Health by the Numbers: Depression

Depression is a common mental health condition in the U.S. and Canada. It significantly affects more women than men. Depression causes mood-related symptoms, such as prolonged sadness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, and trouble thinking, concentrating, and making decisions. Depression also adversely affects other diseases, increasing mortality and imposing a steep economical burden on society due to lost earnings and productivity.

Here's a snapshot of depression:

  • 6.4: Percent of adults who had depression in 2008.
  • 32: Average age of onset.
  • 11.2: Percent of 13 to 18 years old with depression.
  • 11: Percent of Americans 12 and older who took antidepressant medications between 2005 and 2008; they are the second most commonly prescribed medicines.
  • 51.7: Percent of depressed individuals who receive treatment.
  • 3rd: Most important cause of disease burden in the world in 2004, according to the World Health Organization (8th place in low-income countries, but 1st place in middle- to high-income countries)
  • 90: Percent of people who commit suicide have a mental health disorder, such as depression, or substance abuse problems.
  • 80: Percent of antidepressant prescriptions are written by a medical professional who is not a psychiatrist.
  • 14: Percent of people who take antidepressants have done so for 10 or more years.




National Institute of Mental Health. "Major Depressive Disorder Among Adults." Web.

National Institute of Mental Health. "Major Depressive Disorder in Children." Web.

Centers for Disease Control. "Depression Among Women of Reproductive Age and Postpartum Depression." Web. 1 December 2010.

Centers for Disease Control. "An Estimated 1 in 10 U.S. Adults Report Depression." Web. 31 March 2011.

Centers for Disease Control. "Burden of Mental Illness." Web. 1 July 2011.

National Institute of Mental Health. "Antidepressants: A Complicated Picture." Blog. 6 December 2011. Web. 20 April 2012.

Centers for Disease Control. "Suicide and Self-Inflicted Injury." Web. 27 January 2012.