Who Is At Risk For Depression
Depression can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender or circumstances. About 16 million Americans experience depression each year.
Women may experience depression more often than men. And your genetics or other health conditions can increase the likelihood that youll have at least one depressive episode in your lifetime.
New Ongoing And Published Research
VA researchers are making important headway in treating, screening, and diagnosing depression and other mood disorders such as bipolar disorder, persistent despondency, and seasonal affective disorder.
Researchers are developing models of family interventions and social support to help Veterans recover from mood disorders, learning which risk factors make a person more likely to suffer from depression or to respond positively to a specific medication, and identifying and testing potential new drugs for depression and other disorders.
Who Can Be Treated Successfully For Clinical Depression
More than 80% of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated with early recognition, intervention, and support.
Depression affects almost 19 million people each year, including a large portion of the working population. People with untreated depression can usually get to work. But once there, they may be irritable, fatigued, and have difficulty concentrating. Untreated depression makes it difficult for employees to work well.
Most people do best with depression treatment using psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both. For treatment-resistant depression, one that does not respond to medication, there are alternative treatments. One example is electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. There is also TMS, transcranial magnetic stimulation, or a novel intranasal ketamine spray.
National Institute of Mental Health: âWhat is Depression?â and “Suicide in the US: Statistics and Prevention.”
The National Womenâs Health Information Center: âDepression.â
National Cancer Institute: âDepression .â
Food and Drug Administration: âThe Lowdown on Depression.â
Mental Health America: âFacts about Depression and Suicide.â
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Pub, 2000.
Fieve, R. Bipolar II, Rodale Books, 2006.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: “The Impact and Cost of Mental Illness: The Case of Depression.”
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% Of People Dealing With Depression Also Have An Anxiety Disorder
In some cases, a severe anxiety disorder accompanies depression. In a nutshell, an anxiety disorder can induce feelings of nervousness or panic. It is often associated with a rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, or even dizziness and nausea. Anxiety statistics mark the link between the two disordersa tandem bound to take its toll on ones quality of life.
The Diagnosis Of Major Depression
Major depression impacts the lives of 4.4 percent of commercially insured Americans, or roughly 9 million people. This diagnosis rate has increased steadily since 2013 across all gender and age groups.
Women are more than twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with major depression , though diagnosis rates for each group rose by 33 percent since 2013 .
Americans diagnosed with major depression can also be divided into four age groups: adolescents , millennials , adults and mature adults .
Major depression diagnosis rates are steadily increasing across all age groupings. The most dramatic rise in major depression diagnosis is among those under 35 years of age. Between 2013 and 2016 diagnoses increased 63 percent among adolescents and 47 percent among millennials . Gender differences among millennials were similar but among adolescents there was a 65 percent increase for girls compared to a 47 percent rise for boys. These quickly rising rates of diagnosed major depression in younger age groups can have broader implications on future healthcare needs as they grow into later adulthood. Effective diagnosis and management of major depression in these early years is crucial to positively impact future health and wellness.
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Which Disorders Cause Depression
Several mood disorders cause depression symptoms, and a few disorders can cause major depressive episodes. In some cases, other mental health issues can cause depression symptoms. For instance, persistent panic and anxiety disorders can leave you feeling hopeless and depressed.
The fifth edition of the DSM added three more mood disorders to more accurately diagnose certain conditions. The three new disorders involve disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, persistent depressive disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Mood disorders that cause depression include:
Other health conditions can also cause depression symptoms. In many cases, depression is triggered by a frightening diagnosis or a medical condition that changes your life drastically. Conditions that lower your quality of life can also cause depression. Also, conditions that cause chronic pain can add a lot of stress that leads to mental health issues.
Depression can also be caused by certain medications and recreational drugs. Central nervous system depressants like alcohol, benzodiazepines, and prescription sleep aids can cause a low mood. Antidepressants and stimulants can cause depression when you stop taking them, especially when you quit cold turkey after a period of consistent use. Depression is closely associated with substance use disorders , especially when drugs cause or worsen depression are involved.
