London: An expert has indicated that women’s face increased anxiety, depression and mood swings just because their brains are wired differently.
According to Dr Andrei Novac, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, oestrogen can have a bigger effect on women due to their ever-fluctuating hormone levels.
He explained that oestrogen specifically “stimulates serotonin receptors in the brain”.
When hormone levels fluctuate, the brain’s sensitivity to serotonin changes, so the amount you needed before may no longer be enough — in effect, the hormones have tinkered with the wiring.
This could explain why women’s serotonin levels “drop off” when their oestrogen levels are low — specifically in the days running up to their period, after childbirth and at menopause.
And the problem is that this effect is cumulative. As well as fluctuating hormones, women may experience more stress and trauma during a lifetime (due to a variety of events in everyday life).
Over time, this chips away at the ability of the brain and adrenal glands to regulate mood and sexuality, making women more prone to depression.
“Insufficient levels of oestrogen can create depression — we know that’s why so many women going through the menopause suffer from it,” the Daily Mail quoted Novac as saying.