n African Journal of Psychiatry - Depression in African women presenting for psychological services at a general hospital : original article

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



Despite the increase in knowledge of depression, little is known about depression among African populations, especially African woman. In South Africa, inadequate mental health services generally and specifically for African people in our society, has led to under reporting and under diagnosing of the disorder. The object of the study was to understand depression in African women attending a state health service. Clinical records of all patients presenting with depression to a general hospital located in a densely populated African township, over a 2 year period, were examined. The epidemiological data is described. Depression in these women was related to poverty, overcrowding, unemployment, high levels of crime, lack of services and sexual abuse. African women return to a social context within which depression is increasingly prevalent. Establishing psychological services relevant to needs as well as means of ensuring that therapeutic gains extend to their social context are considered.

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