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Chronic Pain And Illness
Depression is common in people living with chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and migraines. Research has shown that chronic pain conditions may cause biochemical changes that lead to symptoms of depression.
A person with chronic pain and illness may become depressed due to their situation, especially when they are facing a loss of quality of life, a reduced level of day-to-day functioning, prolonged pain, and/or death.
Its also been shown that people who are diagnosed with one mental illness are more likely to develop another. Conditions such as anxiety and depression commonly co-occur. While different mental health conditions may be diagnosed at the same time and can influence one another, they may need to be treated in different ways.
Data Source And Methods
Data from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey data were used for this analysis. NHIS is a nationally representative multipurpose health survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population. It is conducted continuously throughout the year by the National Center for Health Statistics . Interviews are conducted in the respondents home, but follow-ups to complete interviews may be conducted by telephone when necessary. For more information about NHIS, visit:
Point estimates and the corresponding variances were calculated using SAS-callable SUDAAN version 11.0 to account for the complex sample design of NHIS. Linear, quadratic, and cubic trends by age were evaluated using orthogonal polynomials in logistic regression. Differences between percentages were evaluated using two-sided significance tests at the 0.05 level. All estimates presented meet NCHS data presentation standards for proportions .
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How Does Untreated Clinical Depression Affect Physical Health
There is mounting evidence that clinical depression takes a serious toll on physical health. The most recent studies exploring health and major depression have looked at patients with stroke or coronary artery disease. Results have shown that people with major depression who are recovering from strokes or heart attacks have a more difficult time making health care choices. They also find it more difficult to follow their doctor’s instructions and to cope with the challenges their illness presents. Another study found that patients with major depression have a higher risk of death in the first few months after a heart attack.
What Are The Different Types Of Depression
The most common types of depression are:
- Major depressiondepressive symptoms that interfere with a man’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy most aspects of life. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person’s lifetime. But it is common for a person to have several episodes. Special forms of major depression include:
- Psychotic depressionsevere depression associated with delusions or hallucinations . These psychotic symptoms are depression-themed. For example, a man may believe he is sick or poor when he is not, or he may hear voices that are not real that say that he is worthless.
- Seasonal affective disordercharacterized by depression symptoms that appear every year during the winter months when there is less natural sunlight.
- Persistent depressive disorder depressive symptoms that last a long time but are less severe than those of major depression.
- Minor depressionsimilar to major depression and persistent depressive disorder, but symptoms are less severe and may not last as long.
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How Is Depression Syndrome Diagnosed
Everyone may feel sad or down from time to time. However, clinical depression has more intense symptoms that last two weeks or longer.
To determine whether you have clinical depression, your healthcare provider will ask questions. You may complete a questionnaire and provide a family history. Your healthcare provider may also perform an exam or order lab tests to see if you have another medical condition.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
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Statistics Related To Mental Health Disorders
The following are the latest statistics available from the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health:
Mental health disorders account for several of the top causes of disability in established market economies, such as the U.S., worldwide, and include: major depression , manic depression , schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
An estimated 26% of Americans ages 18 and older — about 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.
Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness each year.
- Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men. However, men and women are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.
- While major depression can develop at any age, the average age at onset is the mid-20s.
- With bipolar disorder, which affects approximately 2.6% of Americans age 18 and older in a given year — the average age at onset for a first manic episode is during the early 20s.
Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental disorder — most commonly a depressive disorder or a substance abuse disorder.
Depression Is Less Prevalent Compared To Anxiety Disorders
According to anxiety statistics, worldwide, its prevalence is very high. In other words, generalized anxiety disorder , panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder , phobia disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder , along with other types of anxiety disorder, impact the lives of 284 million people.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Dysthymia
Data from a survey of five U.S. communities showed that dysthymia affected approximately 3% of the adult population. It was more common in women under age 65, unmarried persons, and young persons with low income and was associated with greater use of general health and psychiatric services and psychotropic drugs.
