Depression negatively affects the lives of millions of people every day. It is a grave and real health concern in our modern world. People who are suffering from depression may not have the ability to seek help due to various factors. These hindrances include inadequate mental health support systems, social stigma against mental illnesses, and the simple fact that they may not know they are suffering from depression. Before we dive into the statistics, we should know what exactly is depression and what are its common symptoms.
What is Depression?
Depression, also known as Major Depressive Disorder, is a frequent and severe mental disorder that affects millions of people from across all age groups and races. It negatively affects how you think, feel, and act daily. Its symptoms can vary between mild to severe and may include:
- Feelings of hopelessness and being stuck
The feeling that nothing you do will help you get better.
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
The events that once made you feel joy and accomplished now leaves you empty and tired.
- Significant weight changes
“A change of 5% or more of your body weight in a month. Whether it’s a considerable weight loss or weight gain, it can be considered a sign of depression. This is one of the neglected signs of depression which family and loved ones need to take note,”says Dr.Debanjan Banerjee,a consultant geriatric psychiatrist.
- Feeling tired all the time
Depression can make you feel sluggish and slow like your whole body is hefty. This can cause small tasks exhausting and draining.
- Feelings of Self-hatred
The extreme feelings of worthlessness and guilt is a common sign of depression. You might despise yourself and unfairly criticize yourself for small mistakes.
- Problems Concentrating
Having trouble focusing on a task, having memory problems, and difficulty making decisions.
- A broken Circadian Rhythm
The lack of sleep or oversleeping, waking up exhausted.
- Feelings of Restlessness and Irritability
Always feeling angry or agitated, your temper is short, and every little thing gets on your nerves.
Statistics on Depression
Now that we’ve outlined what depression is and a few of its common symptoms, let’s look at how it affects the population as a whole. Here are seven statistics about Depression that everyone must know to help us better understand the effects of this mental health illness and help those who are suffering from it.
#1. Statistics on How Much Depression Affects the Population
- More than 264 million people suffer from depression around the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 17.3 million people aged 18 or higher suffered from Depression in the United States alone in 2017.
- 8.7% of women and 5.3% of men suffer from depression.
- Depression’s prevalence is highest among individuals between 18-25 years of age.
- 15% of the adult population is estimated to experience depression at some point in their lives.
- 63.8% of adults with a major depressive disorder had severe impairment.
- The prevalence of depression was highest among mixed-race adults at 11.3%.
- In the United States, 3.2 million adolescents aged 12-17 years old are estimated to have had at least one major depressive episode. This number consisted of 13.3% of the population aged 12-17 years old in the United States.
- 70.77% of adolescents with major depressive disorder experienced severe impairment.
- The prevalence of depression was highest among mixed-race adolescents at 16.9%
#2. Statistics on Depression co-occurring with other medical conditions and illnesses
- 25% of cancer patients may suffer from depression.
- 1 in 3 heart attack survivors may suffer from depression.
- 50% of patients with Parkinson’s disease may suffer from depression.
- 10-27% of post-stroke patients experience depression.
- More than 20% of Americans with alcohol or other substance abuse disorder also suffer from depression.
- 1/3 of people who have diabetes suffer from depression.
- Studies found that depression is the second most common mental health illness experienced by people who have HIV.
#3. Statistics on Depression and Women
- Women are two times likely to have suffered from depression as men. This can be attributed to hormonal fluctuations and changes during pregnancy, menstrual cycles, puberty, etc.
- Women who have had previous depressive episodes can have a higher risk of experiencing postpartum depression.
- Around half of the women who were diagnosed with postpartum depression began experiencing depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
#4. Statistics on Depression and Suicide
- According to the estimates of the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 million people die each year due to suicide.
- The suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide in the last 45 years.
- Mental health illnesses such as depression are associated with more than 90% of suicide cases.
- 55% of suicides around the globe are committed by individuals between 15 to 44 years old, while the remaining 45% are from individuals 45 years old and over.
- Suicide is one of the top three leading causes of death among individuals aged 15 to 44 years old for males and females.
- Suicide attempts are 20 times more frequent than completed suicides.
- 2/3 of suicides by older individuals in the U.S are due to mistreated depression.
- The fourth highest cause of death for individuals aged 35-54 is suicide.
- 51% of all suicide deaths are by firearms.
- Males are four times more likely to die by suicide compared to females. However, females have a higher chance of attempting suicide compared to males.
- 8 out of 10 people who are considering suicide will show some signs of their intentions.
#5. Statistics on the Treatment Methods of Depression
- 35% of adults who suffer from depression do not seek or get proper treatment at all.
- However, 80% of those who seek treatment show improvements to their depressive symptoms within around 4 to 6 weeks.
- 50% of the unsuccessful treatment of depression is due to medical non-compliance. Patients that stop their medications too early due to various reasons.
- Fortunately, we now have innovative therapy like TMS, which is completely non-invasive and doesn’t require any medication.
- Patients who participate in support groups are 86% more compliant with taking medication and cope better with the side effects.
As the statistics show, depression is a worldwide mental health concern. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich, poor, male, female, young or old. Understanding how much depression affects the people around us is the first step to helping those suffering from it. If you are suffering from depression or suspect someone who is, please reach out to them. As one small act of kindness can save a life.