As depression can be a very common mental health disorder, it can be beneficial to understand the facts and fictions surrounding it. The facts generally state that depression can be one of the most common conditions worldwide and that it can be treatable. Meanwhile, fictions often involve the ideas that all depressed people are suicidal, that depression and anxiety are the same, that depression always looks identical, even in different people, and that depression only affects adults. If you’re living with symptoms of depression, you might consider reaching out for professional help via in-person or online therapy.
Putting Facts Before Fiction
Before we get into the falsehoods regarding depression, let's focus on what we do know. Recent years have yielded a wealth of research into depression’s effects on the worldwide population. Even as this research has contributed to more effective treatments for depression, its findings may not be widely known. Here are some of the most important statistics you may wish to know about depression.
Fact: Depression May Be One Of The Most Common Conditions In The World
It’s estimated that almost 7% of adults are living with some degree of depression, falling somewhere on the scale from mild to severe. That can equal around 280 million people worldwide.
Fact: Depression Can Be Treatable
Of all the possible ways to treat depression, there are generally two that stand out above the rest. Speaking to a therapist is often the most effective treatment. Therapy, alongside the appropriate use of prescribed medication, is often enough for people living with depression to manage their condition.
Debunking The Myths
Now, let's take a look at some of the myths surrounding depression. For the most part, these myths can be perpetuated by a lack of education about depression, rather than any kind of maliciousness.
Fiction: All People With Depression Are Suicidal
At its most extreme, depression can result in suicide*. It can be true that symptoms like suicidal ideation can occur in people living with depression. However, the majority of people with depression do not die by suicide.
*If you or a loved one are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please know that help is available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime, 24/7, at 988.
Fiction: Depression And Anxiety Are Part Of The Same Condition
While there may be a correlation between the two conditions, they don’t always appear together, and anxiety and depression are generally not the same thing. Because of their close relationship, it can be common to see them referenced together. This may be in part because both conditions are commonly treated with medication and therapy. Still, it can be best not to conflate the two conditions.
Fiction: Depression Always Looks The Same
Even though the term “depression” can be a convenient catch-all term for a type of mental health condition, it can be important to keep in mind that there can be many different kinds of diagnosable depression. Each type may manifest differently, varying in symptoms and intensity. Below are a few possible symptoms of depression, but please note that it is generally not necessary to experience every symptom in order to receive a depression diagnosis.
- Unexplained feelings of guilt or despair
- Increased irritability
- A lack of interest in activities
- Physical aches and pains
- A loss of self-confidence
- Difficulty concentrating and sleep issues
- Low energy
Even the list above can be far from exhaustive. There may be no singular experience of depression. Just as everyone tends to be unique, individual experiences of depression (and other mental health disorders) can also be unique.
Fiction: Depression Only Affects Adults
Depression often occurs during the late teens or early twenties, but there can still be millions of children and adolescents who are diagnosed with depression. It can be crucial to ensure that young people with depression receive the professional treatment they deserve.
Seeking Therapy For Depression
People with depression should generally seek therapy, either online or in person, for several reasons. First and foremost, therapy can provide a safe and supportive environment where individuals can explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a non-judgmental space. In addition, depression treatment can improve your mental health and overall well-being so that you can live the life you wish to live.
Benefits Of Online Therapy
If you’re currently living with depression, it can be challenging to get out of bed and face the day. The thought of going through the process of finding a local therapist, scheduling an appointment, acquiring transportation and childcare, and attending therapy in person can seem overwhelming. Online therapy can offer a more flexible alternative, empowering you to get the professional insight and guidance you deserve from the comfort of your home.
Effectiveness Of Online Therapy
Recent research has shown that if online therapy is your preference, it can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy while often being more affordable and convenient. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help and begin your journey toward improved mental health.
What percentage of people get depression?
According to the World Health Organization, approximately 3.8% of the world’s population develops depression at some point in their lives.
In general, this refers to major depressive disorder, which typically involves a sad or depressed mood that lasts for at least two weeks. Other symptoms, such as disinterest in usual activities, fatigue, and trouble concentrating, are also common. It can be important to note that depression may involve physical health symptoms like headaches, body aches, and digestive issues as well. In addition, some people experience other co-occurring mental disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
If you believe you’re experiencing depression, consider talking to your primary healthcare provider. They may be able to refer you to a mental health professional who accepts your health insurance. Treating depression through mental health care typically involves talk therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Be sure to speak to your doctor or psychiatrist regarding any medication questions.
What are the statistics for depression in 2023?
Here are a few of the statistics for depression as of 2023:
- Around 8% of adults in the United States have experienced a depressive episode.
- Young adults tend to be at the highest risk of having a depressive episode.
- Approximately 280 million people around the world have depression.
What is the rate of depression in the US over time?
Rates of clinical depression have been steadily rising over time, but they jumped up in recent years, likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Which state has the most depression?
West Virginia may have the highest rates of depression.
Who is most at risk of depression?
Women tend to be at a higher risk of developing depression. Part of the reason for this may be that some of those who give birth experience depression during the postpartum period. However, many other factors likely play a role as well.
What are the statistics on mental health?
More than one in five adults in the US typically lives with a mental illness, and around one in 25 adults has a serious mental illness.
How many people struggle with mental health issues in 2023?
About 37% of US adults rated their mental health as fair or poor going into 2023.
How many people are faced with depression?
About 280 million people worldwide live with depression. If you experience depression, please know that many mental health care providers are available to help you.
What is the main cause of depression?
Depression is typically caused by a combination of biological factors and environmental factors. It’s often very difficult to identify the exact causes of depression. For instance, there seems to be a link between cardiovascular disease and depressive episodes, but scientists aren’t sure exactly how the two are correlated.
How does depression affect the brain?
Severe depression can result in reduced brain volume and changes in how the brain functions.
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