Depression And Anxiety In Older Women

I share a WhatsApp group, with my school friends. We mostly post utter rubbish every day and sometimes indulge in very serious talks about the state of the country and the world. We shake our heads – as much as possible when one is communicating through writing – agree that nothing’s going to change, or at least change for good -and then go back to sharing jokes and mild bantering among friends.

A couple of days back, one of us posted a photo of a smiling woman, surrounded by friends. She was definitely having a good time. She wasn’t someone I knew and before I could ask who she was, the next message from my friend shook us all up a bit. She was my friend’s senior from Medical College; about our age, which makes her a couple of years shy of 50. She had taken her own life the day before. She lived in one of the posh apartment blocks of Kolkata and was survived by her mother, daughter, and husband. Apparently, she was depressed and couldn’t cope with life after she relocated to Kolkata from the UK.

She is not an exception. More and more women are depressed and are very easily giving up on life, rather than fighting it out. It is indeed sad to think, why a mother, who is also a successful career woman, would choose a path of self – destruction? Why would she let herself sink so much into depression where suicide would be the only option?

A study, conducted by NHS Information Centre, has shown middle-aged women suffer most from depression and anxiety of all age & gender brackets. The increase of such cases is almost 20% in the past 15 years. This is perhaps not as startling a truth as it sounds. Although career is not a strange word for women anymore, it is still a struggle balancing work and home. Her responsibility does not end with taking care of her husband and children but it extends to taking care of aging parents and in-laws, coping with the fact that she’s menopausal or about to be; she’s perhaps struggling with her weight and the fact that she doesn’t recognize the person in the mirror anymore. She is probably suffering from innumerable aches and pains all over her body and incessant mood swings because her hormones are all over the place. Yet, she cannot talk about these things with her family because no one is ready to listen; not because they don’t love her or care for her enough but because they think she can cope, and at a certain level they have taken her for granted.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the charity, Mental Health Foundation, is of the opinion that, “older ladies are suffering from depression and anxiety because they are both overloaded and undervalued”. This is perhaps just not the case with older women alone, but the sense of emptiness and isolation is more pronounced among women of middle age, who suffer from empty nest syndrome, separation anxiety, low self-worth, increased work pressure, depression, and anxiety.

All these create an environment of immense stress from which, we, the ‘older women’ sometimes do not find a way out. We find it very difficult to cope with the fact that our glorious youth is behind us, we have not reached the desired place in our careers, we have ceased to be the most important person in our children’s lives, and our middle-aged husbands have conveniently taken up hobbies that keep them away from home, we are suddenly these individuals who have to take important decisions about our parents’ health and wealth. We find ourselves in a place from which we feel there is no escape. Not existing seems to be the right solution in these times.

We, at TriBeCa Care, care about you, and your family. Our Elder Care is categorically structured to provide the elderly with the support that they deserve. If you have any further queries then feel free to reach us. Call us at + 913366064208 or request a callback. Email us at