Anyone can have clinical depression. However, cultural background plays a large role in how the symptoms of depression are reported and interpreted, and consequently, if and how clinical depression is recognized and tre...
Anyone can have clinical depression. However, cultural background plays a large role in how the symptoms of depression are reported and interpreted, and consequently, if and how clinical depression is recognized
and treated. But clinical depression is never normal and should not be accepted as a normal part of life for any African American regardless of age or life situation. Clinical depression is a serious medical illness
affecting more than 19 million American adults each year, but one that can be effectively treated. In fact, more than 80% of people with depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both.
Symptoms of Clinical Depression If you have been experiencing five or more of these symptoms for two weeks or more, you could have clinical depression and should see your doctor or a qualified mental health professional for further evaluation.
Depression often has been misdiagnosed in the African American community. Factors that can contribute to fewer African Americans being diagnosed with clinical depression include:
According to a National Mental Health Association survey on attitudes and beliefs about depression:
For more information about the National Mental Health Association or additional resources, please call 1-800-969-NMHA or visit our website at www.nmha.org.
To access care, call 937-734-8333 or if suicidal, call CrisisCare at 937-224-4646
Leo RJ, Sherry C, Jones AW: “Referral Patterns and Recognition Among African-American and Caucasian Patients.” General Hospital Psychiatry 1998; 20:175-182.
National Institute of Mental Health: “Depression: Treat It. Defeat It.” Accessed June 1999.
National Institute of Mental Health: “The Numbers Count: Mental Illness in America.” Science on Our Minds Fact Sheet Series. Accessed August 1999.