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A new report on the mental health of Americans says nearly 16 percent of adults - 35 million people - will develop depression in their lifetimes, but only one-fifth of those will receive adequate treatment.

The American Medical Association study also found that almost 7 percent - about 14 million - said they have suffered from depression within the past year.

And among the recently depressed, 97 percent of those quizzed said the illness interfered with their ability to work, have a rewarding home life and maintain relationships.

In addition, those who suffered an episode of depression said they had been unable to work or carry on normal activities for an average of 35 days.

"The results indicate that depression is a common and disruptive condition, and many people need more help than they are getting," lead author Dr. Ronald Kessler of Harvard Medical School said in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which published the report this week.

Bill Hoffmann, Wire Services

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