Contrary to popular belief, clinical depression is not a “normal part of being a woman” nor is it a “female weakness.” Depressive illnesses are serious medical illnesses that affect more than 19 million American adults age 18 and over each year. 1 Depression is a treatable medical illness that can occur in any woman, at any time, and for various reasons regardless of age, race or income.


Contributing Factors

Gender Differences



Co-occurring Illnesses



Fortunately, clinical depression is a very treatable illness. More than 80 percent of people with depression can be treated successfully with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both. 3

Women’s Attitudes Toward Depression

According to a Mental Health America survey 14 on public attitudes and beliefs about clinical depression: