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Depression: 400% Rise in the U.S.

Antidepressant prescribing has risen nearly 400% since 1988, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 1 in 10 Americans over age 12 now take an antidepressant and yet two-thirds of those with severe symptoms of depression do not take antidepressants at all.

CDC epidemiologist, Laura Pratt, produced the research from responses from about 12,000 people who took part in a national annual health survey in 2005-2008. The finding refect the paradoxical reality of depression treatment in the U.S. While some observers complain that antidepressants are being handed out like candy, the research suggests that depression is consistently undertreated.

This is obviously a problem. It is a fact that Americans greatly suffer from depression. The number of patients diagnosed with depression increases by approximately 20% per year. Depression is also higher in some states than others.

The top 7 U.S. states rated highest for adult depression:

– Alabama
– Mississippi
– Tennessee
– Arkansas
– Oklahoma
– Louisiana
– West Virginia

Ironically, all of these states are bordering states, minus WV. These states also report higher rates of obesity, heart disease, stroke, sleep disorders, lack of education and less access to medical insurance. Individuals that are more likely to suffer from depression are unemployed and recently divorced.

Depression demographics:

Depression is most prevalent in people ages 45-64 and highest among Hispanic and African-American ethnicity. Overall, women have higher rates of depression than men and are twice as likely to have symptoms of depression as men of the same age. 1 in 10 women experience depression in the first few weeks of having a baby.

An estimated 121 million people around the world currently suffer from some form of depression. The US makes up over 30% of the total results.


Many people are starting to look for more natural and holistic remedies such as SAM-E and 5-HTP along with a healthy diet and exercise. The results look promising for those who suffer mild to moderate symptoms. For those with more severe cases, consulting a doctor and/or clinical psychologist is very important.


3 Comments on Depression: 400% Rise in the U.S.

  1. I’m a bit shocked Washington state isn’t even on the list. I heard that Seattle had the highest suicide rate…? Looks like people in the South are more depressed. Interesting!

  2. I have suffered from depression for 22 years. I have been hospitalized 5 times. Not shocked at these stats. Most people I know are depressed. Can’t find right meds. Probably going to go to a different doctor.

  3. I’ve been taking 5-HTP before bed and am noticing a difference! I sleep so much better and wake up in a better mood. Never tried the SAM-E but heard it is also very effective.

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