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Families For Depression Awareness Presents Coping With Stress Event At Harvard University

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Managing Stress

On May 2, 2007, Families for Depression Awareness will present Coping with Stress, a free event at Harvard University featuring expert presentations on effectively managing stress in all areas of our lives-from everyday strains to life-changing events.

Coping with Stress will feature presentations by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., author of Crazy Busy: Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap!, and Massachusetts State Senator Robert A. Antonioni, who will speak about his own experience with stress and depression.

The event will cover the signs and symptoms of stress, ways to reduce or alleviate it, tips for coping with stress in our daily lives, and when it is more than stress-identifying and coping with anxiety and depression. The presenters will also participate in a panel discussion and Q&A session on coping with stress moderated by Edward J. Benz, Jr., M.D., president and CEO of Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

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"Our entire society is suffering from an epidemic of brain overload," said Dr. Edward Hallowell. "The outside world has constant and immediate access to us 24/7 through cell phones, wireless handheld devices and email. Combine this with longer workdays and growing expectations at home and the result is a nation of individuals with culturally induced ADD. But this pressure, when properly managed, can be used to our advantage once we understand what we really need in life and take charge of our time."

According to the American Psychological Association, 54 percent of Americans are concerned about the level of stress they experience in their everyday lives.(1) When stress continues or interferes with daily activities, it may be anxiety or depression or both. Nearly one in five Americans will experience depression at some point in their lifetime, and more than 19 million Americans suffer from a depressive disorder each year.(2)

"I knew I was suffering from more than stress but I was embarrassed to let anyone know, plus I didn't want my family to worry about me," said Senator Robert A. Antonioni. "Even when I was diagnosed with depression I wouldn't tell anyone that I was seeing a therapist and would even drive to another town to fill my prescriptions. Once I went public I realized that talking about it gave me strength. I was able to unburden the feelings that I had inside and even help others in the process."

"Everyone experiences some sort of stress in their lives-from deadlines at work or school to family pressures. Even happy events, such as buying a new home or welcoming a new baby, can be stressful," said Julie Totten, president and founder of Families for Depression Awareness. "Through this event we hope to educate people on how they can cope with stress in all areas of their lives and understand when it is in their best interest to seek treatment."