Who Is Affected by Depression?

  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. (National Institute of Mental Health “Major Depression”, 2017)
  • Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003; Jun 18; 289(23): 3095-105)
  • 1.9 million children, 3 – 17, have diagnosed depression. (Centers for Disease Control “Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health”, 2018)
  • Adults with a depressive disorder or symptoms have a 64 percent greater risk of developing coronary artery disease. (National Institute of Health, Heart disease and depression: A two-way relationship, 2017)

Depression often co-occurs with other illnesses and medical conditions.

  • Cancer: 25% of cancer patients experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
  • Strokes: 10-27% of post-stroke patients experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
  • Heart attacks: 1 in 3 heart attack survivors experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
  • Adults with coronary artery disease are 59 percent more likely to have a future adverse cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or cardiac death. (National Institute of Health, Heart disease and depression: A two-way relationship, 2017)
  • HIV: Depression is the second most common mental health condition among patients living with HIV.  (Rabkin, J. G. (2008). HIV and depression: 2008 review and update. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 5(4), 163-171. doi:10.1007/s11904-008-0025-1)
  • Parkinson’s Disease: 50% of Parkinson’s disease patients may experience depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2002)
  • Eating Disorders: 33-50% of anorexia patients have a comorbid mood disorder, such as depression.
    (Ulfvebrand, S., Birgegard, A., Norring, C., Hogdahl, L., & von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Y. (2015). Psychiatric comorbidity in women and men with eating disorders results from a large clinical database. Psychiatry Research, 230(2), 294-299.)
  • Substance use: Over 20%  of Americans with an anxiety or mood disorder such as depression have an alcohol or other substance use disorder (both alcohol and other substances) experience depression. (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions 2001 – 2006)
  • Substance use: Over 20% of Americans living with a substance use disorder also currently live with a mood disorder, such as depression. (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions 2001 – 2006)
  • Diabetes: 1/3 of persons with diabetes experience depression. (Holt RI, de Groot M, Golden SH. Diabetes and depression. Curr Diab Rep. 2014 Apr 18;14(6):-. doi: 10.1007/s11892-014-0491-3.)
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome: About 20% of women living with polycystic ovary syndrome experience depression. (Damone, A. L., Joham, A. E., Loxton, D., Earnest, A., Teede, H. J., & Moran, L. J. (2018). Depression, anxiety and perceived stress in women with and without PCOS: A community-based study. Psychological Medicine, 49(09), 1510-1520. doi:10.1017/s0033291718002076)

Depression and the Elderly

  • 7 million adults aged 65 years and older are affected by depression. (Centers for Disease Control, 2009)
  • More than 1 in 6 Americans working full-time or part-time report assisting with the care of an elderly or disabled family member, relative, or friend. A survey of these adult caregivers found that 40% to 70% of them have clinically significant symptoms of depression. (Family Caregiver Alliance, 2006, 2011)

Women and Depression

  • Women are almost twice as likely as men to have had depression. (Centers for Disease Control “Prevalence of Depression Among Adults 20 and Over: United States, 2013-2016”, 2017)
  • Postpartum mood changes can range from transient “blues” immediately following childbirth to an episode of major depression and even to severe, incapacitating, psychotic depression. Studies suggest that women who experience major depression after childbirth very often have had prior depressive episodes even though they may not have been diagnosed.
  • Women who have major depressive disorder (MDD) can have an increased risk of Low Bone Mass which can lead to fractures and can contribute to their risk for osteoporosis. Women living with MDD showed a higher prevalence of Low Bone Mass 17% compared to 2% of women who did not report having MDD. (Eskandari F, Martinez PE, Torvik S, et al. Low Bone Mass in Premenopausal Women With Depression. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(21):2329–2336. doi:10.1001/archinte.167.21.2329)

Economic Impact of Depression

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease. (World Health Organization, 2017)
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. with major depressive disorder being the most common (National Institute of Mental Health, “U.S. Leading Categories of Diseases/Disorders,” 2013)
  • Mental Health (Depression, grief, and behavioral conduct) is the second leading workplace concern, following only family issues. (Employee Assistance Professionals Association Survey, 2017)
  • Depression contributes to the estimated $100 billion annual cost of depression for U.S. employers, including $44 billion a year in lost productivity alone. (Beck et al., 2014; Stewart, Ricci, Chee, Hahn, & Morganstein, 2003)

Depression and Suicide

  • Depression is the cause of over two-thirds of the 30,000 reported suicides in the U.S. each year. (White House Conference on Mental Health, 1999)
  • For every two homicides committed in the United States, there are three suicides. The suicide rate for older adults is more than 50% higher than the rate for the nation as a whole. Up to two-thirds of older adult suicides are attributed to untreated or misdiagnosed depression. (American Society on Aging, 1998)
  •  The lifetime risk of suicide among patients with untreated depressive disorder is nearly 20%. (Gotilb I, Hammen C. (2002). Handbook of Depression.)
  • Suicide was the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, and the fourth leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 35 and 54. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 2018)
  •  From 2001 through 2017 for the total population, the total suicide rate increased 31% from 10.7 to 14.0 per 100,000. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018)

Treatment for Depression

  • Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning medication, psychotherapy, attending support groups or a combination of these treatments. (National Institute of Health, 1998)
  • Despite its high treatment success rate, nearly two out of three people suffering with depression do not actively seek nor receive proper treatment. (DBSA, 1996)
  • An estimated 50% of unsuccessful treatment for depression is due to medical non-compliance. Patients stop taking their medication too soon due to unacceptable side effects, financial factors, fears of addiction and/or short-term improvement of symptoms, leading them to believe that continuing treatment is unnecessary. (DBSA, 1999)
  • Participation in a DBSA patient-to-patient support group improved treatment compliance by almost 86% and reduced in-patient hospitalization. Support group participants are 86% more willing to take medication and cope with side effects. (DBSA, 1999)

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