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Recession Adds to Ranks of Americans With Depression
Date:10/8/2009

heir situation.
  • Respondents without jobs were twice as likely to report being concerned about their mental health or use of alcohol or drugs within the last six months. Among those who hadn't spoken to a health professional about these concerns, 42 percent said cost or lack of health insurance was the main reason.
  • Nearly 20 percent of respondents said they'd had to accept forced changes, such as reduced hours or pay cuts, during the last year. They were five times more likely to report feeling hopeless most or all of the time than people who hadn't experienced a forced change at work.
  • "There is no shame in seeking help to overcome unemployment or a medical illness. For the sake of all our loved ones, it's important to learn to recognize symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. Screening helps. Talk with a doctor about any concerns," Fitzpatrick advised.

    Major depression affects about 15 million U.S. adults (5 percent to 8 percent of the adult population) each year. Only half of people with major depression seek treatment, regardless of their economic or employment situation, the survey found.

    More information

    The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers advice for getting through tough economic times.



    -- Robert Preidt



    SOURCE: Mental Health America, news release, Oct. 6, 2009


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