Depression by the numbers. As depression continues to grow in the United States at an alarming rate, Research from Columbia University and the City University of New York has revealed that many people are not actively seeking help or treatment for it. In 2020 one in 10 Americans had depression over the past year with about one in five adolescents or young adults.
Depression by the Numbers
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health recorded data from the years 2015 through 2020. The survey found major depression in ages 12 and older. Major Depression is the most common mental disorder in the U.S. and is a strong risk factor for suicidal behavior. In the U.S., depression rates jumped from 6.6 percent in 2005 to 7.3 percent in 2015, a slight spike over a ten-year period.
In 2020 Nine percent of U.S. youth, aged 12 and older reported experiencing a major depressive episode in the past year. Found most commonly in young adults (ages 18-25) and adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old. Both age groups show depression rates around the 17 percent mark. Adults over 35 also do not actively seek help keeping the rates consistently low.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimated that 14.8 million US adults experienced at least one major depressive disorder with severe impairment in 2020. Though the true number may be higher, 60 percent do not seek medical help despite the high number.
There are many levels of depression, these include chronic, manic, neurological, and many other forms of the illness people deal with on a daily basis. For many, their depression is passed down genetically and tends to linger through adolescence into adulthood.
Depression can affect how someone thinks, and how feel about themselves and the world around them. Mental illness directly influences relationships, work, and school, making it hard for someone to navigate and organize their life properly. The symptoms of the sickness range from behavioral and physical. Symptoms include an apathetic attitude, changes in sleep, appetite, and attention span, along with weight fluctuation, social isolation, and mood swings.
Adolescents do not seek help or talk to healthcare professionals when seeing depression symptoms, according to Cnet.com. This is not a good sign as the illness will only get worse with time. The year 2020, saw 45, 979 US citizens lost their lives to suicide with more than half of the deaths being males.
In other places like Japan, mental health is often overlooked. In 2017, 4.193 million Japanese citizens were living with mental health issues. The Globalist states that Japan experiences widespread depression that is undiagnosed and rarely treated when diagnosed. The 18-hour work shifts with little rest, the lonely financial positions, and the social hierarchies create separation and isolation for its citizens. This contributes to increased depression in the populace. As the numbers of depression continue to rise and those who have symptoms do not seek professional help for the illness, it could soon become a pandemic of its own consequence.
Written by Mikal Eggleston
Study Finds: Nearly 1 in 10 American adults, 1 in 5 teens report having depression; by John Anderer
National Institute of Mental Health: Mental Health Information: Suicide
The Globalist: The Social Burden of Depression in Japan; by Cesar Chelala
CNET: Depression Rates Have Increased. Here’s How to Recognize It; by Taylor Leamy
Featured Image Courtesy of Nikolay Semenov’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Jorge Franganillo’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License