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Depression Facts and Statistics
Everyone gets sad from time to time. Sadness is a normal human emotion, and we all have to deal with its reality at some point.
However, depressive disorders like major depression are a bit different. These are diagnosable conditions classified as mood disorders. When left untreated, symptoms of depression can cause serious health complications and alter pathways in the brain over time.
Types of Depression
Before we cover any statistics, you should know that there are different types of depression with varying symptoms. When people with this disorder experience symptoms, they’re referred to as “Major Depressive Episodes.”
A major depressive episode is defined by having multiple of the following symptoms for at least two weeks:
- Sleep issues — whether sleeping too much or having insomnia
- Appetite issues — whether increased or decreased appetite
- Weight issues — whether gaining or losing weight
- Concentration issues — whether its difficulty making decisions or thinking clearly
- Stress issues — like anxiety and restlessness
- Irritability and anger issues — especially over minor things
- Interest issues — losing interest in previously enjoyable activities, including sex
- Aches and pains issues — such as back pain, often unexplainable
Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder is the most common type of depression seen in America and one of the most common mental disorders seen across the country.
Persistent Depressive Disorder / Dysthymia
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), also known as dysthymia, is a chronic depression with a lesser severity than a major depressive disorder. Though the symptoms may be less severe, PDD can last years and interfere with personal life as well as professional life.
Bipolar disorder is a disorder of its own, but it is also classified as a mood disorder and is marked by major depressive episodes. These depressive episodes are typically preceded by manic episodes and periods of heightened mood.
This type of depression is typically triggered by the start of autumn and lasts until winter. Spring and summer seasonal depression is much rarer.
Postpartum depression is unique to women as it is caused by hormonal changes following childbirth. Nearly every 4 out of 5 women experience mood swings, sadness, and fatigue after childbirth. When these symptoms persist past a couple of weeks, it becomes a sign of postpartum depression.
Psychotic Depression is depression accompanied by paranoia, hallucination, and delusions. This type of depression can be seen more often in those with bipolar disorder, but it is not exclusive to bipolar disorder.
The Chemistry Behind Depression
Depression occurs due to imbalances or deficiencies of the brain’s neurotransmitters, as well as decreased activity in the frontal lobes of the brain. This is the area of the brain responsible for many functions that affect mood. Neurotransmitters are chemical ‘messengers’ that convey signals between brain cells and include brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Scientists aren’t all exactly in agreement about the full extent of how these chemicals work. However, studies suggest a correlation between cellular stress and the production of these chemicals.
Depression Facts and Statistics
- Over 17 million Americans suffer from depression each year, according to CDC statistics.
- Women are more commonly affected by depression than men.
- The American adult population with the highest prevalence of major depressive episodes is 18- to 25-year-olds.
- Roughly 35% of adults with major depression do not receive treatment.
- About 15% of the population will have a depressive episode at some point in their life.
- It’s not just America — depression affects more than 264 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization.
- Depression is the leading global cause of disability and a major contributor to disease.
The majority of people with depression don’t get treatment. And those that do, don’t always see improvement in their mental health:
- Roughly 80% of people on antidepressants don’t see improvement, according to one study.
- Antidepressants only reduce symptoms of depression by 46% (in blinded participants) according to another study.
- Psychotherapy and other alternative therapies (exercise, acupuncture, etc.) are only slightly more effective than antidepressants alone.
A combination of therapies and medication is commonly agreed as the most effective option for treating depression.
But is there another option when these methods don’t work? There is. And its called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).
Treating Depression with TMS Therapy
Is TMS the missing link in depression treatment? Studies do suggest its affectiveness may dramatically help those with treatment-resistant depression. And TMS lacks all the side effects associated with prescription antidepressants.
Roughly 50% to 60% of people who have failed to benefit from depression medications experience a positive response with TMS. One-third of those who responded positively even saw full remission of their symptoms.
Care to learn more about how TMS can help treatment-resistant depression? Head to our TMS for Depression page to read more.
You can also visit our TMS Procedure page to learn more about the treatment process itself.
Read enough? Feel free to contact our TMS Center for any questions regarding TMS therapy that you may have using the number below.