The Women's Health Resource Center
Adolescents who suffer from depression are more likely to experience depression in adulthood and are at a higher risk of suicide and suicide attempts. Depressed adolescents have a 14-fold higher risk of a first suicide attempt in their lifetimes and are twice as likely to experience depression as adults. Adults who were depressed as adolescents usually have more problems with work, family and social life, a lower educational achievement and lower social class, and are hospitalized more often than their healthy counterparts.
Depression, the most common serious psychiatric problem, affects nearly 20 million Americans every year. The majority never seek help, which is a shame because 80 to 90 percent of people with depressive illness get better with treatment. Treatment is usually medication, psychotherapy or a combination.
According to the American Psychological Association, one in four women is likely to experience severe depression, and it's about twice as common in women as men. While experts debate just why that is, they suspect it's caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors that play out differently in men's and women's lives.
For more information contact the Women's Health Resource Center at (415) 600-0500, the Community Health Resource Center at (415) 923-3155 or the Institute for Health and Healing at (415) 600-3660.
What you can do…
- Seek an evaluation from your health care provider to rule out disease, such as hypothyroidism, that may have symptoms similar to depression.
- Recognize that depression is a treatable medical condition, not a personal weakness.
- Seek diagnosis and treatment from your health care provider or a trained mental health professional.
- Seek out companionship, discuss your feelings with a friend, partner or family, join a support group.
- Have your health care provider review prescribed and over-the-counter medications that you currently take.
- Eat a balanced diet and exercise daily.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs.
- If you have postpartum "blues", get plenty of rest, avoid overloading with non-essential tasks and identify persons who can help you.
- If you have any thoughts of harming yourself or if you have suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.
- Visit our Outpatient Mental Health Clinic for information on affordable behavioral health care.