The CDC‘s last survey in 2008 estimates that 9% of United States adults suffer from depression. These estimates do not include the states of Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Dakota who did not participate in the survey.

The CDC report disclosed observable patterns to the statistics. Depressive illness was higher among

  1. women
  2. middled aged individuals 45-64
  3. blacks, Hispanic individuals and people of other race, and mixed race
  4. individuals with less than a high school education
  5. those who had been previously married
  6. people who were unemployed or unable to work
  7. those without health insurance.

The highest levels of the illness were more evident in the south and the lowest levels in the northern states. Individuals with chronic diseases reported higher levels of depressive illness than those who were healthy. There was a definite correlation between healthy habits and feelings of well being. These patterns applied to major depressive episodes as well as less severe conditions.

What is Depression?

Mental Health Today provides the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) list of criteria for depressive episodes which is created by the American Psychiatric Association. The last revision was DSM-IV in the early 1990’s.

There was a definite correlation between healthy habits and feelings of well being.

According to DSM-IV these are the possible signs of depression:

  1. depressed mood most of the day
  2. lack of interest in activities
  3. significant weight loss or weight gain
  4. insomnia or excessive sleep
  5. functioning faster or more slowly or being restless
  6. low energy every day
  7. negative feelings toward the self, like worthlessness or guilt
  8. inability to focus, concentrate or make decisions
  9. thoughts, plans or actions to carry out suicide.

Image Credit: Depression Treatment Help 101