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Campaign Focuses on Men and Depression

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It's estimated that as many as six million American men suffer from depression every year.

However, most men don't recognize the symptoms or the need to get help. That's why the National Institutes of Health has started a new campaign.

A sad or empty mood that won't go away. Losing interest in things that used to be fun. Feeling helpless or hopeless.

These are all signs of depression, a serious but treatable condition.

Dr. Thomas Insel/ Dir., NIMH: "We don't yet know the cause of depression, but it's clear that depression affects many systems of the body. So it has cardiovascular, endocrine, immune consequences as well as the change in mood state."

While women are twice as likely to suffer from depression, men are less likely to get help.

Pat McCathern/ Retired, US Air Force: "It was like an eight month spiral. A little bit each day. You know, you think you're going to snap out of it. You don't go and get any help because you think, 'Oh, it's just the blues. I'm going to get out of this.'"

In an effort to change that, the N.I.H. has launched a new campaign... real men... real depression.

Men like Pat McCathern telling their stories in public service announcements.

Steve Lappen/ Writer: "It just simply invades every pore of your skin. It affects the way you think. It affects the way you feel. It affects the way you love. It affects the way you like. It has that incredible-- it's just a blanket that covers everything."

It's hoped that by putting a face on depression more men will speak up and get help.

For Pat McCathern, getting help has meant all the difference in the world.

Pat McCathern: "Night and day. I've never been happier in my life. (edit) I like getting up everyday, I enjoy the day, I enjoy people."

There is no need for silence.

New medications and new approaches mean that depression is a treatable illness. But left untreated, it can be deadly

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