Nearly 1 in 5 US adults have been diagnosed with depression: CDC

2023-06-18 22:51:48
Nearly 1 in 5 US adults have been diagnosed with depression: CDC

A new report published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that in 2020, 18.4% of US adults reported having ever been diagnosed with depression in their lifetimes.

The study, which was conducted across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. and focused on adults ages 18 and up, revealed that some states ranked higher in the number of depressed adults than others.

The CDC reported higher levels of depression were found in adults living in low-income areas and regions with higher poverty rates and lower education levels, “all of which can negatively affect health and wellbeing,” the report says.

The findings were based on government data collected across the country in 2020 as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.

Nearly 393,000 adults responded to the survey where they were asked: “Has a doctor, nurse, or other health professional ever told you that you had a depressive disorder, including depression, major depression, dysthymia, or minor depression?”

The goal was to identify a starting point to discern whether disparities in the geographic region contributed to depression.

The survey provided worrying results, reflecting that out of all participants, nearly 74,000 reported feelings of depression, amounting to a weighted result of 47 million U.S. adults (18.7%) who suffer from depression. The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, ranging from feelings of excessive guilt or low self-worth to hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.

These feelings increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Dr. Rebecca Brendel, president of the American Psychiatric Association.

“The fact that Americans are more depressed and struggling after this time of incredible stress and isolation is perhaps not surprising,” Brendel told CNN last month. “There are lingering effects on our health, especially our mental health, from the past three years that disrupted everything we knew.”


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