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Women and Depression

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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

Mature woman standing on the beach

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


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.

Clinical trials can help doctors learn more about treatments for depression. Visit the Women in Clinical Trials webpage to learn how you can get involved in clinical trials and make a difference for yourself or other women like you.

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.
  • If you need to continue taking your medicine during pregnancy, learn how you can sign-up for a pregnancy registry to share your experience.

Learn more about Treatments for Depression

Resources For You

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