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Adult Depression

Posted by on Oct. 2, 2010 at 4:55 PM
  • 4 Replies

Nine percent of U.S. adults have at least some symptoms of depression, and people in certain states are more likely to be depressed than those in others, according to the results of a nationwide survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mississippi had the highest depression rate in the nation, with 14.8 percent of residents reporting two or more symptoms of the condition, such as feeling hopeless, taking little interest or pleasure in everyday activities, and having trouble concentrating. Health.com: How to recognize the symptoms of depression

Other states at the top of the list included West Virginia (14.3 percent), Alabama (13 percent), Oklahoma (11.3 percent), Tennessee (11 percent), and Louisiana (10.8 percent), according to the survey, which was conducted in 2006 and 2008.  See state map.

North Dakota, with 4.8 percent, had the lowest rate of depression symptoms in the nation.  See the report.

Many of the states with high depression rates also have above-average rates of obesity, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions—which may not be a coincidence, says Lela McKnight-Eily, a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist at the CDC.

"Depression can both precipitate and exacerbate the symptoms of a chronic disease," McKnight-Eily says. "For example, if someone is depressed and they have diabetes, they may be less likely to stick to their treatment regimen in terms of their insulin and eating appropriately. Those things are definitely linked."

Relatively high poverty levels and lack of access to mental health care may also have contributed to the depression rates in some Southeastern states, she adds.

Overall, 3.4 percent of the survey respondents met the criteria for clinical depression, which is defined as experiencing five or more depressive symptoms on most days of the week.

The rates of clinical depression varied widely according to life circumstances. People who were divorced (6.6 percent) or never married (4.1 percent) were more likely to be clinically depressed than married people (2.2 percent), for instance.

Not surprisingly—given the economic nosedive that was under way in 2008—depression rates also appeared to be linked to job status.

Roughly 10 percent of unemployed people and 22 percent of people who were disabled or otherwise unable to work met the criteria for clinical depression, compared with just 2 percent of those who had a job. And the depression rate was roughly twice as high among people without health insurance as it was among insured people. Health.com: Depression in the workplace: Don't ask, don't tell?

"Depression is common," McKnight-Eily says. "But more importantly, it's very treatable. Seeking out the care of a health professional is really important, because life quality can improve with effective treatment."

October 7 is National Depression Screening Day. The CDC urges people who suspect they may be depressed to take an online self-assessment at mentalhealthscreening.org.


Kelly, Fall 2008 babies! Group Owner

Cafemom Healthy Moms  Moderator

30 Something Moms   Moderator

by on Oct. 2, 2010 at 4:55 PM
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Replies (1-4):
runner-mom
by on Oct. 2, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Many of the states with high depression rates also have above-average rates of obesity, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions—which may not be a coincidence, says Lela McKnight-Eily, a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist at the CDC.

I was thinking that before I read it!  Not to say that depression doesn't randomly occur on it's own, but I really think that healthy eating and exercise help keep depression symptoms at bay!

kristinas8
by on Oct. 2, 2010 at 5:56 PM

 I'm in WV and depressed. I'm not obese, but I do think that has a connection in some cases.

rkoloms
by on Oct. 3, 2010 at 8:47 AM

Sometimes, depression (along with migraines and a whole host of other issues) are tied to nutritional deficiencies. One of the most common is magnesium. I take a cal/mag/D daily.

Robin in Chicago

Elsasmom
by on Oct. 3, 2010 at 11:42 AM


Quoting rkoloms:

Sometimes, depression (along with migraines and a whole host of other issues) are tied to nutritional deficiencies. One of the most common is magnesium. I take a cal/mag/D daily.

I couldn't agree more! I'm proof, I had suffered near constant depression since the age of 12, that has been completely turned around since changing my diet and incorporating regular exercise a year and a half ago. This is something I'd once lost hope for, I can actually go long periods of time without any issues, and many times when I feel it coming up again I can link it to something eaten. Sugar is the worst for me! Migraines also, I used to get bad ones at least once a month that would last 2-3 days. Now I can still get occasional ones, once every 3-4 months or so, but they're not nearly as intense as they used to be and usually last a day or less. 

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