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7.

EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH

MAJOR FINDING: Close to half of the women surveyed indicated a problem with depression serious enough to require professional help.

Of all women surveyed, 32 percent had stayed overnight at least once at a hospital or other treatment program because of an emotional or mental health problem not related to drugs, alcohol, or physical injury; 39 percent once received other forms of treatment for an emotional or mental health problem; 37 percent were treated at least once with medication for an emotional or mental health problem.

DEPRESSION: MOST COMMON DIAGNOSES

Women who were receiving or had in the past received treatment for an emotional or mental health problem were asked to state their diagnoses in their own words. The most common diagnosis reported was depression. Other conditions were post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Women also re- ported having other emotional or mental health issues related to being survivors of violence.

MEDICATIONS

Of those surveyed, 37 percent stated that they had at some point been prescribed (either inside or outside of jail) medication for an emotional and/or mental health problem. Most (58 percent) of those who had once been prescribed such medication were not currently taking it. Although the majority stated they did not currently need it, despite having needed it in the past, reasons for not taking medication varied: 13 percent said they had no access to medication, 3 percent said the medications did not help, and 13 percent said that they did not like the medication’s side effects.

FAMILY HISTORY

Twenty-five percent of all women surveyed reported that a parent or someone they lived with while growing up had an emotional or mental health problem. These women were more than twice as likely to have an

10 UNLOCKING OPTIONS FOR WOMEN

emotional or mental health problem themselves. They were also twice as likely to be clinically depressed as were the women whose parent did not have an emotional or mental health problem.

Chart 12: MENTAL HEALTH: FAMILY HISTORY

Treatment received for emotional/mental health problem

Inpatient treatment

23%

54%

Other form of treatment

29%

Prescribed medication

26%

61%

Key: Parent had emotional or mental health problem

Yes

No

67%

Experiences of violence growing up:

Received inpatient treatment for mental health

Witnessed violence in the home

22%

41%

Neglect

42%

Women who said that they had experienced forms of violence while growing up were almost twice as likely to have stayed overnight at a hospital or other treatment program because of an emotional or mental health problem than were those who had not experienced violence growing up.

Chart 13: VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD AND MENTAL HEALTH

Physical abuse

24%

21%

20%

26%

Emotional abuse

43%

41%

49%

Sexual abuse

Key: Yes

No

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