Depression is a disorder that affects millions of Americans each year, but diagnosing it isn’t the same for everyone.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is commonly diagnosed using a set of criteria laid out in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, often referred to as the DSM.
“Historically, we use something like the DSM to diagnose — that’s kind of the holy grail when you’re talking about behavioral health,” said Lauren Carson, founder and executive director of Black Girls Smile, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the mental health of Black young women. But she said the text is predominantly written by older white men, and the data that forms the basis of its diagnostic criteria comes largely from studies on white men, too.
Studies have shown that marginalized groups like Black people are at higher risk of depression. A new study gives some insight into what that looks like ― and how depression in Black women doesn’t always present in the “traditional” ways.
In a paper published last month in the journal Nursing Research, researchers at New York University and Columbia University found that Black women are more likely to report self-criticism, self-blame, trouble sleeping, an inability to experience pleasure, and irritability than the more widely recognized symptoms of depression like feeling sad or hopeless.
Read more at HuffPost.com.
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