WHY MORE WOMEN ARE BECOMING DEPRESSED
Women are more prone to depression because of the following reasons but you want to talk about single women and married women. Generally, in the hormonal makeup of single women, we have oestrogen and progesterone. Those are the hormones that will signal developing breasts, that will signal menstrual flow, that will signal when a woman is pregnant, that will also signal when you’re going into menopause. These hormones that we started with from the beginning, they’re going with us all through the whole journey, so, our hormonal makeup is one of the reasons. Then, another reason is the social role we play, the pressure we’re put on in the society, in the sense that we’re expected to make sure everybody in the home is fine. As I said, we’re natural nurturers. We’re to nurture. So, that role we play in our various communities is also a pressure point. Another reason is the role we play in our career and personal development. When you talk generally about women before I go into that of married women, the home we come from plays a major role. Are you from a home where there was the divorce? Do you come from a home where there was domestic violence? Were you sexually abused as a child? Some of these things we don’t really look into them. We always look at them as normal but they’re not. Not to talk of the normal family or genetic predisposition of anybody having a mental illness. Then when we leave that aside, let’s dwell on married women. Those are the 4 vulnerability risk factors I laid emphasis on. Marriage is supposed to be a protective factor, that’s just the truth because it’s like 2 good eggs are better than one. But we know that is not the reality. You get into marriage, you may be facing another cycle of abuse; you left a home where there was abuse now you’re married and still facing abuse. This can cause depression. The first vulnerability risk factor is the death of parents at an early age and we cap it at 8 years old, meaning there’s no way an 8-year-old can bring herself up. Somebody has to nurture her to adulthood. The second one is if you’re not working at all. Or, you’re just working within the home environment. If you’re not working, we already know you’re a stay-at-home mum but sometimes, some people say they’re working but it’s just within the home. That means they’re not interacting with other people or going to the office. It’s a risk factor. You can’t just be working within your home and think you’re okay. Social interaction is important. Good mental health is not just about the money; it’s also about how you interact with other people. The third one is if you have three or more children who’re 14 years and below. Because they’re young, they need a lot of care. “Sit down here, go there, do this, do that,” it takes a lot of effort from women, especially when you travel with them alone. Imagine having three children, it’s like having to divide yourself in three places. And the last but not least, which is very important when our men are involved is if your husband or your spouse or your partner is not your friend or confidante. It then means that by the time the children leave, you’re alone. So, if a woman already has two out of these four risk factors and she’s married, studies are now showing us that woman is likely depressed as it is.