Study about depression in The Netherlands released today, PoC disproportionally affected

Today, this is making the news in The Netherlands: One in 10 of the Dutch is depressed, 6% take medication

From the article:

Around one in 10 of the Dutch population suffers from gloomy feelings or depression lasting at least two weeks and almost 6% were taking anti-depressants in 2011, according to the national statistics office CBS. Men of Moroccan origin and women of Turkish origin were the most likely to have symptoms of depression, the research showed. In general, women are 1.5 times more likely to feel depressed than men.[…]

Some 21% of men of Moroccan origin report feelings of depression for longer periods, compared with 7% of white Dutch men. And 26% of Turkish women say they have been depressed, compared with 11% of the native population.

The CBS [Central Bureau of Statistics] said age, education and employment had an impact on the results and may explain the differences.

I am not a scientist, just a cultural critic like many out there but I am appalled that there is no mention of issues that People of Color have to live with on a daily basis. Namely, issues such as institutionalized racism, employment discrimination (Dutch employment agencies have openly admitted that they discriminate based on ethnicity and race!), dismissive attitudes from the white majority in regards to the discrimination, etc etc. I find it hard to believe that none of these would have no significant impact on people’s mental health. I mean, this has been discussed and studied in places other than The Netherlands. Here are two such examples (though certainly not the only ones available) “Racism hurts kids’ mental health” and “How racism is bad for our bodies”.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been writing practically daily about how deeply ingrained racism is in The Netherlands. This is the cover of the current issue for the mainstream magazine “Vrij Nederland” (Free Netherlands):


There is a daily bombardment on Dutch mainstream media of racist imagery and a very strongly rooted racist discourse around People of Color. The cases that make international news are not exceptions, they are part of a culture that prides itself in fostering this climate of alienation for minorities while constantly patting itself in the back for being “so tolerant”. The cognitive dissonance between what we see and experience and what is touted as “Dutch tolerance” can be unbearable. Am I to believe that this systemic white supremacy has no impact in the stark difference of instances of depression between People of Color and white Dutch mentioned above? 

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