Treating Depression in Women
Psychotherapy has been helpful for women (and men) suffering from depression. Many types of therapy are available. These include:
- behavioral therapy, a type of treatment in which the therapist works with the woman to teach her new coping skills;
- psychodynamic therapy, an intensive form of therapy with an emphasis on determining underlying issues and concerns;
- interpersonal psychotherapy, which focuses on the woman’s interpersonal relationships and helps her to improve her interactive skills;
- cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which the emphasis is on treating the symptoms rather than the underlying issues and correcting negative thinking patterns; and
- feminist therapy, which seeks to empower a woman. Feminist therapists view a woman’s depression and other mental health problems as a symptom of cultural oppression.
Antidepressants also have been useful for women suffering from depression. Current medications that are frequently prescribed include the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); among these are the medications Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. Antidepressants must be prescribed by a physician and closely monitored. Women should not stop taking an antidepressant without consulting their physician.
St. John’s wort, an herbal remedy, also has been effective in treating mild versions of depression.
When depressed, it is often hard to get motivated; at the same time, inaction merely prolongs the problem. Once a woman decides to seek help, she has a good chance of feeling significantly better.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
What you should know about women and depression. (2000, February 17). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Retrieved February 17, 2000 from the World Wide Web: http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/depress.html
Mascott, C. (2006). Why Do Women Get the Blues?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/why-do-women-get-the-blues/000338
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jan 2013
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