October 1st, 2010
10:49 AM ET

CDC: Nearly 1 in 10 U.S. adults depressed

Nine percent of U.S. adults have at least some symptoms of depression, and people in certain states are more likely to be depressed than those in others, according to the results of a nationwide survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mississippi had the highest depression rate in the nation, with 14.8 percent of residents reporting two or more symptoms of the condition, such as feeling hopeless, taking little interest or pleasure in everyday activities, and having trouble concentrating. Health.com: How to recognize the symptoms of depression

Other states at the top of the list included West Virginia (14.3 percent), Alabama (13 percent), Oklahoma (11.3 percent), Tennessee (11 percent), and Louisiana (10.8 percent), according to the survey, which was conducted in 2006 and 2008.  See state map.

North Dakota, with 4.8 percent, had the lowest rate of depression symptoms in the nation.  See the report.

Many of the states with high depression rates also have above-average rates of obesity, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions—which may not be a coincidence, says Lela McKnight-Eily, a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist at the CDC.

"Depression can both precipitate and exacerbate the symptoms of a chronic disease," McKnight-Eily says. "For example, if someone is depressed and they have diabetes, they may be less likely to stick to their treatment regimen in terms of their insulin and eating appropriately. Those things are definitely linked."

Relatively high poverty levels and lack of access to mental health care may also have contributed to the depression rates in some Southeastern states, she adds.

Overall, 3.4 percent of the survey respondents met the criteria for clinical depression, which is defined as experiencing five or more depressive symptoms on most days of the week.

The rates of clinical depression varied widely according to life circumstances. People who were divorced (6.6 percent) or never married (4.1 percent) were more likely to be clinically depressed than married people (2.2 percent), for instance.

Not surprisingly—given the economic nosedive that was under way in 2008—depression rates also appeared to be linked to job status.

Roughly 10 percent of unemployed people and 22 percent of people who were disabled or otherwise unable to work met the criteria for clinical depression, compared with just 2 percent of those who had a job. And the depression rate was roughly twice as high among people without health insurance as it was among insured people. Health.com: Depression in the workplace: Don't ask, don't tell?

"Depression is common," McKnight-Eily says. "But more importantly, it's very treatable. Seeking out the care of a health professional is really important, because life quality can improve with effective treatment."

October 7 is National Depression Screening Day. The CDC urges people who suspect they may be depressed to take an online self-assessment at mentalhealthscreening.org.

soundoff (827 Responses)
  1. El Hadji Beye

    I think that the lack of social fabric is what facilitate the high rate of depression: individualism, isolation, lack of strong social support whether it comes from friends or family. All these social woes bring about depression and feelings of worthlessness.

    There is something to be learned from third-world countries where, despite difficult living conditions, populations experience a great social fabric through strong family support and extensive social activities. Depression is pretty much non-existent in these cultures because of the strong social fabric.

    The medications against depression are not very efficient since they just chemically induce a false sense of comfort, the remedy would be a support group for example where depressed patients could socialize, communicate, laugh and share stories to inspire each other. They need that camaraderie and the sense of belonging to a group, this will strengthen them spiritually.


    October 1, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Prasath

      Well said.

      October 1, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse |
    • Rocky

      I went to a part-time out-patient program at a hospital and was lumped in with a bunch of drug users. It was not a supportive environment. I looked for active online communities for depressed people and didn't find much there as well. After 3.5 years of major depression, trying many many medications, and nearing the remaining option of ECT, I started getting better for no observable reason. I didn't try a new med. I didn't meet new friends. I didn't change therapists. I didn't turn to God. I didn't do anything new.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • John

      You may well be correct, at least partially, but I think the main reason we have such high depression rates in the US is that we have the time to be depressed.

      By this I mean that in third world countries people are to busy trying to take care of themselves and their familys to sit around feeling sorry for themselves. Do they get depressed? Sure they do but they don't let it run their lives, as the 9 of 10 in the US who aren't depressed, and instead they get over it and continue on with their lives.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Are you sure the rates of illness are lower, or are they simply reported (or recognized) less often? Many mental illness, particularly the more "mild" ones, are easily overlooked–I have dysthymic disorder and no one realized it for a long time because it looks a lot like adolescence. It wasn't until I didn't get better that we realized it was something else.

