Discrimination and Mental Health
Throughout the history of the world, discrimination in all forms has been a constant
battle; whether its race, gender, religion, beliefs, appearance or anything else that makes one
person different from another, it’s happening every day. It is an issue that affects many lives and
it's found nearly anywhere and almost impossible to hide. It's found in communities and spotted
even in the workplace. Few would argue with the belief that discrimination continues to be a
problem in U.S. society, or that historical and current injustices have contributed to everything
from economic inequalities to mental health outcomes. We now have decades of research
showing that when people are constantly treated differently, unfairly, or badly, it can have effects
ranging from low self-esteem to a higher risk for developing stress-related disorders such as
anxiety or depression
Dr. Gilbert Gee, professor in UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, sought in a 2007
study to determine the extent to which Asian Americans who reported being the victims of
discrimination were more vulnerable to developing clinically diagnosable mental disorders.
Much of the research was focused on symptoms of sadness and anxiety resulting from the
mistreatment. Dr. Gilbert Gee says even after taking into account other potential causes of stress,
Gee found a clear relationship between discrimination and increased risk of mental disorders.
Since that study, other research has reported similar results in African American and Latino
populations, as well as in other populations around the world. In a 2014 study of Latinos,
discrimination was significantly associated with increased risk of alcohol abuse among women
and increased risk of drug abuse among men. This meta- analysis concluded that self-reported
racial discrimination is consistently related to poor mental health.
One significant example of discrimination in the workplace would be the pay gap
between men and women. Women, who are as equally trained and educated, and with the same
experience as men are not getting equal pay, “The American Association of University Women,
is releasing a new study that shows when men and women attend the same kind of college, pick
the same major and accept the same kind of job, on average, the woman will still earn 82 cents to
every dollar that a man earns”. This form of inequality dates back for centuries and stems from
the common belief that since men provide for...