Depression and Adults in America

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Most adults would agree that depression is the most common mental health condition in the United States. Statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, 2017) indicate that Major Depression, better known as overwhelming sadness/hopelessness for two-weeks at a time for almost every day, affects 16.1 million adults or 6.7% of all adults in the US. The reasons for the intense feeling of sadness are numerous.

For example, relationship conflicts, loss of a job, lack of direction in life, and uncontrollable use of alcohol have been linked to depression. Unfortunately, seeking help for depression is less common. Only 65% of those 16.1 million adults sought help with their depression symptoms, and 35% did not. The alarm for the 35% who did not seek help for depression is that depression is the number one cause for disability and in the top three reasons for workplace issues in the United States. NIMH does not discuss why 35% did not seek treatment, nor does it highlight the benefits of treatment. However, the National Network of Depression Centers provides this key finding: 

80% of people treated for depression show an improvement in symptoms within four to six weeks of starting treatment.

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Could you imagine not feeling sad, hopeless, and worthless? It may seem like four to six weeks is a long time to wait to feel better. Yet, if you have felt this way for three or four months, which probably has felt like a lifetime, relief in a month to a month and a half may stir up hope. No hope- pun intended – if you remained curious and asked this question:

What does treatment for depression look like? Well, the answer is simple: It depends.

Treatment for depression depends on you. It could include a combination of medication and counseling, medication only, counseling alone. The 44% of people with depression associated with the NIMH data treatment included both medicine and counseling, another 6% used medication only, and 15% sought help from a health professional. There is no one-size-fits-all method to reduce the symptoms of depression, but people take live-giving steps to lighten the loads of sadness and hopelessness. 

Do you think you might be experiencing symptoms of depression? Take this free online test on eMentalHealth and consider taking life-giving steps:

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National Institute of Mental Health. Depression.

National Network of Depression Centers. Get the Facts.

One thought on “Depression and Adults in America

  1. Well said! depression is no less than cancer. It needs to be dealt delicately. Let’s be compassionate and kind towards each other. One of the major reasons is loneliness. Technology has brought the world closer but it has also distanced our close ones. People nowadays spend more time on social media than with their close ones. Social Media isn’t bad but sometimes it becomes very toxic. Let’s promise to be open minded and kind towards each other.


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