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by Amy Fowkes, Psy.D.
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:17-18
Women fulfill important leadership and service roles in the Church, and their unique mental health needs merit further examination. One of particular concern is depression, which has been called the most significant mental health risk for women.1 Women are more vulnerable to depression than men, and are often at risk for misdiagnosis. Learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in women and offer appropriate support can help us be more effective in our ministry.
How does gender impact depression?
What are the potential causes for the increased risk of depression among women?6
What are the symptoms of depression?
Where can you go for assistance?
To learn practical strategies for understanding and addressing depression in women, see the following:
1Glied, S., & Kofman, S. (1995, March). Women and mental health: Issues for health reform background paper. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, Commission on Women’s Health.
2Enns, C. (2004). Feminist Theories and Feminist Psychotherapies: Origins Themes and Diversity (2nd ed.). New York: Haworth Press.
3Research agenda for psychosocial and behavioral factors in women’s health. (1996, February). Washington, DC: Women’s Programs Office, American Psychological Association.
4McGrath, E., Keita, G. P., Stickland, B. R., & Russo, N. F. (1990). Women and depression: Risk factors and treatment issues. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
5WebMD Medical Reference. Depression in women. Retrieved from www.m.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-women
6National Institute of Mental Health. Women and depression: Discovering hope. Retrieved from www.nimh.nih.gov/women-and-depression-discovering-hope/complete-index.sht.
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