Rate of untreated depression in U.S. 'critically high,' data shows

Only 6 percent of adults who experienced a major depressive episode in the last year are receiving treatment, an analysis published Sept. 19 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found. 

Researchers compiled data from the 2015-2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a poll of Americans older than 12 on aspects of their health and wellness.

More findings from the analysis of the prevalence of depression in 2020:

  • 9.2 percent of Americans older than 12 experienced a major depressive episode.
  • 17.2 percent of adults ages 18 to 25 experienced a major depressive episode.
  • 16.9 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 17 experienced a depressive episode.
  • Fewer than half of adolescents experiencing depression received treatment.

The prevalence of depression increased equally among adolescents and young adults of any sex, racial or ethnic identity, income and level of education. Depression did not increase in adults above 35 years old, according to the analysis.

 

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