Ask an Expert: The Causes of Depression
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- What are differences between depression and "the blues?" [1:32]
- What causes depression? [0:54]
- Why is the age of onset (the first depressive episode) dropping? [1:09]
- Why do women have higher rates of depression? [1:03]
Learn more about the causes of depression:
Why do women have higher rates of depression?
DR. MYRNA WEISSMAN: Women have two to three times the rates of depression as compared to men. This is true in almost every culture that's been studied. And it's not really clear. One possibility has to do with the different hormonal and endocrine makeup of women. Because as I've said before, if you look at the onset periods of depression, (they) occur around periods of hormonal change like puberty, pregnancy, postpartum period, and begin (to) decrease during the menopausal period. So you could conjecture that, you know, women are different than men endocrinally. And people are studying this and have more of a biological explanation.
There are others who say that it has to do with oppression and feeling helpless and hopeless or helpless at least to get ahead and having the same opportunities. But there are different opinions about this.