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

ARLINGTON, Va., April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has released a new brochure, Women and Depression, about major depression in women, addressing causes, symptoms, life stages and treatment. It can be downloaded at

-- 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 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 online at

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 more than 1,100 local communities.

SOURCE National Alliance on Mental Illness
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