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Mexican immigrants could face higher risk of depression

Often times, people migrate from Mexico to the United States in search of the opportunity for a better life. However, because of culture shock and the ever-changing immigration laws in the United States, the transition can be anything but easy.

In fact, a new study suggests that people that have migrated to this country from Mexico are more likely to suffer from depression than their relatives who stay in their home country.

The study was conducted at the University of California Davis, and results were recently published in the April issue of a psychiatry journal. It revealed that younger migrants primarily drove the higher amounts of depression and anxiety in Mexican migrants.

This was the first study to compare the mental health of migrants to relatives that stayed in Mexico. The researchers conducted interviews of 554 migrants to the United States and 2,519 Mexican residents with a family member who had migrated.

The results were considered "the first direct evidence that experiences as a migrant might lead to the onset of clinically significant mental health problems in this population," the researchers argued in the study.

It was suggested by researchers that the difficult experiences immigration typically entails could be responsible for affecting the migrants' mental health.

Overall, there are about 12 million people currently in the United States who were born in Mexico, which makes up about 25 percent of the country's Hispanic population.

If you or someone you know has recently migrated to the country and is struggling with the legal immigration process, seek out the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer who can help make the transition easier. Also, if you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health issue, contact your local social service office for free help.

Source: MedPage Today, "Immigration Increases Risk of Depression," Michael Smith, 4/5/2011.

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