Nearly 1 in 10 US people reports having depression

Credit: Engin Akyurt/ Pexels

In a study from Columbia University and elsewhere, scientists found increases in depression without commensurate increases in treatment are widespread.

In 2020, the past 12‒month depression was prevalent among nearly 1 in 10 Americans and almost 1 in 5 adolescents and young adults.

In the study, the team used data from the 2015−2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative study of U.S. individuals aged 12 years and older.

Major depression is the most common mental disorder in the U.S. and is the strongest risk factor for suicidal behavior.

Previous findings found increases in depression in the U.S. population from 6.6 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2015.

The study updated the depression prevalence estimates for the U.S. population through the year 2020 and confirms escalating increases in depression from 2015 through 2019, reflecting a public health crisis that was intensifying in the U.S. even before the onset of the pandemic

In 2020, 9 percent of Americans aged 12 or older experienced a past-year major depressive episode.

Depression was more common among young adults aged 18 to 25 years at slightly more than 17 percent, and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years (16.9 percent).

Depression increased most rapidly among adolescents and young adults and increased among nearly all gender, racial/ethnic, income, and education groups.

However, depression prevalence did not change among adults aged 35 and over. Overall, the prevalence of help-seeking remained consistently low.

These results showed most adolescents with depression neither told or talked with a healthcare professional about depression symptoms nor received pharmacologic treatment from 2015 through 2020.

The team found the prevalence of depression among non-Hispanic white individuals exceeded that of all other race/ethnic groups.

Depression also was consistently higher among women compared to men, and among adults who were not currently or previously married.

While there was an increase in depression from 2015 to 2019 among those in each income group, the highest prevalence of depression was evident among those with the lowest household income.

If you care about depression, please read studies about a core feature of depression, and common depression drugs linked to early death risk.

For more information about depression, please see recent studies that doing this can reduce depression relapse, and results showing this therapy can effectively treat pain, depression and anxiety.

The study was conducted by Renee D. Goodwin et al and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.