So says a report in the Tennessean newspaper:
"Depression is a nationwide problem, but Tennesseans may be at even greater risk. The latest report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration showed that Tennessee had the country's highest rate of adults who have had a major depressive episode within the last year.
The report, based on 2006 and 2007 surveys, does not determine the reasons behind the statistics. However, Dr. Karen Rhea, chief medical officer of Centerstone of Tennessee, said she suspects the state's overall poor health could play a role.
Tennessee consistently has high rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and prescription drug abuse, among others. People who suffer from depression are more likely to have other health problems as well, she said.
Sita Diehl, the director of state policy and advocacy for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said it's difficult to determine if depression triggers other health issues or vice versa."
It's the chicken-or-the-egg scenario," Diehl said. "If you are depressed, you eat. If you are obese, you're depressed."