Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
DEPRESSION: Out of the Shadows
Take One Step: A PBS Health Campaign
DEPRESSION: Out of the Shadows + TAKE ONE STEP: Caring for Depression, with Jane Pauley  

Ask an Expert: The Causes of Depression
< Ask an Expert: All Topics

We're sorry but this video is no longer available.

Read Dr. Myrna Weissman's bio >

Learn more about the causes of depression:

Depression Fact Sheet: English version (PDF, 748k); Spanish version (PDF, 796k)
National Alliance on Mental Illness: www.nami.org
American Psychiatric Association: www.psych.org

Transcript

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.

More Topics

Suicide | Depression in Youth | Depression in Elders | Depression in the World | Depression Treatment

Back to Top