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Higher risk of depression for women

Posted on: May 12, 2009

Photo by omar_franc

Photo by omar_franc

A new study, performed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH), shows that women are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer from major depression. Other highlights include:

*Rates of anxiety disorders are two to three times higher in women than men.

*Having a history of violence, trauma or abuse is associated with increased risk of depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder and a tendency to engage in risky behaviors.

*Female veterans may face a higher risk of PTSD than their male counterparts.

*Family and other interpersonal connections in a woman’s life may play an important role in building resiliency and offering protection from mental illness.

The Office on Women’s Health also produced a booklet for women that addresses the stigma associated with mental health. Women’s Mental Health: What It Means To You includes information on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, suggestions about where to turn for support and solutions for preventing and coping with mental illness.

Action Steps for Improving Women’s Mental Health and Women’s Mental Health: What It Means To You are available for free by visiting www.womenshealth.gov or by calling 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727).

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