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7 Depression Statistics You Need to Know

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 3.8% of the world’s population has depression. That means that 280 million people are dealing with depression right now, and its prevalence is just one of many statistics that highlight its importance. In this article, we’ll share six more statistics you need to know. But first, let’s define what depression is and why it happens.

What is Depression?

Depression causes persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and disinterest in activities once enjoyed. It can affect anyone, no matter their age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status. While everyone experiences low mood or sadness sometimes, depression is different. It lingers for weeks or months and can interfere with daily life. It may lead to thoughts of suicide in severe cases.

Why Does Depression Happen?

Depression can develop because of a combination of biological, environmental, genetic, and psychological reasons. Risk factors for developing depression include:

  • A family history of depression
  • Traumatic events such as the death of a loved one or childhood abuse
  • Chronic conditions such as heart disease or cancer
  • Certain medications
  • Substance abuse
  • Imbalances in brain chemistry and hormones

Key Depression Statistics and Impact

The impact of depression is far-reaching, affecting not only the individual but also their family, friends, and community. That’s why it’s important to recognise and address depression early on. Here are some key statistics that highlight its prevalence and impact.

1. Women are more likely to experience depression than men.

Women are about 50% more likely than men to experience depression. This may stem from biological, hormonal, and social factors. For example, women are more likely to experience hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause that can contribute to depression.

Additionally, societal expectations and pressures may affect women differently than men, leading to higher rates of depression.

2. Anxiety disorders and substance abuse are common among individuals with depression.

Research shows that about 50% to 60% of people with depression also have an anxiety disorder.¹

Depression and substance abuse often go hand in hand, as individuals may resort to substances as a means of managing their symptoms.

3. Depression can lead to suicide, the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds.

According to WHO, over 700,000 people die by suicide yearly worldwide, and depression is a major risk factor. The suicide rate among 15-29-year-olds has increased in recent years, highlighting the need for early intervention and support for individuals experiencing depression.

4. Depression often goes underdiagnosed and undertreated.

According to WHO, fewer than 10% of people with depression receive adequate treatment. There are many barriers to receiving proper depression treatment, including:

  • Lack of access to health care services
  • Limited availability of trained professionals
  • The stigma surrounding mental health

This highlights the need for more education about depression, as well as increased resources and support for those struggling with this condition.

5. Depression costs the global economy over $1 trillion annually.

Depression is a significant personal and societal burden and has a substantial global economic impact. According to a 2020 report, anxiety disorders and depression cost the world’s economy over $1 trillion annually in lost productivity.²

6. People who experience one depressive episode are at a 50% to 60% higher risk of experiencing another one.

Depression is a recurrent disorder, meaning that individuals who have experienced one episode are at an increased risk of experiencing another.³ This underscores the importance of continued support and management, even after a depressive episode has ended. It also emphasises the need for prevention and early intervention to reduce the likelihood of recurrent episodes.

Can You Cure Depression?

While a complete “cure” might not be straightforward, depression is highly treatable. Seeking professional help is crucial. Combining psychotherapy (talk therapy), medication, lifestyle changes, and alternative treatments can significantly alleviate depression symptoms. It also helps you manage symptoms effectively and achieve long-term stability.

What Treatment Options are Available?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating depression, medication and talk therapy are effective for many individuals. Medications can help balance brain chemicals that may contribute to depression, while talk therapy addresses underlying issues and develops coping skills.

Medication

  • Antidepressants: These medications work by balancing certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. Common types include serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Mood stabilisers: These medications treat bipolar disorder, but a mental health provider may also prescribe them to help reduce symptoms of depression.⁴ Examples include clozapine and lamotrigine.
  • Atypical antidepressants: These medications don’t fit into the traditional categories but can help balance brain chemicals and alleviate depression symptoms. Examples include bupropion (Wellbutrin XL) and mirtazapine (Remeron).

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy involves discussing and addressing the underlying causes of depression with a therapist. Two common types of talk therapy include:

How Alternative Therapies Fit into the Equation

While medication and talk therapy are the most prescribed treatments for depression, some individuals may also find relief through alternative therapies such as:

  • Ketamine-assisted therapy: This involves using the anaesthetic ketamine, under medical supervision, to induce a temporary altered state of consciousness that can help alleviate symptoms of depression. According to a 2020 study, ketamine shows rapid antidepressant effects.⁵
  • Deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (DTMS): This non-invasive treatment uses magnets to stimulate areas of the brain and is effective in treating depression, particularly for those who haven’t responded well to medication.

