According to a recent published report, symptoms of depression differ from one race to the other. These same reports discovered that most times, Black women suffering from depression exhibited symptoms that were atypical of depression.
According to a report by U.S News, Black women reported symptoms like sleeplessness, irritability and self-criticism when depressed. This starkly differs from the low moods and sadness that women of other races generally experience. The study was led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and Columbia University School of Nursing. It states that this can cause many Black women to be underdiagnosed.
According to the researchers, mental health professionals have primarily been studied in white people. This has increased the chances of missed diagnoses in people of other races.
Depression Symptoms In Black Women Often Missed By Providers
As a part of the study, researchers studied data gathered from 227 Black women screened for depression.
“Based on our findings, it’s possible that health care providers may miss depression symptoms in Black women, resulting in under-diagnosis and under-treatment,” said Nicole Perez, PhD, RN.
Mental health professionals have always diagnosed depression based on symptoms that patients report. Several common but that list varies from one person to the next.
The report pointed out that there are over 1,500 possible combinations of symptoms that meet criteria for a depressive disorder. Although patients can share the same diagnosis, symptoms can vary.
Although researchers pointed out that the findings should not be generalized to all Black women, they did state that standard screening tools often could not pick up on Black women’s symptoms.
“My hope is that these findings contribute to the growing dialogue of how depression can look different from person to person, and raise awareness of the need for more research in historically understudied and minoritized populations, so that we can better identify symptoms and reduce missed care and health disparities,” said Perez.