      October 1, 2010 at 17:18 | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Exactly. American are so overwhelmed by their selfish sense of entitlement that they define depression as "not having everything go their way." I am tired of the fraudulently depressed, the fraudulently disabled, the myriad excuses for taking mood-altering medications, the fake service dogs, and so on. Our society is in rapid decline because people refuse to take responsibility for themselves and have no concern for anyone else, and are looking for something else to call it.

      October 1, 2010 at 17:21 | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Agreed. We should have never moved away from "community" in out culture. Thats the one thing the undeveloped world has over us – a sense of community. "It takes a village."

      October 1, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • george

      So correct–it's a social thing: Every man for himself(the now accepted Western norm) versus: Together we stand, divided we fall ! They're searching all the trees (the individual symptoms and manifestations). Hey, there's a forest out there(the social causes)!

      October 1, 2010 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
    • elbow

      Yeehaw – I think I'll go move to a third-world country so the "great social fabric" will cure my depression! Wow, what a brilliant thesis that is.

      October 1, 2010 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      I don't agree that all antidepressants do is mask the problem. Medication helps to lift mood and restore a person's ability to think more clearly so that therapy can actually begin to work. For many people, when depression is at its worst, no amount of talking or social support helps.

      And for John, the jackwagon who posted below, people like you have no clue what depression is. Just shut up.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • adasd

      pills! get your pills here! I have them in all the colors of the rainbow specially designed by people in white coats to cure ALL of your problems, guaranteed! (disclaimer: health insurance necessary- price-gouging cannot be payed on any reasonable salary).

      Not depressed? Yes you are, you just don't realize it! You know the down feelings you get periodically through life? Those aren't normal! You're broken! BUY MY PILLS

      October 2, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse |
    • adasd

      this study sponsored by: big pharma

      Altering the minds of those with cash one hand-full of pills at a time 😀

      October 2, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse |
    • Deefaah

      Wonderful comment!

      October 3, 2010 at 01:10 | Report abuse |
    • John Peaco

      Well put. I travel quite a bit to lesser developed countries and the people seem much happier than those here in the US. The pressure of obtaining material things, social status, etc. is nonsensical and has negative impact on Americans. We don't need to compare ourselves with others in our neighborhoods or places of work. Just be thankful to be here and enjoy our freedom. I think Americans need more vacation time as well. Two weeks off/year is ridiculous. Its as if time off is so foreign it becomes uncomfortable to be away from work which is sad.

      October 3, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
    • Jing Hu

      I agree. I would also like to add though that, in our modern society people who have depression DO NOT SEEK help. I think it is due to feeling self concius and would make people think that the indivisual is weird or "unstable emotionally" and it is considered not normal.

      I know in many parts of the world my argument is true. Especially in Asian countries where depressec indivisual would feel ashamed and critized if found seeking mental health. I just hope more people would take actions and try to help themselvs instead of being afraid of what others think!

      October 4, 2010 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
  2. Jessica

    Really? In this economy? I'm surprised it isn't 1 and 7 or 1 and 5. Struggling to make ends meet day after day makes for a bleak future...

    October 1, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John


      Well the reason it isn't higher is that the other 9 out of 10 got over it and moved on with their lives.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • ICare

      John, you clearly do not understand depression. Please stop telling people to "get over it." Such heartlessness only hurts people. It appears you have no desire to try to learn about and understand what depression is and can't really see past yourself.

      October 2, 2010 at 03:57 | Report abuse |
    • tgmee

      Agreed. And anyone that says you can "just get over" depression is an idiot.

      October 2, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    I would say the figure maybe much higher since men do not seek help as often as woman..I believe depression is caused by a variety of factors, enviromental ( grief, lonliness, stress) , biological ( lack of sleep, SAD, poor diet, lack of exercise), genetic.. etc.. My hope is that people are depressed seek out family, friends for support, try lifestyle changes , counseling/therapy, learn to meditate etc.. before they seek out a Medical Dr who will automatically put you on Anti-depressant medications.. These medications while they may help some, can lead to suicide, terrieble side-effects and addiction.. Please seek out more than one opinion.. Drs tend to OVER-prescribe drugs and are not trained in any other way to deal with depression.. Get informed, the more you know about drug/non-drug treatments the better able you are to make a wise choice.. Be very careful with children regarding medications, their brains are still developing and react differently than adults

    October 1, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kb

      I disagree with what you are saying. Depression is a strong illness that needs professional help. Besides, as a patient, you have the choice to deny any medication. It's your choice not the doctor's. You are right though, maybe it's because these dr.'s are not well-informed on cognitive therapy, shock therapy, hypnotism, etc. There are plenty of other ways to help yourself and get help.

