So just how prevalent is depression in our society? The following facts and statistics about depression will outline the scope of the problem:

  1. Major depressive disorder, the official diagnostic term for depression, affects 16% of all Americans, potentially leading to loss of work, substance abuse or suicide. (Insel, 2010)

  1. Major depressive disorder impacts around 6.7% of the U.S. population in any given year (or approximately 15 million people total) and is a leading cause of disability. (Fieve, 2006)

  1. In 2017 the most recent year available, 17.3 million American adults in the US had a major depressive episode, or 7.1% of all adults. Eleven million of these experienced severe impairment during their depison. (Marano, 2021)

  1. Over 80% of depressed individuals will have more than one depressive episode. (Belsher & Costello, 1988) In fact, more than 50% of depressed individuals have been found to relapse within 2 years of recovery. (Keller & Shapiro, 1981)

Statistics on the consequences of depression

    • It’s estimated that by 2020, major depression will be second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death throughout the world. (Murray & Lopez, 1996)

    • One out of every 16 people diagnosed with depression will eventually complete suicide. (Tennessee Commission on Children & Youth, 2004)

Depression trends

  • Rates of depression have been steadily increasing in the developed world for decades. Studies have found that those born in the middle third of the 20th century were 10-times more likely to suffer from major depression than those born in the first third of the century. (Lambert, 2008)