If you are struggling with depression, you are not alone. In addition to seeking professional help, educate yourself with these self-assessment tools and books, and connect with others on Oprah.com.
Almost 19 million Americans suffer from clinical depression—almost 10 percent of the population. Twice as many women suffer from depression as men and a recent study by the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that 1 in 8 women will experience depression in her life time.
Bipolar disorder, once known as manic depression, affects 2.3 million Americans. Men and women are equally likely to develop it. Its sufferers endure cycles of devastating lows and euphoric and compulsive highs. People with bipolar disorder have three times the alcohol and drug abuse rate as the rest of the population. The mania, or the highs, can lead to destructive, extreme and reckless behavior including violence, aggression, compulsive shopping and/or sexual promiscuity. The irrational highs are followed by periods of deep, paralyzing depression. Many bipolar people commit suicide—20 percent end up dying by their own hands.