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Harvard Health Blog
1 in 10 Americans Depressed
- By Michael Craig Miller, M.D., Senior Editor, Mental Health Publishing, Harvard Health Publishing
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Perhaps there are medication that contribute to being depressed? Lots of Americans are dependent on medication and this could affect their emotional state of being.
I appreciate Abbie’s correcting the record — indeed there is no evidence that Americans were less depressed in the past. And — for those who do have health insurance — many programs pay for less than they did in the past.
We may be more aware of numbers of people being depressed because people feel freer to talk about it and the methods for collecting data about depression are somewhat better.
It is always a little sticky to label different kinds of depression — a subject for another time — but no matter how you define it, if you have symptoms of depression it is worth having it evaluated. It is sometimes hard work finding the treatment that matches you best, but many treatments do help.
Andrew, your comment has no basis in fact.
Robert, “situational depression” (a psychological condition) may be helped or eliminated by lifestyle changes such as exercise, better quality of sleep, etc. Or, it may be resolved by time passing, as in depression over the death of a loved one.
However, Major Depressive Disorder is a brain disease and is not relieved or cured by lifestyle changes. And Treatment-resistant Major Depressive Disorder is currently incurable.
Too right Andrew. There is far too much reliance on anti depressants anyway as a first option and little emphasis on how lifestyle changes really can and do make a difference. Somebody who knows from personal experience is talking here.
How is it that before the invention of expensive anti-depressants and the proliferation of health care benefits that pay for just about everything, American’s weren’t nearly as depressed?
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