The Blues: Levels of Depression in Women Skyrocket Since ’70s
More and more women are exiting the home to work and are feeling the impact of trying to handle family and outside job responsibilities. The result of juggling home life with work life seems to be feelings of unhappiness and depression, as levels of depression in women have reportedly skyrocketed over the last few decades.
At one time, women were considered the happier gender, but not so much anymore. The happiness level of women has dropped drastically since they began to enter the workforce in droves. Research indicates that the number of incidents of depression has doubled since the 1970’s and steadily increased until 1990.
Depression in Women Doubles
A review of mental health challenges in women throughout Europe indicates that the rate of depression in women has doubled since 1970’s. Based on the research, women between the ages of 16 and 42 were most likely to have suffered from depression, and women in this age group are twice as likely as the same aged men to develop depression. The rise in levels also seems to have occurred during the ages where women are most likely to have children. Statistics demonstrate that the rise of depression seems to have leveled off since the 1990’s although it is still higher than it was in the 1970’s.
North American researchers have also found that women who try to do it all, that is, balance their time between work and family, are at a greater risk of becoming depressed.
Some research has indicated that although men also take failures very hard and can also suffer from depression, they are less likely to articulate their feelings, and, therefore, do not get diagnosed. Researchers believe it is harder for men to talk about feelings of failure and sadness than it is for women. Many men just keep unhappy thoughts bottled up for fear of being identified as less than adequate or not masculine enough.
While it may not be easy to bypass these societal and life factors for reducing the risk of depression, there are some things anyone can try to feel a little better. First, try re-framing. To re-frame is to view something in a different or new light. Most negative events have the potential to be re-framed into a positive outlook. Rather than thinking about the negative aspect of an occurrence, re-frame the situation and think of any way this could result in a positive outcome.