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  1. #1
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    Eight percent of adults experienced major depression in 2004

    Eight percent of adults experienced major depression in past year, according to report
    December 15, 2005
    NewsRx.com

    An estimated 17 million adults ages 18 and older (8%) reported having experienced at least 1 major depressive episode during the past year, the U.S. Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported.

    Around two-thirds of them reported receiving treatment for that depression in the past year, according to the new report, Depression among Adults.

    SAMHSA extracted the data from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which for the first time asked adults in the survey ages 18 and older questions reflecting the criteria for major depressive episodes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. That manual, by the American Psychiatric Association, specifies that a major depressive episode is 2 weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure and at least 4 other symptoms that reflect a change of functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, or self-image.

    During the 12 months prior to the interview, 65.1% of adults who had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year reported seeing or talking to a medical doctor or other health professional, or taking prescription medications for depression. This is the first time that questions about depression were asked in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

    "The good news is almost two-thirds of people with depression are seeking help," SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie said. "Clearly, we are making progress in overcoming the stigma that has prevented people from seeking help. Mental illness is not a scandal. It is an illness. It is a treatable illness. And most important, we need to send the message that with help there is hope, and recovery is the expectation."

    Past-month illicit-drug use was nearly twice as high among adults who had experienced a major depressive episode (14.2%) compared with adults who had not experienced such an episode (7.3%), and cigarette use was much more likely. The data show 39.7% of adults who suffered a major depressive episode in the past year smoked cigarettes during the past month compared to 25.9% of adults 18 and older who did not have a major depressive episode.

    Women were almost twice as likely as men to report a major depressive episode in the past year (10.3% versus 5.6%) and women who experienced a major depressive episode were more likely to receive treatment for depression (70.1%) than their male counterparts (55.2%). Major depressive episodes are more prevalent among adults ages 18-49, approximately 9-10%, than among adults ages 65 or older (1.3%).

  2. #2
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    Eight percent of adults experienced major depression in 2004

    Major depressive episodes are more prevalent among adults ages 18-49, approximately 9-10%, than among adults ages 65 or older (1.3%).
    I'm suprised the older adults (65+) are not more depressed. I guess they are more habituated to the nature of life. Or maybe the statistic above (1.3%) only includes a certain defined set of "major depressive epiodes" and not a more general form of clinical depression:

    Of the nearly 35 million Americans age 65 and older, an estimated 2 million have a depressive illness (major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, or bipolar disorder) and another 5 million may have “subsyndromal depression,” or depressive symptoms that fall short of meeting full diagnostic criteria for a disorder.

    http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/elderlydepsuicide.cfm
    It is estimated that up to 17% of elderly people living in the community suffer from depression - twice the number who have dementia, yet it mostly goes undetected and untreated.

    Elderly Depression Ignored - BBC News
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    Eight percent of adults experienced major depression in 2004

    I'm surprised it's not much higher than 8%.

    For once I'm in the minority though!!

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    Eight percent of adults experienced major depression in 2004

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel
    I'm suprised the older adults (65+) are not more depressed. I guess they are more habituated to the nature of life. Or maybe the statistic above (1.3%) only includes a certain defined set of "major depressive epiodes" and not a more general form of clinical depression
    I do think the number would be higher if it included dysthymia or low level depression. On the other hand, I think there are probably more relatively happy and content seniors than is usually realized.

    Quote Originally Posted by BG
    I'm surprised it's not much higher than 8%.
    To be honest, so was I. I think other studies have placed that estimate a little higher.

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    Eight percent of adults experienced major depression in 2004

    just to add in a litte note, I don't know of how much value this is, but in my lifespan dev. class we learned that clinical (major) depression is less common in late adulthood (elderly) than in younger adults, but dysthymia increases in frequency in old age. so it's important to look at how depression was diagnosed and conceptualized. depression in the elderly takes on a different form than in young adults, is said to be more of a chronic depressed mood and related to life stresses (ie. health problems).

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