Mental disorders are common in the United States and Internationally. An estimated 22.1% of Americans ages 18 and
older (about 1 in 5 adults) suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. When applied to the 2003 U.S.
Census residential population estimate, this figure translates to 46.4 million people.
In addition, 4 of the 10 leading causes of disability in the U.S. and other developed countries are mental
disorders - major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people suffer
from more than one mental disorder at a given time.
Mood disorders cost U.S. employers 16 billion dollars in lost work time annually.
Over 90 percent of suicide victims have a diagnosable mental disorder.
In the U.S., mental disorders are diagnosed based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
fourth edition (DSM-IV).
Up to 2.5 % of children in the United States suffer from depression.
In 1997, suicide was the leading cause of death of 10 to 24-year-olds and in 2000 it was the 3rd leading
cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds. All too often suicide is the result of extended periods of depression.
An early diagnosis can help children in their emotional, social and behavioral
development but can also be hard to detect or masked by other factors.
Doctors may be reluctant to put a label of mental illness on a young child.
In a given year, between 1 and 2 percent of
people over age 65 living in the community,
i.e., not living in nursing homes or other institutions,
suffer from major
depression and about 2 percent have dysthymia.
Recent NIMH studies show that 13 to 27 percent of older adults have subclinical depressions that do not meet the diagnostic
criteria for major depression or dysthymia but are associated with increased risk of major depression, physical disability,
medical illness, and high use of health services.
Suicide is more common among the elderly than
in any other age group. In studies of older
adults who committed suicide, nearly all had
typically a first episode, though very few had
a substance abuse disorder.
Suicide among white males aged 85 and older was nearly six times the national U.S. rate (65 per 100,000 compared with 11
per 100,000) in 1996, the most recent year for which statistics are available.
Melancholic Depression, or 'depression with melancholic features' is a subtype of depression characterized by the
inability to find pleasure in positive things combined with physical agitation, insomnia, or decreased appetite
Approximately 10% of people with depression suffer from Melancholic Depression.
Mixed anxiety-depressive disorder is a new diagnostic category defining patients who suffer from both anxiety and
depressive symptoms of limited and equal intensity accompanied by at least some autonomic features.
Although specific prevalence rates for MADD are
not clear, direction may be obtained by the
National Comorbidity Survey (2005), indicating
58% of patients diagnosed with major
depression were also found to have an anxiety
Studies report prevalence rates from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the
actual prevalence rate unclear.
Postpartum depression ranges in severity from mild to suicidal.
Postpartum depression (also postnatal depression)
is a form of major
depression which can affect women, and less
frequently men, after childbirth.
Although up to 80% of postpartum women suffer from the 'Baby blues' (or maternity blues) which is merely a
mild and transitory form of 'moodiness' where symptoms typically last from a few hours to several days, and
include tearfulness, irritability, hypochondriasis, sleeplessness, impairment of concentration, isolation and
headache. The maternity blues are not considered a postpartum depressive disorder.
Diagnosing depression in children and teenagers is often difficult because early symptoms can be hard to
detect or may be attributed to other causes. Children and adolescents are going through rapid, age-related
physical and emotional changes that may mask and accurate diagnosis.
Up to 8.3 percent of adolescents in the United States suffer from depression.
Recent research has discovered that depression onset is occurring earlier in individuals born in more recent decades.
There is evidence that depression emerging early in life often persists, recurs, and continues into adulthood, and that early
onset depression may predict more severe illness in adult life.