Washington, D.C. Episode Highlights Danger of Depression on the Roads
Images of a Connecticut woman fleeing police before meeting her demise were splashed across the news for days after a bizarre and tragic episode in our nation’s capital. After a brief discussion with law enforcement near the White House, the woman sped off and tried to crash through protective barricades to reach the president, whom she delusionally believed had been communicating with her. The driver was killed by police gunfire. Thankfully, the woman’s one-year-old child, who was in the car at the time, escaped without injuries and was taken into protective custody.
One in 10 Americans suffers from depression
Subsequent reports revealed that the driver may have been suffering from postpartum depression. Depression affects one in 10 Americans and results in economic costs of about $83 billion each year to the U.S. economy. While the condition no longer carries the stigma it once had, many still struggle with depression and its debilitating effects.
Women affected by depression
In general, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression, with 10 percent of women experiencing depression symptoms following childbirth. During the last few decades, great strides in depression treatment and awareness have been made. A variety of pharmaceutical and behavioral approaches have been introduced into popular culture to address the needs of depressed people.
Clinical studies indicate a frightening fact illustrated by the recent tragedy in Washington, D.C.: People with untreated depression, as well as those who take certain depression medications, may be at greater risk for car accidents. One study suggests that depressed young women are more likely to engage in hazardous activities behind the wheel, such as talking on the phone and speeding. Another study shows that medications for depression, anxiety and insomnia significantly increase the risk of being in a car accident, with the authors recommending that physicians consider advising patients not to drive while taking such drugs.
When car crashes occur, consider speaking to vigilant accident attorneys for legal assistance.