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Book Reviews   |    
The Seven Beliefs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help Latinas Recognize and Overcome Depression
Reviewed by Rodrigo Munoz, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 2004; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.55.6.728-a
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by Belisa Lozano-Vranich, Psy.D., and Jorge Petit, M.D.; New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 2003, 247 pages, $23.95

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Belisa Lozano-Vranich, Psy.D., and Jorge Petit, M.D., have done a major service to the Latino community by summarizing the current obstacles to the proper diagnosis and treatment of depressive disorders among Latinas in the United States.

Many of our patients will accept almost any diagnosis, especially a medical diagnosis, before agreeing that the symptoms and the history are more compatible with depression than with any other disorder. Many Latinas enter a primary care clinic with chief complaints of headache, chest pain, diffuse pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, and malaise. Some of them have a course in the clinic that may last months or years, during which many medical problems are ruled out but a diagnosis of depression is not considered.

After reading this book, many Latinas will accept that depression is common, has symptoms that are readily visible to those who are aware of them, can be diagnosed, and can be successfully treated. The book can be of crucial importance in accepting the diagnosis and in seeking treatment. By alerting Latinas to the emotional factors involved in the process of accepting interventions by mental health professionals, the authors have contributed greatly to the campaign to advance the treatment of depression among Latinas to the level enjoyed by other groups.

The Seven Beliefs: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help Latinas Recognize and Overcome Depression will help not only Latinas: these women are often the health decision makers at home. Their new knowledge will help them direct others to the best possible management of their emotional illnesses.

Dr. Munoz lives in San Diego.

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