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Working moms are at a higher risk for depression; they are also less likely to seek treatment

91% of working mothers reported that they had signs of depression.
91% of working mothers reported that they had signs of depression.

A 2008 Working Mom Magazine survey found 91% of working mothers reported that they had signs of depression.  The study also revealed that:

• One in five working mothers will experience depression in their lifetime.
• Women are twice more likely to experience depression than their male counterparts.
• More than half of working mothers reported that their depression impacted their jobs and only seven percent reported their depression to their employer. The remainder feared embarrassment and kept their depression to themselves.
• 38.3% said their depression impacted their children.
• The majority did not seek help because they felt they could handle their depression on their own.
• 60.7% of successful working mothers reported that they felt like a “personal failure.”

Working Mother Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Riss felt the article was warranted because “depression is a silent epidemic, and its stigma prevents too many women from acknowledging the disease and seeking the treatment they so desperately need. We hope that shining a light on this issue will help women understand they’re not alone in their suffering—and that help is available.”

A new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health finds that 65% of working mothers with depression do not receive adequate treatment.  The University of Wisconsin study noted two substantial factors in working mothers not receiving treatment: long work hours and lack of health insurance. Of course, long work hours make it difficult for working mothers to fit in doctors’ appointments. Further, working mothers who have health insurance are three times more likely to receive treatment for depression than mothers without health insurance.

These statics are no surprise to working mothers that work fulltime jobs and feel the strain of the work-life balance. In fact, the majority of working mothers say their schedules are quite stressful and the guilt of leaving their children with caretakers is overwhelming. Working mothers are constantly trying to make everyone happy - bosses, clients, children and husbands, and having both a career and a family is similar to having dual careers.


  • Becky, Cleve. Family Examiner 5 years ago

    Getting to a doctor appt. is a major challenge. You have to take off work, because the doctor's office doesn't have evening hours. I never knew that many people were depressed. I have not suffered from depression, but I do know people who go through periods or bouts of it. Great article!

  • Lana, Working Mom Examiner 5 years ago

    91% of working mothers have reported having depression symptoms. I don't find that hard to beleive. A lot of the information,particularly about being embarrassed, wasn't unsual. I think a lot of mothers go through bouts of depression, and working mothers are always overwhelmed.