Facts & Stats

DEPRESSION

Clinical depression is much more common than people believe. It will affect more than 19 million Americans this year. One-fourth of all women and one-eighth of all men will suffer at least one episode of depression during their lifetime.

– National Institute of Mental Health, 2000

There are three main categories of depression: major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.

  • Approximately 18.8 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year, have a depressive disorder. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001
  • Nearly twice as many women (12.0 percent) as men (6.6 percent) are affected by a depressive disorder each year. These figures translate to 12.4 million women and 6.4 million men in the U.S. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001
  • Depressive disorders often co-occur with anxiety disorders and substance abuse. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001

MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER

  • Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and established market economies worldwide. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001
  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 9.9 million American adults, or about 5.0 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001
  • Symptoms Include:
    • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
    • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
    • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
    • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
    • Trouble sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
    • Appetite and/or weight changes
    • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
    • Restlessness, irritability
    • Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain, which do not respond to routine treatment

    National Institute of Mental Health, 2003

DYSTHYMIC DISORDER

  • Symptoms of dysthymic disorder (chronic, mild depression) must persist for at least 2 years in adults (1 year in children) to meet criteria for the diagnosis. Dysthymic disorder affects approximately 5.4 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older during their lifetime. This figure translates to about 10.9 million American adults. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001
  • About 40 percent of adults with dysthymic disorder also meet criteria for major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder in a given year. – National Institute of Mental Health, 2001

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