More than 19 million adults experience depression each year in the United States. Many of them will be unnecessarily incapacitated for the duration of their illness. Nearly twice as many women (12 percent) as men (7 percent) suffer from depression each year. Perhaps most concerning is the fatality rate from major depression. It is estimated that 15% of individuals with severe major depressive disorder die by suicide.
In the U.S. alone, depression costs more than $30 billion per year in direct and indirect costs. Major depression is the number one leading cause of disability in the United States and the entire world, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University.
Depression is often an illness that may occur by itself, or may develop as a complication of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, or other chronic illness. Recent evidence even indicates that depression itself can be a risk factor for developing other diseases. It increases the risk of heart attack, for example. One recent study found that over a 13-year period, those with a history of major depression were four times as likely to suffer a heart attack compared to people without such a history. Despite this considerable interaction of depression with other illnesses, DEPRESSION IS TREATABLE.
Having a Crisis?
Befriendes.org has a detailed website with listings of CRISIS centers and phone numbers throughout the US and World. Other places to look for help include the Boys Town National Crisis Hotline: 1-800-448-3000, (in English or Spanish. TTY line for hearing impaired: 1-800-448-1833). The National Alliance Mental Illness at 800-950-NAMI (6264) is another dedicated hotline. Finally, if you or somebody you know is suicidal, you can get help and information at the National Crisis Line at 1-888-SUICIDE.