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This paper explores a discursive approach to understanding women's depression by presenting the results of research into women's narratives of their experiences. The discursive approach taken acknowledges women's immersion in cultural practices that determine the subject positions available to them and places a value on attributes of reflexivity and detachment that are not usually associated with their performance. The social and cultural context of the individual's experience is significant because if the focus is simply on the individual this supposes that the problem lies solely with the individual. An understanding of cultural expectations and their relation to mental distress is important to mental health nursing practice. The psychotherapeutic relationship that is fundamental to mental health nursing practice requires an understanding of the meaning of individual's responses in their cultural context in order to provide facilitative and meaningful care for the women that they nurse.