Is depression the same for everyone?
Depression affects everyone differently, and you might only have some of these symptoms. You may also have other symptoms that are not listed here. Keep in mind, its also normal to have some of these symptoms from time to time without having depression.
What age group is most affected by anxiety?
What age does anxiety affect the most? The age group most likely affected by anxiety is those from 30 to 44 years of age.
What age group is most affected by mental health?
50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24. 10% of children and young people have a clinically diagnosable mental problem3, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
A Long Road To Understanding Depression
For years and years, doctors and researchers assumed that depression stemmed from an abnormality within these neurotransmitters, particularly serotonin or norepinephrine. But over time, these two neurotransmitters did not seem to account for the symptoms associated with major depression. As a result, doctors began to look elsewhere.
The search proved fruitful. There are chemical messengers, which include glutamate and GABA, between the nerve cells in the higher centers of the brain involved in regulating mood and emotion, says John Krystal, MD, chair of Yales Department of Psychiatry, noting that these may be alternative causes for the symptoms of depression.
These two are the brains most common neurotransmitters. They regulate how the brain changes and develops over a lifetime. When a person experiences chronic stress and anxiety, some of these connections between nerve cells break apart. As a result, communication between the affected cells becomes noisy, according to Dr. Krystal. And its this noise, along with the overall loss of connections, that many believe contribute to the biology of depression.
There are clear differences between a healthy brain and a depressed brain, Dr. Katz says. And the exciting thing is, when you treat that depression effectively, the brain goes back to looking like a healthy brain.
In this video, Drs. Katz and Krystal explain how depression affects the brain.
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The Impact Of Major Depression On Overall Health
Major depression is the second most impactful condition on the overall health of commercially insured Americans, as measured by the BCBS Health Index. Only hypertension, with a nearly five-fold higher diagnosis rate, has a broader health impact on Americans.
The overall health of people diagnosed with major depression as measured by the BCBS Health Index is 27 percent lower than for those without this diagnosis, due to diagnoses of both major depression and one or more additional health conditions 6. This difference in overall health, on average, translates to a reduction in future healthy life expectancy of 9.5 years for women and 9.7 years for men. This reduction in future healthy life expectancy is due not only to major depression but also to the increased likelihood of being diagnosed with other conditions that often coincide with a major depression diagnosis.7
Depression By Income Level
In the United States, socioeconomic status is a significant factor when it comes to mental health issues like depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , depression rates are higher among people with low incomes.
Depression rates also seem to decrease as income increases. However, that doesnt mean middle and upper-class individuals are immune to depression. Children of affluent families may even have an elevated risk of developing issues like substance use problems, depression, and anxiety. Still, while several risk factors can apply to the full range of demographics in the United States, poverty and socioeconomic factors can increase your risk of depression.
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Depression And Heart Disease: Other Va Studies
Mental disorders and heart attack riskBy examining the health histories of more than 350,000 Veterans over a seven-year period, researchers from the St. Louis VA Medical Center reported, in 2010, that those with depression are at about 40 percent higher risk than others for having a heart attack.
General anxiety and panic disorder seem to raise the risk to a similar extent, and posttraumatic stress disorder also raises the riskbut to a lesser degree. Researchers are continuing to study whether treating these mental disorders reduces heart risk.
Vascular depressionIn a follow-up study, whose results were published in 2012, researchers found that those who had depression in middle age were at an increased risk of developing vascular depression in old age, and that their mid-life depression could be a causal risk factor.
Ischemic heart diseaseIn 2014, researchers at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System reported that Veterans with depression are more likely to complain of increased chest pain related to ischemic heart disease.
Ischemia is a condition in which blood flow, and therefore oxygen, is restricted or reduced in a part of the body. Ischemic heart disease, also known as coronary artery disease, is the term given to heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries.