Nearly 1 in 10 people in the U.S. is depressed, reports a study by the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study also shows that 1 in 30 meets the criteria for major depression, with rates higher among unemployed or disabled Americans.

The CDC tested 235,000 adults from 2006-2008 in 45 US states, the capital Washington, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. 9 percent of those polled admitted to being depressed, and 3.4 percent admitted to “major” depression.

Participants were deemed to be suffering from “major depression” if they met five of eight criteria on a questionnaire that asked how often during the previous two weeks did they experience feelings of disinterest and hopelessness, and, also, if they had trouble sleeping or slept too much.

According to the report, the number of depressed American adults is likely to be even higher considering homelessness and incarceration, which was not included in the study, according to co-author and clinical psychologist Lela McKnight-Eily, who spoke to news source AFP.

More findings in the study show women are more likely to be depressed than men, and young people were more likely than Americans over 65 years of age to suffer from depression.

What’s more, Blacks and Hispanics are more susceptible to depression than Whites, according to the report. Education was also a significant factor; the report found that just fewer than seven percent of people who graduated from high school suffered from major depression compared to four percent of high school graduates and 2.5 percent of people who went to college.

Depression is expected to be the second leading disease burden following cardiovascular disease by 2020, according to the CDC.

If you think you may have symptoms of depression, including hopelessness, disinterest, over or under sleeping, among other symptoms, please speak to a physician. You can also confide in a close family member or trusted friend.

The US National Depression Screening Day is October 7. For a free online screening for depression, click here.


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