      October 1, 2010 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • P

      Medication did not work too well for me. Meditation is hard, and so far not vey beneficial. Therapy is also hard, and so far somewhat helpful. Social withdrawal is a symptom of depression, but exposing myself socially to inane conversations about disparaging non-present acquaintances is depressing. Quitting alcohol helped somewhat. Never was a big drinker, but alcohol made me feel sad invariably. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? I am not sure – can't see much from where I stand right now. My job is to live today, and then another day, and then another, and so on.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  4. uberval

    After reading all the crap that CNN writes it should be more like 10 out of 10 adults are depressed !!

    October 1, 2010 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      >>After reading all the crap that CNN writes it should be more like 10 out of 10 adults are depressed !<<

      Sounds like you are assuming 10 out of 10 people read CNN It's probably more like 1 out of ten, which neatly coincides with the percent they say are depressed, so it proves your theory anyway.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
    • John

      I know you were being sarcastic but you actually did touch close to one reason so many people get depressed and that is simply ingesting to much news.

      I used to constantly have one of the 24 hour news networks on my tv, listened to news channels and news talk radio when in my truck and read several newspapers on a regular basis, and I was never more miserable in my entire life. Sure there was the occasional cheery news story but in general it's constant negativity from around the world and eventually it will wear you down.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
  5. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    What's depressing is the choice of politicians to choose from..the lesser of evils. Also depressing...my old lady's cooking,
    the idiot who sits next to me...when there's no Charmin in the outhouse..people who read this stuff.

    October 1, 2010 at 14:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. reallynow

    Just another reason to make people think they need prescription drugs. Lame.

    October 1, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ICare

      Some people truly need antidepressants and feel that the medication has "saved their lives."

      October 2, 2010 at 03:59 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Yeah, right. People who are depressed just LOVE taking medication that has side-effects like weight gain, nausea, diarrhea, and lack of a sex drive. It's a real treat. Moron.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:29 | Report abuse |
    • CT73

      Well, plenty of people enjoy not constantly thinking about jumping off of something. All side effects don't happen to all people all the time.

      Psychoactive drugs were meant to be taken in conjunction with therapy, that is when they are maximally effective. Many doctors don't recommend therapy to their patients though, and many patients don't want to spend the time investment.

      October 3, 2010 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • JustPlainJoe

      Perhaps one should look at why YOU have such an opinionated view. Judge other's lives carefully. You know nothing of their burdens either socially or biologically. Meds are appropriate for some and not others. The question of meds for any person should be outside YOUR opinion.

      October 3, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
  7. akit

    Without the meds, I can't even leave my bed, much less go the my therapy appointments. As a person who has suffered from depression for a number of years I have found medication to be extremely helpful. It is not possible for me to particiapte meaningfully in therapy or group sessions when I am depressed without the medication. Once my mood has been stabilized with the meds, I can work on the CBT program my therapist has worked out for me.

    October 1, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mee

      Meds do help some people if the reason for the depression is because of a lack of a chemical, such as seratonin. When i take my SRI, im fine, without it, Im not fine. I have nothing in the world to be depressed about, i have a very healthy, happy and fulfilled life. I just happen to be lacking in a chemical and my body doesnt produce it the way it should. Its the only drug i have ever taken, so Im not just looking for "another drug". I rarely even take asprin or cold medicine.

      October 1, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • formerly depressed

      That's the same with me. Antidepressants has literally been a lifesaver for me. Therapy without medication is pretty useless for my depression in my experience, and I've tried several therapists who employed a range of different strategies. However with medication, I made a lot of progress. I'm definitely going to stay on antidepressants for a long time. Even with the potential side effects (I haven't had any so far). I'm not currently in therapy but, I did CBT for a year. In addition to medication, I also take Omega-3 supplements, exercise 90 minutes a day, get 8-9 hours of sleep a night and do meditation. I have also tried light therapy for my SAD, but didn't find it helpful.So medication isn't the easy way out by any means. It's just a tool that works for a lot of people. Unfortunately, it often takes several med trials to figure which one to take. I had to try 3 antidepressants before I found the right one.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
  8. JCOM

    I'd be depressed too if I'd live in Mississippi!!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Trav202

    You might be on to something. I've tried every trick in the book, but it wasn't until I removed high glycemic carbohydrates from my diet that I really noticed a dramatic improvement in my mood.

