Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Diagnosed with Depression, CDC Report Reveals
Nearly one in five people in the United States have been diagnosed with depression, according to a report released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The Impact on Different Age Groups
The report focuses on individuals over the age of 18 and estimates that 18.5% of Americans suffer from depression. Among them, the youngest age group between 18 and 24 years old is the most affected, with 21.5% diagnosed with depression.
Racial Disparities in Depression Diagnosis
A notable factor highlighted in the report is the racial group with the highest number of depression diagnoses. Native Americans top the list with a rate of 23.3%, followed by non-Hispanic whites at 20.6%. Hispanics have a lower-than-average rate of 14.6%, while African Americans have a rate of 16.1%.
States with the Highest Depression Rates
The CDC report also identifies the states with the highest depression rates based on diagnoses. Topping the list is West Virginia with a rate of 26.4%, followed by Kentucky (24.2%), Tennessee (24.1%), Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana (all with 23.5%). Other states with high rates include Washington (23.4%), Vermont (23.3%), Utah (22.9%), and Oklahoma (22.8%).
States with the Lowest Depression Rates
On the other hand, Hawaii has the lowest depression prevalence rate at 12.7%, followed by California (14.1%), Illinois and Florida (both 14.7%). The remaining states with lower rates are New Jersey (15.2%), Delaware (15.6%), Maryland (15.7%), Alaska (15.9%), South Dakota (16.1%), and Nebraska (16.8%).
Connection to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The CDC report comes after a similar study conducted by Gallup in May, showing that 18% of American adults suffer from depression or have received treatment for it. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) warned in May that the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in the rising depression rates in the United States. APA President Rebecca Brendell stressed that the pandemic and its consequences had a profound impact on Americans’ mental health.
Impact on Women: Postpartum Depression
Another aspect to consider is postpartum depression, which affects one in five women. This condition has been exacerbated by the pandemic, leading to increased feelings of loneliness and distress.