JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

April 22, 2003

MEDIA CONTACT: Trent Stockton
PHONE: 410-955-8665
E-MAIL: tstockt1@jhmi.edu

17th Annual Depression Symposium Features Acclaimed Author and Pediatrician

Pediatrician Mark Vonnegut, M.D., author of The Eden Express, will be a featured speaker at the annual symposium sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Affective Disorders Clinic, DRADA, the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association, and the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing.

The symposium date is Wednesday, April 23, 2003, with talks from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Johns Hopkins' Turner Auditorium.

Vonnegut, son of author Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse Five; Breakfast of Champions), will discuss his personal struggles with mental illness. His memoir, The Eden Express, first published in 1975 and reissued last year to critical and popular acclaim, describes his descent into and recovery from manic-depressive illness, or bipolar disorder.

Noted Hopkins psychiatrist, writer and MacArthur Prize winner Kay Redfield Jamison will also speak. Her books include Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (1993), An Unquiet Mind (1995), and Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide (1999).

Every year for the past 17 years, DRADA and Johns Hopkins have offered the symposium to raise public awareness of severe depression and bipolar disorder (manic depression) with the help of national figures or celebrities. Hundreds of patients, family members and physicians attending the symposium learn about the latest research as well as ways to cope with mood disorders.

"Millions of Americans suffer needlessly from undiagnosed depression or manic-depressive illness," says J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Hopkins and the author of a new book called "Understanding Depression." "Eighty percent of them could be treated successfully."

To arrange press coverage, call Trent Stockton at 410-955-8665.

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