March 6, 2016

Saralyn Mark, MD Feedback from TappMD Expert
Saralyn Mark, MD
Women are twice as likely to be depressed as men and yet women may be underdiagnosed and undertreated. Hormones/changes in levels and lifestyle situations may contribute. However, if a man is depressed, he is more likely to kill himself.

(MayoClinic.comFamily. Career. Coping with menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause. As a woman, you certainly have plenty of issues to handle. But there’s another one you might face that can be especially challenging: depression. About 1 in 8 women develop depression at some point in life. Women are nearly twice as likely as are men to struggle with depression at some point. Depression can occur at any age, but it is most common in women between the ages of 25 and 44.

Some mood changes and depressed feelings occur with normal hormone changes. But hormone changes alone don’t cause depression. Other biological factors, inherited traits and life experiences are also involved. Explore more about what contributes to depression in women — and what you can do about it.


After girls and boys reach puberty, depression rates are higher in females than in males. And because girls typically reach puberty before boys do, they’re more likely to develop depression at an earlier age than are boys. This depression gender gap lasts until after menopause. It’s thought that the numerous hormone changes during puberty may increase some women’s risk of developing depression. However, temporary mood changes related to changing hormones during puberty are normal — these changes alone don’t cause depression.

Puberty is also often associated with other factors that can play a role in depression, such as:

  • Emerging sexuality and identity issues
  • Conflicts with parents
  • Increasing pressure to achieve in school, sports or other areas of life

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Saralyn Mark, MD

Saralyn Mark, MD, an endocrinologist, geriatrician and women's health specialist, was the first Senior Medical Advisor to the Office on Women's Health within the Department of Health and Human Services for 11 years and to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As Senior Medical Advisor, Dr. Mark was responsible for the development and analysis of initiatives and programs on emerging technologies, public health preparedness, physician workforce issues, sex and gender-based medicine and women's health on Earth and in Space.