SOURCE: The National Alliance on Mental Illness

April 28, 2008 03:00 ET

NAMI: Women and Depression; 1 in 8 Women; Twice the Rate of Men

Self-Help Brochure Discusses Causes, Symptoms, Life Stages, Treatment

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - April 28, 2008) - The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released a new brochure, Women and Depression, about the many dimensions of major depression in women. It can be downloaded at www.nami.org/womendepression.

--  1 in 8 women experience depression in their lifetime;
    twice the rate as men, regardless of race or ethnic
    background.

--  Middle-aged Hispanic women have the highest rate of depression
    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.

"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.

"Information in the brochure will help women help themselves, as well as other women in their lives. All family members benefit by learning more.

"The good news is that with correct diagnosis, most people can be treated effectively. The bad news is that two-thirds of people living with depression don't get the help they need."

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.

NAMI's 13-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. Bulk copies of Women and Depression for community education can be purchased on-line at www.nami.org/womendepression.

Publication of the brochure is supported by an educational grant from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. NAMI does not endorse or promote any specific medication or treatment. Individuals should consult their doctors.

About NAMI:

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is the nation's largest grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Founded in 1979, NAMI has affiliates in every state and in more than 1,100 local communities across the country.

NAMI Resources:

NAMI newsroom: http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=press_room

National Alliance on Mental Illness: http://www.nami.org

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