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Author and depression survivor Carolee Kassman released her e-book on combatting depression and suicide just in time for the holidays.

Regarding depression in the US, author Carolee Kassman remarks, “It is a shame that an internationally recognized form of mental illness as common as depression is so little understood by most Americans that those suffering from depression feel embarrassed when trying to talk to their family or friends and end up suffering alone, especially during the holidays.”

In her book, “Put Away The Razor: Surviving Suicidal Thoughts and Beating Back Depression One Day at a Time” Released Monday on, Kassman describes her own battle with depression, how it contributed to the failure of her first marriage, how she overcame depression, and provides encouragement and support for those currently dealing with the disease.

Depression in the United States is still commonly treated as a “made up” disorder even though the Depression Alliance states that it is a common disorder that affects 1 of every 5 people at some time during their lifetime.

Kassman says that the rumor that suicide rates rise during the holidays is not substantiated and is in fact refuted by statistics put forth by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, but says, “CDC’s considers suicide the 10th leading cause of death for Americans. Every day, approximately 1,024 individuals are treated for self-inflicted injuries, and 98 individuals take their own lives. Regardless of whether or not this number increases or decrease over the holidays, almost 100 people per day lose their life from this crippling mental illness. Anything we can do to raise awareness, seasonally or otherwise, is well worth the effort.”

Kassman encourages everyone to recognize that depression is a mental illness that sufferers are not able to completely control, understand the symptoms of depression and be on the lookout for anyone they know who might be a depression sufferer and may need extra support during the holiday season.

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, depression is a mental illness and can be detected in brain scans such as MRIs as depression sufferers display different patterns than healthy individuals. Unfortunately, science has not yet revealed what causes depression and MRI’s cannot yet be used as a formal diagnosis of the condition.

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