How many people suffer from depression?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
In the U.S., nearly 17% of the population has depression that requires medical attention. Of these people with depression, one-third have chronic or long-lasting depression. Many of the rest have residual effects of depression along with periods of normal mood. About 4% of the population has bipolar disorder with the mood swings from depression to hypomania to mania. 
Approximately 20.9 million American adults, or about 9.5% of the U.S. population ages 18 and older in a given year, have a mood disorder. Mood disorders include major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder. Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population ages 18 and older in a given year. Major depressive disorder may be more prevalent in women than in men. However, we still don’t know if depression is truly less common among men or if men are less likely to recognize, acknowledge, and seek help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.