    October 1, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. CatfishMammy

    They need be find Jesus an he be make them happy!

    October 1, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Auntie Warhol

      Now, THAT's funny!

      ... and if they can't find Jesus, they should be hanged by the neck until they cheer up...

      October 1, 2010 at 17:57 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      I found Jesus. He's a dishwasher at Applebee's.

      October 3, 2010 at 03:37 | Report abuse |
    • Belinda

      I go to a Unitarian church, where theological beliefs are not a requirement. We have Pagans, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, etc... Our common ground is humanism, or helping others. Frankly I find the group at my church to be among the most optimistic & outgoing people I've ever met (I went to a Lutheran School as a kid- and having theological beliefs forced upon me made me depressed). Certainly the community found in organized religion can offer support and be helpful, regardless of the belief system used, but a "belief in Jesus" is certainly not a treatment, and definitely doesn't prevent depression. I've been far happier going to the Unitarian church than I ever was going to a Christian one. I enjoy the humanist approach, and the activities my church offers.

      In short, being active, both physically and interacting within a community are beneficial in reducing depression. In some cases, medication can be helpful too, especially since people who ware depressed tend to isolate themselves... medication can help improve things enough to the person has the energy to get involved again & interact with the world around them. Jesus isn't a prerequisite for happiness.

      October 3, 2010 at 07:05 | Report abuse |
  11. Fact Check AMerica

    This just in!

    9 out of 10 Americans is fat.

    the other 1 out of 10 is depressed.

    October 1, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bull

      LOL . Problems problems.Everybody has problems.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • JS


      October 1, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
  12. POD

    Just think what would happen if they took away all the medications (both legal and illegal) and all the alcohol....that Americans use to help them function in the totally screwed up culture of 21st century America.......there would be blood in the streets

    October 1, 2010 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • In the wee hours

      Actually, what if you took away smart phones and the internet? Now you're talking a complete breakdown of society – no addictive distractions!

      October 2, 2010 at 08:44 | Report abuse |
  13. Charles

    This is a lie. The truth is parents are HOPING mental conditions such as autism, epliepsy, and schitzophrena, and several others are related to autoimmune reactions rather than the truth which is that some children are just a born with intellectual disability. Look, you people are better off with the powerline and microwave argument than breakfast cereal.

    October 1, 2010 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Johnny

    It's just buyer's remorse for voting for Obama.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mac

      hur hur hur. that was hilarious and so very original.

      Are you so f-ing one dimensional that you have to thrust meaningless politics into every conversation no matter the subject. the world is a much bigger place than conservative vs liberal, come out of your hole and open your eyes you pathetic loser.

      October 4, 2010 at 04:57 | Report abuse |
  15. Pastor Evans

    Luke 21:26 – Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

    The Bible clearly speaks about everything that goes on in the world but people still don't listen or believe!!!

    I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for Salvation and Freedom!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pete

      Shove it, pastor.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      Jesus is very busy right now.Don't bother him because your depressed .

      October 1, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Bachheadman

      Pastor Evans is right! Jesus said, "Come unto me all you who are weary and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest."

      October 1, 2010 at 17:04 | Report abuse |
    • DUHO

      if i believed in a fair tale i'd probably be on allot of drugs and be happy like you pastor.

      October 1, 2010 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dario

      I thank the Lord and Savior for creating me gay and giving me a wonderful husband for the last 15 yrs.! Thank you Jesus!

      October 1, 2010 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • lim

      that's exactly right. god bless you

      October 1, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
  16. Aamir

    Send all the depressed to a thirld world country for six months and 90% of them will come back cured...and that will also solve the obesity problem for them.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Janey


      October 1, 2010 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • B

      I'm pretty sure that a trip to a third-world country won't cure chemical imbalances in the human brain. Depression isn't something you can just shake off like the blues, and the blues is most decidedly NOT depression. Everyone gets the blues from time to time. Not everyone is depressed most or all of the time. Clearly you've never had to cope with severe depression, and for the sake of your blissful ignorance, I hope you never do.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      A swift kick in the butt will work faster and cheaper.Enough of the pity me thinking.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • formerly depressed

      Because no one in a third world country is depression or obese. Right.....

      October 1, 2010 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
    • Mary J

      This is the one of the most ignorant things I have heard.

      October 1, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • Jace

      There are more obese people in the US than in ANY third world country. I've been to third world countries, and people are usually too busy to be depressed.

