New Study Released on Depression
Earlier in April, the National Center for Health Statistics released a new study regarding the impact of depression on Americans. “Major Depression” is defined as experiencing five or more symptoms of depression, which can include lasting feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, insomnia, and thoughts of death or suicide for a period of two weeks or more.
Recent Findings On Depression
- For Americans age 12 and up, nearly 1 out of every 12 people suffer from depression (as defined by experiencing moderate or severe symptoms within the two weeks previous of the survey)
- Groups most likely to experience depression include people between the ages of 40 and 59, those who live at or below the poverty line, and women.
- People who live at or below the poverty line were found to experience depression 2.5 more times than those who live above the poverty line.
- It was noted that women are especially vulnerable in our fast paced, modern society due to the many conflicting roles and responsibilities which they encounter.
- 43% of people who have severe depression reported experiencing ongoing difficulties with everyday life situations at work, home, and social activities.
One of the most striking findings is that for those who experience the symptoms of severe depression, only 1 in 3 people have spoken to a medical professional within the past year. This isn’t necessarily a new statistic, and continues to emphasize the persistence of stigmas and lack of awareness regarding mental illness within our communities. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, major depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans between the ages of 15 and 44. This is a debilitating disease which, more than not, is left untreated. For those to do not seek treatment, mortality and suicide rates are especially high.
Another set of studies by psychologists from Brigham Young University demonstrated that for people less than 65 years old, loneliness and social isolation has such a profound effect on one’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being that it ranks higher than obesity as a risk factor for an early death. Conversely, those who had lower rates of feelings of loneliness and isolation from social groups and activities experienced a positive influence on their overall health as a result.
The tragedy is that many people who experience mental illness, and especially those with severe depression and other mental illnesses, often live lonely and secluded lives. Please join us in raising awareness and advocating for those with mental illness!
Here at the PTI, we have highly professional staff who are most concerned with treating every person who walks through our doors as if they are the most important person in the world. There’s no one who doesn’t deserve the best mental health care in our great state. We have two locations in Covington and Baton Rouge standing by to help begin or continue treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and any other mental health issue.