Help for Depression and Other Mental Illnesses

New government report highlights gender differences and what women can do.

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A report released yesterday by the federal government's Office on Women's Health highlights some important gender differences when it comes to mental-health problems. The report finds that women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression and are two to three times as likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It also suggests that female veterans face a higher risk of post-traumatic stress disorder than their male counterparts. Being a victim of domestic abuse (which is more common for women) is also associated with an increased risk of PTSD as well as depression and panic disorder.

The good news? Building up resilience to stress can help you combat mental illnesses. Women, in particular, show more resilience when they face stress and mental illness if they have strong interpersonal connections with their family and friends. Check out the Office on Women's Health website to read the full report and a consumer guide for women intended to help you deal with mental illness.

The site links to useful hotline numbers, some of which I've included below. Print out this blog, and post it on your refrigerator door so these numbers are handy for you and your friends and family members.

  • Postpartum depression: Postpartum Support International
  • (800) 994-4PPD (4773)
    • Domestic violence: National Domestic Violence Hotline
    • (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
      • Depression and other mental illnesses: National Alliance on Mental Illness
      • (800) 950-NAMI (6264)
        • Eating disorders: National Eating Disorders Association
        • (800) 931-2237
          • Sexual assault: National Sexual Assault Hotline
          • (800) 656-HOPE (4673)
            • Suicide prevention: National Suicide Prevention Hotline
            • (800) 273-TALK (8255)
              • Drug abuse: National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline
              • (800) 662-HELP (4357)