Part I: What I Know and What I Want to Know
The Latino community, from immigrating to United States born Latinos are often known to be depressed. Depression is a medical illness that causes a constant feeling of sadness and lack of interest, it affects how the person feels, behaves and thinks. Many Latinos rely on their extended family, community, traditional healers, or churches for help during a health crisis. As a result, many Latinos with mental illnesses often go without professional mental treatment. But why is it that Latinos are so reluctant to receiving help? Sheila Dichoso states that, “there are only 29 Latino mental-health professionals for every 100,000 Latinos in the United States, compared to 173 non-Hispanic white providers per 100,000 non-Hispanic whites.” Coming along this information completely amazed me, knowing that there is a vast difference between Latino and non-Hispanic white mental health providers is shocking.
I am writing this research paper because I want to learn more of why the Latino community is vulnerable of being diagnosed with severe major depression. Why is it more likely for a Latino immigrants to be depressed? Does acculturation have to do anything with Latinos being diagnosed with depression? The main question I want to focus on is what are the many reasons Latinos who have immigrated to the United States fall into depression? In order to answer my major question I want to discover information I don’t know about yet, find statistics, and possibly resolutions to better improve Latinos mental health.
I became interested in the topic of depression among the Latino community because I know and have met many other Latinos suffering from major depression. From the people I have met throughout my life I have been able to recap the reasons why they have fallen into depression. First reason being that once they arrive to the United States they find themselves all alone suffering in a country they thought of so differently. They thought they were coming to a country were means would be easier to earn, but realized that if earning their means were just about the same in their country they were actually harder to earn and maintain in a place they called the “American Dream.” The reason I found to be most common in the people I have met is that from the people who immigrate to the United States, only immigrate because they’re escaping abuse. These two tough situations Latinos have to go through have been some of the causes of why they have been diagnosed with depression.
What mostly intrigued me in choosing this topic is that I have been through it as well. Not myself personally but my mother, Dora Alicia Diaz has. She suffered from postpartum depression after giving birth to me. She started having many suicidal thoughts. After making an attempt at suicide, my mother was interned into a mental hospital. Denying she had any children, she did not want to see me or my older brother. My mother’s depression came from two...