      October 2, 2010 at 01:53 | Report abuse |
  17. Lando

    someone should pump em full of drugs.... oh wait nm

    October 1, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    I'm not a very smart man but I know what love is....

    I believe that it is NOT too late to believe.
    I am one with you we make two and then three, thus the beginning... of peace on earth.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. P

    Removing carbs, and esp. sugars and alcohol, helps losing weight and one feels better. I lost 30 pounds in 10 months by simply dropping sugar and alcohol. The problem, however, is that depression modifies the brain. Memories of past grief and loss are very easily activated by a normal passing mood. Mindful meditation has been used with some success. I have tried this age-old system for a little while. Medication did not help at all. It actually made me worse, so I stopped. I only took medication for three years, but I have been depressed for 30. I live one day at a time. One more day alive is all I can hope for right now.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mike

    No wonder they are depressed. They live in Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Louisiana!!! if I lived in those states, I would have been depressed too!

    October 1, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • karen

      And where do you live Mike? Oh wait, never mind, you are obviously from under a rock where you make comments about things you know nothing about.

      October 1, 2010 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
  21. someoneelse

    That's not really that bad, and considering this study was almost definitely hyperbolized, I suggest to stop worrying.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. El Pasoan1

    Legalize pot, It helps with depression! Laugh those blues away, then have a snack!

    October 1, 2010 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • joe p

      i gree with el pasoan1, poeple should leave the meds at home and smoke a joint. ive seen what scrips can do to a person and its not good, they get hooked and maybe turn to other drugs. plus my tax dollars dont have to go to someone else's medical problems. you want to feel better, smoke and have a sandwich, nothing taste better..

      October 1, 2010 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
    • Connie

      Agree. Pot gives you an sense of well-being. You feel more creative, see opportunities you didn't realize before, gives you peace, optimism, and motivation. It blocks fear, anger, sadness and insecurity so you can look at your issues objectively and constructively. Plus, you feel just plain love for others, and an affinity for people around you. It's a crime they haven't legalized a natural substance like pot, but instead encourage and accept psychoactive drugs and alcohol.

      October 2, 2010 at 00:44 | Report abuse |
  23. Matt

    Oh boo hoo hoo! We are a nation of spoiled babies. People need to get out and help others and stop worrying about their petty issues. It is time this nation started to buck up and grow a pair!

    October 1, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Janey


      October 1, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • B

      Yeah, because that'll correct chemical imbalances in the brain. The article isn't about people who lament their lot in life, it's about people who most of the time can't see that the glass is half full no matter how many times you tell them. You know, just like you'll never see that there is a side to the story that you ignore? Dumb @SS.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      @ B . We ignore that side you whine about because it's bs. We are the side of the story YOU ignore.Grow a pair you sissy.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse |
    • ICare

      Wow, an article about depression is still attracting the kind of people who, rather than try to care, wave the idea away and say, "just grow a pair." How ignorant and sad!

      October 2, 2010 at 04:05 | Report abuse |
  24. S. Brown

    This is depressing news.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Chris

    Only 9%? I thought CNN or some other news outlet was saying as much as 1/3 of America was depressed just a few years ago.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • e-man

      Well 1/3 are probably taking anti-depressants

      October 1, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • formerly depressed

      Yeah I thought that was a bit low too. I think 1/3 is lifetime prevalence though.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
  26. Cosmos42

    I am not at all surprised that depression is so common in the United States, and I would not be surprised if the situation gets worse. After all, when the average household has nearly $20,000 in credit card debt, when college graduates are often strapped with over $50,000 in loans and enter a workforce in which their degree earns them a cubicle job if they're lucky, when a substantial fraction of American's income goes into making sure they won't be bankrupted by a trip to the hospital, when Americans come home from a 10-hour workday to a family too exhausted to do more than eat microwave dinners in front of a television showing hours of beautiful and wealthy people while all the while blaring on and on about the American "freedoms" we apparently have despite feeling enslaved, yeah, you can expect there to be a lot of depression.

