up your worries the person will get angry, feel insulted, or ignore your concerns. You may be unsure what questions to ask or how to be supportive.
If you dont know where to start, the following suggestions may help. But remember that being a compassionate listener is much more important than giving advice. You dont have to try to fix your friend or family member you just have to be a good listener. Often, the simple act of talking face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Encourage the depressed person to talk about their feelings, and be willing to listen without judgment.
Dont expect a single conversation to be the end of it. Depressed people tend to withdraw from others and isolate themselves. You may need to express your concern and willingness to listen over and over again. Be gentle, yet persistent.
Depression Statistics: Disturbing Trends Helpful Treatment
Unfortunately, there are plenty of people who, like Kashuk, know exactly what it means to be depressed. An estimated 17.3 million, or 7 percent, of adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, making it one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States.
Whats more, a recent report from Mental Health America, a nonprofit founded in 1909, offers startling statistics pertaining to one of depression’s most disturbing symptoms: thoughts of suicide.
According to its 2021 State of Mental Health in America report, suicidal ideation among adults increased by 0.15 percent between the 2016-2017 calendar year and the 2017-2018 calendar year, the most recent years for which statistics are available.
There is a bright side. Although there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression, there are many effective treatment options, one of which is bound to help you heal if youre struggling with the illness. This cannot be emphasized enough, given that roughly two-thirds of people living with depression do not receive the care they need, according to a report in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, published online February 22, 2019.
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Or Spend Time With Loved Ones
Depression can tempt you to isolate yourself and withdraw from people you love and trust, but face-to-face time can help wash away those tendencies.
If youre unable to spend time together in person, phone calls or video chats can also be helpful.
Try to remind yourself these people care about you. Resist the temptation to feel like youre a burden. You need the interaction and they likely do, too.
Research has shown that keeping a journal can be a beneficial add-on method for managing mental health conditions.
Writing down your thoughts can help you express what youre feeling more clearly. It can also help you keep track of what symptoms youre having each day and identify what causes them.
You can make a goal to write for a few minutes each day or week. Most importantly, what you want to write about is completely up to you.
When you do the same thing day after day, you use the same parts of your brain.
Research shows doing new things can feel rewarding improve your overall well-being and strengthen your social relationships.
To reap these benefits, consider trying a new sport, taking a creative class, or learning a new cooking technique.
Treatment: When To Seek Professional Help And Where To Find Help For Major Depression
When to Seek Professional Help
Everyone feels low and depressed every now and then. How then, are you supposed to know when your depressive symptoms have reached a point when professional help would be a good idea? Here’s a good rule of thumb: If your depressed mood lasts for more than two weeks, or is seriously interfering with your ability to function at work, with your family, and in your social life, or is causing you to contemplate or plan to commit suicide, it would be a very good idea for you to consult with a mental health professional as soon as possible.
This advice to seek out professional help counts double with regard to any suicidal symptoms you may be experiencing. If you find yourself thinking seriously about suicide, please make an appointment with a mental health doctor as soon as you can.
If you are feeling acutely suicidal that you will end up committing suicide within hours or days unless you receive some relief, then bypass the advice about making an appointment with a doctor just take yourself immediately to your local hospital emergency room and tell them there that you are feeling suicidal. In such a case, there is no time to waste with appointments.
Where To Find Help
- Mental health specialists, including:
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How Much Vitamin D Should You Take For Optimal Health
Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN Jared Meacham, Ph.D., RD, PMP, MBA, CSCS
Vitamin D is essential for good health.
Its often referred to as the sunshine vitamin and is made in your skin when exposed to sunlight.
Despite that, vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world.
Up to 42% of the American adult population has low vitamin D levels, which can cause health problems (
Vitamin D is crucial for bone health and immune system function.
This article discusses how much vitamin D you need.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin thats involved in many essential body functions.
There are two forms of vitamin D in the diet and supplements:
- Vitamin D2 : found in some mushrooms.
- Vitamin D3 : found in oily fish, fish liver oil, and egg yolks.
D3 is the more powerful of the two types and raises vitamin D levels almost twice as much as D2 .
Significant amounts of vitamin D can also be made in your skin when exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Any excess vitamin D is stored in your body fat for later use.
Almost every cell in your body has a receptor for vitamin D. Its essential to many processes, including bone health, immune system function, and can help protect against cancer (
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Support Them In Continuing Therapy
On a bad day, your friend might not feel like leaving the house. Depression can zap energy and increase the desire to self-isolate.
If they say something like, I think Im going to cancel my therapy appointment, encourage them to stick with it.
You might say, Last week you said your session was really productive and you felt a lot better afterward. What if todays session helps, too?
The same goes for medication. If your friend wants to stop taking medication because of unpleasant side effects, be supportive, but encourage them to talk with their psychiatrist about switching to a different antidepressant or stopping their medication entirely.
Abruptly stopping antidepressants without the supervision of a healthcare professional may have serious consequences. Typically, reaching out to a healthcare professional before stopping medication use can prevent health complications.
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