"The survey shows that there are many women
who unnecessarily suffer from depression during the holidays"
President and Chief Executive Officer, NWHRC.
of a nationwide online survey released today by the
Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) indicate that nearly
two-thirds of survey respondents have suffered from depression
during the holidays -- to such an extent that they do not take
part in the season's activities. Women report not attending
parties, decorating, shopping, or giving presents, due to their
depression. They also reported overindulging in food/alcohol. In
fact, the women surveyed said that stress and anxiety are the
first terms that come to mind when thinking about the holiday
season -- not family, gifts, or holiday cheer.
"The survey shows that there are many women who
unnecessarily suffer from depression during the holidays," said
Amy Niles, President and Chief Executive Officer, NWHRC. "The
good news is that careful planning, regular exercise, support
from loved ones, and treatment by a healthcare professional can
help individuals overcome depression and enjoy the holidays."
According to the
Health Association (NMHA), there are many factors that
increase the risk for depression during the holiday season,
including increased levels of stress and anxiety, fatigue,
unrealistic expectations, financial burdens, and the inability
to be with family or friends. However, more than half of the
women surveyed agree that there are ways for women to help
prevent the onset of depression, such as setting realistic
expectations, exercising, establishing a budget, and
volunteering to help others in need.
"The holiday season may be a trigger for
depression due to increased levels of stress and high
expectations, which can lead to feelings of disappointment and
failure. Women should be aware of the signs and symptoms of
depression and seek treatment from a healthcare professional if
they think they may be depressed," said Andrew Farah, M.D.,
Medical Director and Chief of Psychiatry, High Point Regional
Health Systems. "There are effective treatment options, such as
medication and talk therapy, that can help women get back to
feeling like themselves again."
Each year, nearly 19 million adult Americans suffer from a
depressive illness. One of every 4 women and 1 in 10 men can
expect to be diagnosed with depression during their lifetime.
Depression costs the United States an estimated $44 billion each
year. The World Health Organization predicts depression will
become the leading cause of disability by the year 2020.
are available to provide women with information about
About the "Depression During the Holidays Survey";
Nearly 400 individuals participated in the online survey, which
was posted on the NWHRC Web site ()
in November 2003. The survey was conducted to provide insight
into the prevalence of depression during the holidays, its
impact on one's involvement in activities, and how women can
overcome depression during the holidays. The survey was
supported by an unrestricted educational grant from
The National Women's Health Resource Center
The National Women's Health Resource Center is the nation's
leading independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to
educating women of all ages about health and wellness issues.
Its programs include an award-winning newsletter called the
National Women's Health Report, public education campaigns, and
its Web site,
www.healthywomen.org, a one-stop shop for women's health
information on the Web.
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