    That seems to be the real issue here, doesn't it folks? Because we believe ourselves to be free, because we were raised on Disney fantasies and a belief in the "American Dream", we have lost the ability to truly grasp what is going on around us. As others have alluded to, while the cult of individuality in this country has indeed produced a few extraordinary individuals, the fact of the matter is that many of us grow up in a culture of minimum social interaction and minimum families. We are raised on Disney fantasies and, when our lives turn out being more realistic, we end up depressed and nostalgic. Perhaps this is all the naivete to be expected of a country as young as the United States. Nonetheless, we should at try to stop lying to ourselves about it.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brigit C

      Brilliant post, Cosmos42

      My 60-year-old mother can barely leave the house and rarely gets dressed, but when she does, she puts on a super happy face to the world. So happy that her ex-psychiatrist didn't recognize her depression and that she's most likely bipolar. Instead, my mother, in a peculiar reversal, found herself actually counselling her psychiatrist, whose marriage and business were falling apart . "Modern life isn't tenable," he told my mother and then gave her some pills. Yeah, right! And this was before the Great Recession.

      As a culture and a society, we are sick and in trouble. Too much work, too much fantasy, too much isolation, too much TV & too many gadgets. Not enough sharing, community, love, or nature.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:45 | Report abuse |
    • Soleus


      October 1, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
    • jtom

      So people are depressed because they had the freedom to run up $20k of credit card debt and $50k in student loans? What solution do you advocate, taking away the right of people to run up their debts, or to spread the depression by forcing others to pay for their financial mistakes?

      If animals were to suffer depression, I wonder which group would be more depressed: those who must fend for themselves in the wild, fighting for food and avoiding becoming food, suffering for all sorts of health issues and parasites, enduring the cold and the heat, floods and drought; or those who are fenced in, fed, housed, protected and given medical treatment.

      To end depression in the 10% of the population suffering it, could well me denying the rest the happiness that freedom can provide.

      Look around and see which groups are advocating that we be fenced in by the government, fed, housed, and provided health care – and decide if that's worth giving up your freedom to pursue happiness.

      October 3, 2010 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  27. Johnny

    Depression is a luxury that the 9 out of 10 americans don't have. Us 9 out of 10, take life on one day at a time and deal with what comes at us. Everyone has problems! No one is immune. What they most likely need is a therapist that lights a fire under their butts to get on with their depressed lives, instead of pills that make them sleep their lives away and lead unproductive lives!

    October 1, 2010 at 15:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John

      I agreed with you right up to the therapist part, although that's because I don't see any therapist doing what you describe.

      Isn't it ironic that the more "mental health professionals" we are a society get the more people are found to be depressed, ADHD, etc......

      Everyone gets depressed, but it's natural and isn't a problem unless you let it run, and thus ruin, your life.

      October 1, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • B

      Luxury? You think waking up to beautiful children and a great job and feeling utterly empty and lost each day is a @%$@%$ luxury? Seriously? You think that because you can drink a beer and shake off "the blues" that no one should be depressed because clearly you have it worse than they do right? Are you brain dead or just impaired? You have no right to judge what someone's road looks like from their shoes. You aren't standing there. Luxury my @ss, but I sure wouldn't trade it for the brain dead existence you seem to enjoy.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      @ B . You seem just an itsy bitsy bit bi+chy . Probably a real dream to live with .

      October 1, 2010 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      No one who hasn't been there can possibly understand. It has nothing to do with your circumstances. You can have the best job, best family, best car, and a big huge d!ck, that one day makes you happy, and the next day BAM. Gone. You have all of it, it's all still super swell, but it's all suddenly empty, and meaningless. Everything is. No matter how good you still are at anything, it becomes pointless and frustrating. All you want to do is withdraw, sleep as long as you can just for the sake of not being awake. And what's the point of trying to talk to anyone, they think you're crazy or self centered.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      John, the whole point of medication for depression is that you STOP sleeping all day and instead get on with your life. Furthermore, depression doesn't go away just because you keep busy–you do the same stuff, and just cry a lot more along the way. There are of course people who feign illness, or exaggerate their symptoms, to use them as an excuse to laze around, but there are plenty of us who have actual chemical imbalances, which is clearly demonstrated by the dramatic changes medication brings about in many people.

      October 1, 2010 at 17:27 | Report abuse |
    • formerly depressed

      I think you got it in reverse.... Depression makes me sleep the day away and live an unproductive life. Medication lights the fire that gets me moving again. My therapist is actually more about helping me stop and smell the roses and take time for myself. Sorry if you or someone you know had a bad experience with medication. I tried one antidepressant that made me very sleepy and less productive, but my current antidepressant gave me my life back.

      October 1, 2010 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
  28. Sie sie

    1 out of 10 isn't bad...

