• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Consumers

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Women and Depression

 

Print and Share (PDF 108 KB)

En Espanol

 

Everyone feels sad at times. People with depression feel sad most days. Depression can make it hard to care for yourself and your family. It can also affect you at work or school. Read this page to learn more about depression and how it is treated.
 
 
 
Signs of Depression
 
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have some of these signs for more than two weeks:
 
  • Feel Sad
  • Sleep too little or all the time
  • Feel tired all the time
  • Feel nervous or cranky
  • Cry a lot
  • Eat too much or all the time
  • Have no interest in eating
  • Feel guilty
  • Feel hopeless
  • Have trouble paying attention
  • Notice that things that used to make you happy, don’t make you happy anymore
  • Think about death or try to kill yourself
  Mature woman standing on the beach
 
 
 
Treatment
 
There is hope. Depression can be treated with medicine or counseling. Sometimes both are used. Talk with your healthcare provider about your treatment options.
  
There are many different kinds of medicine used to treat depression. These medicines are called antidepressants. Like any drug, depression medicines can sometimes cause side effects. Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about all of the risks and side effects.
 
  
Depression and Pregnancy
 
Lots of women feel sad or cry a lot after they have a baby. This is called “the baby blues”. This feeling usually goes away after about two weeks.
 
Some women become depressed after they give birth. This kind of depression is called postpartum depression. Other women who had depression before they got pregnant notice that their depression gets worse during pregnancy.
 
  • Talk to your doctor about your feelings when you are pregnant and after you have your baby.
  • Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking depression medicines during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some medicines can affect your baby’s health.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider before you stop taking your depression medicines during pregnancy.