You can use these alternative therapies with traditional treatment methods or as a standalone approach. While these therapies may help alleviate symptoms of depression, you shouldn’t use them as a replacement for medication or talk therapy. Talk to a qualified mental health professional before starting any alternative depression therapy.

Finding the Right Treatment Option for You

Depression is a complex and individualised disorder. Finding the right treatment plan for you may take some trial and error, but it’s crucial not to give up hope. With the help of your provider, you can find a treatment that works best for you. Factors to consider when exploring different treatment options include:

  • Severity of symptoms: The severity of your depression may affect which treatments are most suitable for you. For example, if your symptoms are severe, your mental health provider may recommend medication or intensive talk therapy.
  • Personal preferences: Finding a treatment approach that aligns with your preferences and values is essential. For example, alternative therapies may be the right choice if you prefer a more comprehensive approach.
  • Past experiences: If you have tried certain treatments and found them ineffective or they cause unwanted side effects, communicate this with your provider. Use this information to help guide your treatment plan and avoid repeating unsuccessful methods.
  • Accessibility: Consider the accessibility of different treatment options, such as location, cost, and availability of resources. Some treatments may not be possible or affordable for everyone.

Get Comprehensive Care at APN London

Depression statistics paint a stark reality, but there’s hope in innovative treatments and comprehensive approaches. Seeking professional help, exploring various treatment options, and considering alternative therapies like ketamine-assisted therapy and DTMS can all play a part in your journey towards recovery.

At APN London, we offer personalised treatment plans because we understand that everyone’s experience with depression is unique. Our team of experienced professionals includes psychiatrists, therapists, nutritionists, and personal trainers who work together to provide comprehensive care for our clients.

Integrated treatment yields the best results for long-term progress and immediate relief by tackling symptoms and targeting underlying causes. For instance, combining medication, talk therapy, and alternative therapies can significantly improve treatment outcomes.

We offer:

  • DTMS and ketamine-assisted therapy: Both therapies can work, even for treatment-resistant depression.
  • Individual and group therapy: Our team of licensed therapists offers individual and group therapy sessions to address your specific needs and provide a supportive environment for healing.
  • Medication management: Our experienced psychiatrists can prescribe medication to manage symptoms. We work closely with you to ensure that any prescribed medications are effective and well-tolerated.
  • Nutritional therapy: A nutritionist can help you make dietary changes that positively affect your mood and energy levels. A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for overall wellbeing.
  • Physical wellness: Exercise releases endorphins that help reduce symptoms of depression. Our personal trainers can design an exercise program to improve your physical health, which can positively affect your mental wellbeing.

Contact us at 0203 984 7699 or complete the online contact form to learn more about our services and how we can support you.

References

  1. Steffen, A., Nübel, J., Jacobi, F. et al. Mental and somatic comorbidity of depression: a comprehensive cross-sectional analysis of 202 diagnosis groups using German nationwide ambulatory claims data. BMC Psychiatry 20, 142 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-020-02546-8
  2. The Lancet Global Health. Mental health matters. Lancet Glob Health. 2020 Nov;8(11):e1352. doi: 10.1016/S2214-109X(20)30432-0. PMID: 33069297; PMCID: PMC7561290. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7561290
  3. Nuggerud-Galeas S, Sáez-Benito Suescun L, Berenguer Torrijo N, Sáez-Benito Suescun A, Aguilar-Latorre A, Magallón Botaya R, Oliván Blázquez B. Analysis of depressive episodes, their recurrence and pharmacologic treatment in primary care patients: A retrospective descriptive study. PLoS One. 2020 May 21;15(5):e0233454. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0233454. PMID: 32437398; PMCID: PMC7241802. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7241802
  4. Rybakowski JK. Mood Stabilizers of First and Second Generation. Brain Sci. 2023 Apr 29;13(5):741. doi: 10.3390/brainsci13050741. PMID: 37239213; PMCID: PMC10216063. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10216063
  5. Matveychuk D, Thomas RK, Swainson J, Khullar A, MacKay MA, Baker GB, Dursun SM. Ketamine as an antidepressant: overview of its mechanisms of action and potential predictive biomarkers. Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2020 May 11;10:2045125320916657. doi: 10.1177/2045125320916657. PMID: 32440333; PMCID: PMC7225830. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7225830