Nearly One in 10 Americans Depressed, Study Reveals

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depressed1Nearly one in 10 Americans is depressed, and one in 30 meet the criteria for major depression, with the rate higher among the unemployed and those who can’t work, a study said Thursday.

Nine percent of more than 235,000 adults surveyed between 2006 and 2008 across 45 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, met the criteria for depression, and 3.4 percent for “major” depression, according to the study by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Among people who classified themselves as unable to work, nearly a quarter — 22 percent — met the criteria for major depression, as did nearly 10 percent of those who said they were unemployed.

Although the survey did not ask respondents why they were unable to work, study co-author and clinical psychologist Lela McKnight Eily said they were probably disabled or suffering from illness.

In sharp contrast to the unemployed, only two percent of people with jobs had symptoms of major depression, according to the study published in the CDC’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality report.

Participants were deemed to be suffering from major depression if they met five of eight criteria on a questionnaire that asked how often during the previous two weeks they had feelings of hopelessness or disinterest, if they had trouble falling asleep or if they slept too much.

The questions also inquired about respondents’ appetite, concentration, restlessness, lethargy or feelings of failure.

The real rate of depression among adult Americans was likely to be significantly higher because key groups — the homeless and the incarcerated — were not included in the survey, McKnight Eily told AFP.

The survey also found that just under seven percent of people who had not completed high school suffered major depression compared to four percent of high school graduates.

Women were more susceptible to depression than men, young people were more likely than those over 65 years old to suffer from depression, and blacks and Hispanics were more likely than whites to be depressed, it said.

Depressive disorders are also “more common among persons with chronic conditions”, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, arthritis and cancer, the study said.

“A person who has a chronic disease and becomes depressed may stop following the directions on their prescription medications and their condition could get worse, which might make them even more depressed,” McKnight Eily added.

Depression was the third leading cause of disease burden — a measurement of the impact of a health problem in an area based on factors such as cost and mortality — worldwide in 2004 and it is expected to be second only to cardiovascular disease by 2020, the CDC said.

The findings were issued a week before U.S. National Depression Screening Day on October 7.

{My Fox NY/}


  1. I know that some people have improved their eating habits (cutting out wheat, sugar, refined foods, chemicals), also doing stretching, and exercise (aerobic and anerobic), and also there is Omega 3 oils which have helped. The new one from Israel seems to be a suprisingly excellent one.
    Then I hear that more and more people are getting borderline personality disorder in their families….its not a mental illness, it is a mental disorder and its horrible, and causes depression in some of the family members who are the sad recipients of BPD’s.
    If you don’t know what BPD is, then Google it, it is sad that the the Jewish communities are not educating us in this, as it leaves people quite devastated for many years. We need to work on that.


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