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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2007 Nov;62(6):S392-8.

The lived experience of depression in elderly African American women.

Author information

  • 1Center for Applied Research on Aging and Health, Thomas Jefferson University, 130 South 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA. helen.black@jefferson.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This article focuses on the lived experience of depression in 20 elderly African American women.

METHODS:

Data on depression emerged from research that qualitatively explored experiences of depression, sadness, and suffering in 120 community-dwelling persons aged 80 and older, stratified by gender, ethnicity, and self-reported health.

RESULT:

We placed women's narratives under three general themes: Depression was (a) linked with diminishment of personal strength, (b) related to sadness and suffering, and (c) preventable or resolvable through personal responsibility. Brief accounts illustrate how themes emerged in women's discussion of depression.

DISCUSSION:

African American women created a language for depression that was rooted in their personal and cultural history and presented in vivid vignettes through their life stories. Their belief systems and the language they used to describe depression are integral aspects of the lived experience of depression.

PMID:
18079427
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4539960
Free PMC Article
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