Depressed Women Cite Condition As Workplace Roadblock

November 7, 2003 ( - Eighty three percent of working women with depression say their mental health affliction is more of a detriment to their professional success than child and elder-care responsibilities, pregnancy, sexual harassment and the "glass ceiling."

Despite the roadblocks depression throws up for women in the workplace – a figure as high as 7.7 million women in the United States – 40% of those with depression do not seek treatment. This is especially surprising, given that 97% of depressed career women taking medication report better work performance and improved relationships with co-workers, according to a survey sponsored by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) and the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) reported by CCH.

More encouraging news could be found in word that 94% of the survey’s respondents saw improvements at work after seeking treatment for depression.

Depression’s impact is profound for those women not seeking treatment, who attribute such erratic behavior as hiding under a desk, avoiding contact with coworkers, and not answering the phone to their depression. In fact, nearly a third of the survey samplefault their depression for “completely interfering” with their ability to do their job and 89% who quit or lost a job while suffering from depression blame their condition.