Women and Depression
NAMI has released a new brochure, Women and Depression, about the many dimensions of major depression in women.
"Nearly 18 million Americans experience depression every year," said NAMI medical director Ken Duckworth, M.D. "Some experiences are unique to women, including post-partum changes, infertility, and hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives."
Major depression is a medical illness that affects a person’s mind, mood, body, and behavior. It is more than "feeling down" because of a recent loss or family, work or financial stresses. It occurs when these feelings become more intense and persist to the point that they affect daily functioning.
The 16-page brochure highlights symptoms, causes, women of color, life stages, and treatment, with additional sections on seeking professional help, self-help, preventing recurrent depression, and helping other women. Some facts from the brochure:
- 1 in 8 women experiences depression in their lifetime; twice the rate as men, regardless of race or ethnic background.
- Middle-aged Hispanic women have the highest rate of symptoms, followed by middle-aged African American women.
- Young Asian American women have the highest rate of younger groups and the 2nd highest rate of suicide among 15 to 24 year olds. American Indians and Alaska Native adolescents are the most likely to attempt suicide and die from it.
The brochure can be downloaded or bulk copies for community education can be purchased at www.nami.org/womendepression.