If you struggle with depression or any form of mental illness, one thing is sure – there are many others just like you. In fact, mental illness and depression affect one in every five adults in the United States each year. That means millions of people are facing similar challenges and tackling life despite their conditions. But how prevalent is depression in the United States, and how does it impact different groups of people? Keep reading for an overview of the most recent depression statistics in the United States and learn how new, cutting-edge depression treatments bring a new possibility for those affected by major depressive disorder.
How Common is Depression?
The prevalence of depression in the United States continues to increase every year. According to recent studies, around 21 million adults in the U.S. had at least one major depressive episode in 2021. This means that approximately 8.3% of the adult population experienced depression that year.
Depression Among Women
According to data published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, women are twice as likely as men to experience depression during their lifetime. This gender disparity can be attributed to a combination of biological, hormonal, and sociocultural factors. Women often face unique stressors, such as hormonal fluctuations during their natural cycles and at different stages of life, such as during pregnancy or menopause, in addition to societal pressures related to gender roles and expectations. Furthermore, women are more likely to seek help for their mental health concerns, leading to higher reported rates of depression.
Depression Among Men
Depression also takes a significant toll on men in the United States. Although women have higher reported rates of depression, it is important to note that men are not immune to this mental health condition. Recent studies indicate that approximately 9% of men in the U.S. experience daily feelings of anxiety and depression, yet the majority of them never took medication or talked to a professional about their condition.
These numbers show how depression in men often goes underdiagnosed and undertreated. This may be due to societal expectations that men should be strong and resilient, making men more reluctant to seek help due to their cultural views surrounding masculinity and the stigma associated with mental illness. Unfortunately, this can result in untreated depression, leading to negative consequences for their overall well-being and quality of life.
Depression Among Children and Teenagers
Approximately 5 million adolescents aged 12-17 had at least one major depressive episode in 2021, which makes up 20% of the U.S. population of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17. The incidence of mental illness and depression among children and teens appears to have increased over the last decade, yet studies report that as many as 49.4% of the 7.7 million children with a mental health disorder (including depression) did not receive any type of treatment.
Depression Among Specific Ethnic and Racial Groups
Depression and mental illness affect everyone, regardless of their gender or ethnic background. However, statistics have shown certain populations may be more deeply impacted by depression and mental illness than others – as many as 34.9% of those who identify themselves as non-Hispanic mixed or multiracial, and 26.6% of those who identify themselves as Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Natives are affected in the United States every year.
These percentages are significantly higher among adults who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. As many as 50.2% of LGBTQ adults have some form of mental illness, and 2 of every 5 LGBTQ adults are reported to be affected by a serious mental illness. The LGBTQ population is also deeply affected by substance abuse, with as many as 3.9 million LGBTQ adults struggling with both mental illness and substance use disorder, while the rate of substance use disorder among the general U.S. adult population is 7.6% or 19.4 million people.
What Other Mental Health Conditions Can Occur With Depression?
Patients with depressive illnesses (including major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder) are also likely to experience co-occurring mental health conditions, meaning they may find themselves dealing with another debilitating mental illness in addition to the challenges they may already be facing due to depression. The most common mental illnesses that a depression patient may also experience include anxiety disorders and substance use disorders.
Anxiety disorders often co-occur with depression, with some of the most common types including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and specific phobias. Generalized anxiety disorder is typically characterized by excessive worry and fear about everyday situations, while panic disorder can involve recurrent panic attacks accompanied by intense physical symptoms such as heart palpitations and shortness of breath. Social anxiety disorder is marked by an intense fear of social situations and a persistent fear of being judged or embarrassed, whereas specific phobias involve an irrational and debilitating fear of a specific object or situation. Anxiety disorders often cause physical symptoms, such as restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and sleep disturbances. These disorders can significantly impact a person’s daily life and may lead to avoidance behaviors and social isolation.
Substance Use Disorders
Substance use disorders, such as alcohol or drug addiction, can also have a profound impact on individuals struggling with depression. Not only can substance abuse worsen depressive symptoms, but it also hinders the effectiveness of treatment for depression by interfering with medication regimens, making it more difficult for individuals to find relief from their depressive symptoms. Additionally, substance abuse can disrupt sleep patterns, exacerbate feelings of hopelessness and despair, and increase the risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
How Can I Cope With Depression – And Is There a Cure?
Unfortunately, specialists have been unable to identify any type of definitive cure for depression, as it is a complex and individualized condition and each person responds to treatment differently. However, there are various treatment options available to help individuals cope with their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
One of the most common treatments for depression is psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT). This involves working with a trained therapist in an individual or group setting to explore underlying issues that may be causing depression, develop coping strategies, and change negative thought patterns.
Another common approach is medication. The use of antidepressants can help rebalance chemicals in the brain that are associated with mood regulation and thus reduce the most frequent symptoms of depression, such as persistent sadness, lack of energy, and low concentration. Common medications prescribed for depression include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). In many cases, a combination of therapy and medication may be recommended.
What if Traditional Treatment Options Are Not Working for Me?
A large percentage of patients suffering from depressive illnesses such as MDD (Major Depression Disorder) are not responsive to traditional treatment approaches like therapy and medication. A recent study shows that depression may present itself differently in each individual, and traditional pharmaceutical treatments are often ineffective, producing unsatisfactory results in terms of immediate relief and long-term remission of symptoms. In other words, if you have already tried therapy and medication without any success, you are not alone, and you have not reached the end of the road.
At APN, many patients with treatment-resistant depression have found relief with the use of integrated treatments such as Deep TMS and Ketamine treatments. These cutting-edge approaches to treating depression can complement traditional treatments and provide patients with both immediate and long-term symptom relief and even remission.
Ketamine has been used as an anesthetic for decades and results in a variety of effects, such as pain control, disassociation, and euphoria. While these side effects have made ketamine a popular recreational drug, the use of ketamine in a clinical setting has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of severe depression under the supervision of a healthcare professional. In fact, patients in a recent clinical trial who received ketamine along with traditional antidepressants remained stable without experiencing relapses for much longer than patients who only received antidepressants.
Another integrated treatment option for patients with depression is Deep TMS. Deep TMS stands for Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, which relies on electromagnetic pulses to stimulate key areas of a patient’s brain in a safe, drug-free, and non-invasive manner. Alongside therapy and medication, Deep TMS has been shown to be an effective treatment option that allows patients to live relatively symptom-free for at least three months.
Take the Next Step Towards Recovery Today
If you are among the millions of Americans who suffer from depression, All Points North has a wealth of resources and trained professionals ready to help you tackle your symptoms and regain control of your life. From ketamine treatments and Deep TMS to therapy sessions online or in person, you are sure to find an individualized treatment plan that works for you. Call us at 424.644.6486 or fill out our online contact form to learn more and get the help you need.
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