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 Women & Depression

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Depression and Women of Color

African American Women

Depression is a common and highly treatable disorder affecting more than 17-20 million Americans annually. Second only to heart disease, depression is the top reason for suicide in the United States. Once identified, depression can almost always be successfully treated. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis and under-treatment is common, especially within the African American community. Many African American women do not seek treatment because it is viewed as a personal weakness, not a health problem. Only 12 percent of African American women seek help and/or treatment. This perception must be eliminated to help persons who live with depression and need support. (more)


In any given year, 10-14 million people experience a clinical depression; women ages 18-45 account for the largest proportion of this group. Latinas may be at an increased risk: They experience depression at roughly twice the rate of Latinos (National Institute of Mental Health, 2000) and they are more likely to experience depression than Caucasian or African American women. (Shattell, et al.) According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control, Latina teenagers in the United States are the group most likely to seriously consider suicide, which is associated with depression. (more)

Asian American Women

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans represent one of the fastest growing segments of the population. Unfortunately, depression is the second leading cause of death in this group, with the highest rate of suicide among women between 15-24 years of age. While depression is a common and highly treatable disorder affecting over 17-20 million Americans annually, the pressures Asian American women sometimes feel compound and complicate their ability to get help-only 27 percent seek help and/or treatment. (more)

American Indian and Alaska Native Women

Depression is a common and highly treatable disorder affecting over 17-20 million Americans annually. Untreated and under-treated depression is the leading cause of suicide in the United States. Unfortunately, there is limited information available about the prevalence of mental illness among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women. Prevalence among AIAN populations is problematic because they may be susceptible to unique factors that may affect their vulnerability to mental illness. (more)

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