In any given one-year period, about 9.5 percent of the population, or slightly less than 19 million Americans, suffer from a depressive illness. While the economic cost of depression is high, the emotional toll on sufferers and their loved ones is incalculable.
Thanks to years of research and clinical trials, there are medications and psychosocial therapies (cognitive/behavioral strategies, "talk" therapy) that can help.
A resource to review the developments is the online version of the University of Michigan's Depression Center at www.med.umich.edu/depression. Features include information on depression on college campuses, a women's depression guide, a suicide-risk assessment and the latest reports on depression.
On the home page, is a link to "Understanding Depression," detailed information on the various depressive illnesses. The content is segmented into subsections that address specific populations, such as depression in pregnancy, postpartum depression, peri-menopause and menopause, and depression in men, children, adolescents and older adults.
New treatments and methods of addressing depression are constantly being developed, and the Depression Center offers insight into the inner workings of therapies. There is also information on clinical trials under way. Support is critical to coping with depression, and the Depression Center provides a list of organizations and other Web sites to connect visitors with help.
The center has Web addresses of other resources that address the illness.