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Depression disorders, such as major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder, are common among teenagers and adults in the U.S.

Major depressive disorder is considered the leading cause of disability for people between 15 and 44 years of age in the U.S. Around the world, the World Health Organization estimates that depression affects roughly 322 million people.

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Prevalence Of Depression

Major depression disorder is one of the more common forms of depression in the U.S. This disorder tends to occur more in women than men and affects younger adults more frequently than older adults. Here are some statistics that highlight the prevalence of depression:

  • Roughly 17.3 million adults in the U.S. had one or more episodes of major depression in 2017, which represents 7.1 percent of all adults in the U.S.
  • Major depressive episodes occurred most often among adults between 18 and 25 years old at 13.1 percent.
  • These episodes affected adults between 26 and 49 years old at a rate of 7.7 percent. For those 50 years old and up, these episodes occurred at a rate of 4.7 percent.
  • Roughly 4.5 percent of adults in the U.S., or 11 million people, had one or more major depressive episodes with severe impairment in 2017.
  • Roughly 36 percent had one or more major depressive episodes without severe impairment, and 64 percent had these episodes with severe impairment.
  • Among adolescents, roughly 3.2 million between 12 and 17 years old, or 13.3 percent, had one or more major depressive episodes in 2017.
  • Roughly 2.3 million adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, or 9.4 percent, had one or more major depressive episodes with severe impairment.
  • Roughly 29 percent had these episodes without severe impairment, and 71 percent had these episodes with severe impairment.

Depression In Men And Women

Depression typically occurs in women more often than men:

  • Major depressive disorder occurred in 8.6 percent of women in the U.S. compared to 4.9 percent of men in the U.S.
  • Persistent depressive disorder occurred in 1.9 percent of women in the U.S. compared to 1.0 percent of men in the U.S.

Depression In Specific Populations

Depression occurs in certain races and ethnicities more often than others in the U.S:

  • Among adults between 54 and 65 years old, research found that roughly 7.75 percent of whites experienced depression.
  • Among African-Americans between 54 and 65 years old, roughly 8.85 percent experienced depression.
  • Among Hispanic-Americans between 54 and 65 years old, roughly 10.78 percent experienced depression.

Types Of Depressive Disorders By Age

Major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia, are the more common types of depression. Consider the prevalence of these disorders by age:

  • Roughly 6.8 percent of adults in the U.S. have had major depressive disorder, while 1.5 percent have had persistent depressive disorder.
  • Major depressive disorder affected adults between ages 30 and 44 the most at 8.4 percent compared to 8.3 percent for adults between 18 and 29 years of age.
  • For adults between 45 and 59 years old, major depressive disorder occurred at a rate of 7 percent. This dropped to 2.9 percent for adults aged 60 and older.
  • Persistent depressive disorder affected adults between 45 and 59 years of age at 2.3 percent and adults between 30 and 44 years of age at 1.7 percent.
  • This disorder affected adults between 18 and 29 years of age at 1.1 percent and adults 60 and older at 0.5 percent.

Global Impact Of Depression

Depressive disorders affect millions of individuals in many parts of the world:

  • Globally, around 4.4 percent of people have had depression. Depression occurs in roughly 5.1 percent of women and 3.6 percent of men around the world.
  • In the Southeast Asia region, roughly 27 percent of people have experienced depressive disorders. In the Western Pacific Region, roughly 21 percent of people have had depressive disorders.
  • In the Region of the Americas, roughly 15 percent of people have had depressive disorders, while roughly 16 percent of people in the Eastern Mediterranean Region have experienced depressive disorders.
  • In the African Region, roughly 9 percent of people have had depressive disorders, while 12 percent of people in the European Region have experienced depressive disorders.

Depression: Treatment Statistics

Professional treatment for depression can involve medication only, therapy only, or a combination of medication and therapy. Consider some treatment statistics:

  • Among adults in the U.S. with major depression, roughly 15 percent received treatment from a health professional only, while 6 percent used medication only for treatment.
  • Roughly 44 percent of adults used a combination of medication and care from a health professional, but 35 percent received no treatment for major depression.
  • Among adolescents between 12 and 17 years old in the U.S., roughly 60.1 percent received no treatment for major depression.
  • Around 2.4 percent of adolescents used medication only for treatment, and 19.6 percent received care from a health professional only. Roughly 17.9 percent had a combination of care and medication.