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Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn says she suffers from depression

Many families in Minnesota are looking forward to spending the upcoming holidays with their loved ones and close friends. The holidays are supposed to be a time for celebration and joy, but for some folks, the holidays can be unbearable.

People who suffer from severe depression might find this time of year to be particularly difficult to handle. Their loved ones might not understand the pain that they feel and might even try to pressure them into participating in family gatherings or other social events. What some people don't realize, though, is that depression can be debilitating and can even make it difficult for some sufferers to get out of bed each day.

Just last week, Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn revealed that she has battled depression for several years. The alpine ski racer told People that her depression was particularly challenging to deal with in 2008 and that her condition had made her feel "hopeless."

Depression can affect anyone, even successful athletes who seem to have it all, like Vonn. She has been getting help for her condition and she said that she is taking antidepressants to manage her symptoms. Now that Vonn has been receiving treatment for her mental illness, she says that she is ready to move forward with her life.

According to reports, antidepressants are being used to treat about 11 percent of the American population over the age of 12 who suffer from a variety of mental health issues. New studies have also suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy may be an effective form of treatment for depression, even for those who suffer from severe depression.

If you are struggling with depression, the first thing you should do is reach out to others for help and speak with your doctor so that you can get the treatment you need to improve your health. As always, you should be completely honest with your doctor when describing your symptoms and how your symptoms are affecting your life so that your doctor can accurately analyze, diagnose and treat your condition. If your condition is severe and is preventing you from being able to work, you may be eligible to obtain Social Security disability benefits.

Source: Health.com, "Lindsey Vonn: 5 Things to Know About Depression," Amanda Gardner, Dec. 18, 2012

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