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National Depression Screening Day: Depression in Women

We've all had the blues, but how do you know when you're clinically depressed? Depression is too often missed, misdiagnosed or mistreated. With us today is Dr. Una McCann, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Una McCann: "Major depression is the single most common mental illness in the United States, affecting twice as many women as men. This is an extremely serious illness associated with an increased risk for suicide, an increased risk for substance abuse, and it's also associated with a number of medical illnesses."

The classic symptoms of clinical depression include depressed mood, decreased ability to think or make decisions, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, decreased appetite, lost interest or pleasure in most activities, sleep disturbances, apathy, decreased energy, and fatigue. Of course, these symptoms may be the signs of many other medical conditions as well, so your physician will need to do a thorough medical evaluation. If depression is your diagnosis, pursue medical treatment sooner rather than later- the same way you would for any other medical illness.

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Created: 10/9/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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