How Depression Affects Women Differently Than Men

When it comes to depression, men and women are certainly not created equal. While both genders battle depression and are seriously affected by it, the signs and symptoms different between the two. Luckily, there are places like the New River Wellness Center to help women who are struggling with depression.


Brought to you by New River Wellness Center

Women Respond Differently to Stressful Events

It’s more common for a woman to become depressed following a stressful event than for a man. Studies suggest that women respond in a particular way to stressful life events (losing a job, a death in the family) in ways that extend their stressful feelings. It’s possible that this is due to a woman’s biology, including mood-regulators and reproductive hormones.

Women Ruminate More Than Men

Ruminating – dwelling on negative feelings and rehashing them over and over – happens more in women with depression than in men. Self-blame, crying for “no” reason, and poor self-talk are common signs of rumination. While rumination makes depression worse, men with depression tend to distract themselves, which helps alleviate the pain.

Women’s Depression is Easier to Recognize

Women are more vulnerable to depression due to biology. When it comes to men who are depressed, it often goes unnoticed. This can lead to a more severe case of depression because it’s not treated. Men tend to suppress their depression-associated thoughts and feelings more than women do.

Women Are Less Likely to Commit Suicide

Studies have shown that depression in men can go unnoticed and untreated for a long time, longer than with women. This sometimes causes a more severe mental health problem, which leads to a higher suicide rate in men than in women.

Women Are More Likely to Have an Eating Disorder When Depressed

In women, eating disorders and depression often travel together. Often, depression shows up when a woman is struggling with an anxiety disorder. Panic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorders often go hand-in-hand with eating disorders.

Substance Use in Men vs. Women

Men are more prone to self-medicating with alcohol or other substances, particularly teens. This usually occurs before depression sets in. Women, on the other hand, tend to turn to substances only after depression occurs.

While there’s not a lot of research on it yet, it seems that men and women may respond differently to anti-depressants, too. For more information about treating depression, visit

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