Women and Depression – Not Just Our Lot In Life

September 19th, 2018

Females make up the majority of the population in the U.S., and the world, for that matter. Despite this long-standing fact, research on Major Depression and how it directly affects women during the life-cycle has been slow to produce definitive data with very few guidelines on how to best approach this population. As a woman myself, I have made it my mission to remind women that they do not have to suffer from depression, despite what even the Bible depicts of women’s suffering as the “norm,” the standard, the expectation. I have been more optimistic recently, as I have seen a few articles released regarding perinatal depression and depression associated with menopause.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), now acknowledges perinatal depression as a clinical diagnosis, not just postpartum depression which occurs after delivery. For many women, the state of pregnancy with tremendous hormonal shifts, can trigger a clinical depressive episode. If the woman has pre-existing depression prior to pregnancy or pregnancy-induced depression, often she feels she has to make a choice, and sacrifices her own symptoms and suffers to avoid taking a medication that might negatively affect the fetus. The concern here is that even the state of depression can have an impact on the baby; therefore, the woman feels stuck and unable to take care of herself and the baby simultaneously.  

Menopausal women also can develop a depressive episode as a result of hormonal depletion. These women are also typically developing other age-related conditions requiring more medications than they were used to in their younger years; weight gain, sleep disturbances, decreased libido, elevated blood pressure or cholesterol. Adding to these struggles, the woman develops another condition that requires a medication which can cause side effects that may amplify these other symptoms or interact negatively with the multiple medications they now have to take. This is another example of the difficult decisions women have to make; “Do I treat my depression or do I suffer from my depression?” I am so pleased now that I am able to offer my female patients a treatment option that does not put them into a difficult dilemma – Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

TMS therapy is a non-medication treatment for clinical depression, regardless of the context of the depression. Whether in the setting of pregnancy, post-delivery, during breastfeeding or menopause, TMS is a safe and effective treatment alternative to traditional medication. This non-invasive treatment gives women an opportunity to take care of themselves without any conundrum. Women can take control of their symptoms, so they can continue to be the strong women, mothers, wives, business owners, and caregivers without suffering. Girl power!

If you or a family member are struggling with depression, you can find relief with SuccessTMS. Contact us today at 561-240-0194.


Author: Dr. Lindsay Israel