- One in four women and one in six men will suffer from depression at some stage in their lives.
- Each year, almost 800,000 Australian adults will experience a depressive illness.
- Depression is the third most common cause of illness among women and the tenth most common cause of illness among men.
- In 2001, General Practioners in Australia reported depression as the fourth most common illness that they dealt with in their practices.
- Depression is the leading cause of disability in Australia.
- Depression alone counts for more days lost in the workplace than those lost to industrial action.
What is depression? Do you suffer from it?
Believe it or not some people do not realise they suffer from this affliction. Depression symptoms can range from extreme feelings of sadness, dejection or emptiness, to a sense of hopelessness, low self-worth and even feeling nothing at all.
Depression is often associated with major life events like:
- the death of a parent
- the birth of a child
- the end of a relationship
- changing jobs
- chronic illness
- dealing with problematic children
Money worries, poor quality housing, loneliness, social isolation and language barriers also create a sense of powerlessness and anxiety which can affect our ability to cope with life events, or even just our daily routines. Living with, or witnessing violence is another common factor which has been linked to depression. For some women, the experience of violence, either now or in the past, can affect their mental health and well being.
There is also some evidence which shows that the tendency to develop depression runs in families. This means that certain women may be more prone to depression at particularly stressful or distressing times in their lives.
It is not a coincidence that women are more likely to experience depression than men. We are constantly bombarded with images of the so-called perfect body. This places enormous pressure on women to conform to a completely unrealistic ideal, and ultimately leads to depression, dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
More often than not women shoulder the burden of raising children and running a house. Women are also the main carers and nurturers in our society, often putting the needs of others first and neglecting their own emotional and psychological well being.
In the past, it was assumed that women were biologically more prone to depression. Now, there is greater understanding about the many conflicting pressures that women face each day, all of which combine to create higher rates of emotional distress.
- the stress of juggling work and family responsibilities
- domestic violence
- sexual and physical abuse
- relationship problems
- body and image issues
- feeling powerless, unappreciated and misunderstood
- discrimination in the workplace
- the birth of a child
- dealing with normal hormonal changes throughout the menstrual cycle
All the above are additional stresses that affect the way a woman feels and behaves.
If you suffer from depression, it is important that you seek professional help. When used in conjunction with traditional therapies or treatments described by your doctor, the Keeping on Track™ can help you get your life back on track. Read more about our program.