The latest statistics on depression reveal some things that are downright, well, depressing actually.
These numbers add to the growing conversation about the quality and accesibility of mental health care in the U.S. (a topic that always skyrockets in popularity after tragedies like mass shootings). Yet that conversation always seems to die down some time after these atrocities have passed. Improving mental health care — whether it’s a temporary case of the blues or a longer-term mood disorder — need to be addressed on a larger scale. Statistics on adolescents specifically show how lack of access and insurance obstacles set up barriers for those desperately in need of treatment. Depression sufferers must also contend with the stigma surrounding mental health, including the pervasive belief that sufferers can just “snap out of it.” The NIH is clear that depression is caused by “a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.”Other notable stats from the report include:
- Women in every age group had higher rates of depression than males.
- Middle-aged women had the highest depression rate, at 12.3%.
- The lowest depression rates were in young men ages 12 to 17 and 60 and over, at 4% and 3.4% respectively.
- Non-Hispanic white people were less likely to have depressive symptoms than both non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic people.
- Those living below the poverty line were over twice as likely to be depressed.
- 88% of those with severe depressive symptoms reported having difficulty at home, work, or social activities as a result of their symptoms.