    I would think it would be higher.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Josh

    After living in SC for the last 3 months I am supprised it was not higher on the list....cuz I am extremely depressed.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Rick

    It's Bush's fault.........of course!!!!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Timmy

    The Puppets better start admitting what is up as we ALL know the Truth.

    October 1, 2010 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Dev

    Karen, thanks for pointing out the bad stuff about these cereal grains. Too much sugar in there anyways and don't want to start the day on a sugar high.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Janis

    Nearly 1 in 10 adults are "diagnosed" with depression - a whole different animal. We have created a medical environment where doctors will be the first to admit - if you don't think you're sick, we'll find something.

    I work in treatment, and I know there is such a thing as clinical depression. However - the medical and pharmaceutical communities are in the business of saving us from depression, so they have a serious obligation to DIAGNOSE IT!

    October 1, 2010 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bill

      American doctors are all about "for profit" instead of "for patient". Everything about the American health care system disgusts me.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
  34. John

    Spammers are depressing.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. James Randolph

    I am an 8 year Army Veteran, I am also a senior computer programmer. I am struggling with depression. I was fired by voicemail becasue of my depression. Do google searc on Randolph v Grange. read about my fight as pro se for justice

    Columbus, Ohio. This is an employment case. Pro Se James Francis Randolph was hired on November 17, 1997 as a Mainframe Programmer for the Defendant Grange Mutual Casualty Company. Randolph had a good work history . Randolph filed a complaint at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas claiming that Grange Mutual Casualty Company terminated him in violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) 29 U.S.C 2601, et seq. and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

    Randolph asserts that defendant interfered with his assertions of rights for FMLA unforeseeable leave in their rushed to judgment to terminate him by voicemail before determining if his absence was FMLA qualifying for his failure to call in his absence thirty minutes before his normal start time and for violating his absentee probation when his missed work on December 5, 2002 due complications with his current approved FMLA qualifying condition of depression and his undiagnosed FMLA qualifying conditions of diabetes.

    Randolph further asserts defendant failed to accept his request for FMLA unforeseeable leave on several occasion, prompting the defendant to refused to reverse it’s termination decision.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bull

      James, has your lawyer looked at the Americans With Disabilities Act ? You might have a case there.Good luck Brother.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:13 | Report abuse |
  36. Lorraine Chittock

    Is depression REALLY depression? Check out this great article on the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11431720

    October 1, 2010 at 16:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Connie

      OMG! Thank you Lorraine. Fascinating BBC article. Hope everyone reading these comments checks that out. THANKS FOR SHARING!!!

      October 2, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse |
  37. bill

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the percentage of Americans that are depressed is pretty much the same as the percentage of Americans that are unemployed.

    And the percentage that aren't depressed are probably just full of anti-depression medication wrongly pushed onto them by their doctors (bribed by the pharmaceutical companies pushing that junk).
    One of the many reasons I chose to get the heck out of the USA. Best decision I've ever made!

    October 1, 2010 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. baorddog

    I've been treated for clinical depression twice. I think i may have been under it's influence much longer. Even now it's there. I make myself "look" at all the blessings in life that I have to be thankful for and muddle through. Mine comes and goes in waves.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. mick

    hahaha, i bet it it is more than 1 out of 10, they just hide it. Americans are some of the most messed up, ungrateful and least content people in this world. I bet 1 out of 4 women are stressed and have their own messed up issues. Nothing is ever enough for Americans. Capitalism is poison. Read Wildling of America (some criminal justice college classes make students read this)

    October 1, 2010 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mick

      infact im willing to bet Americans are more miserable than most people in poor countries ruled by dictators where freedom isn't even an option.

      October 1, 2010 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • Ituri

      Ungrateful? YOU work your life away for few pithy capitalistic, empty gains and see how "grateful" you are at the end of the day.

      But yes, a certain amount of misery seems to come with the culture. I'd move to Canada in a heartbeat. Those guys know how to throw a party!

      October 1, 2010 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
  40. Dawn

    All of these stories about depression are starting to make me feel really depressed.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Latesha Bo

    I'm depressed how CNN is losing readership because of Silly Articles like this. If these Obese people would just turn off the TV and get some exercise, life would be better.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ICare

      This article is not about obesity. And if it were, I would advise you to stop judging. You have no idea how much exercise people get or their reasons for not exercising, if they don't. Anyway, way to stay on topic.

      October 2, 2010 at 04:12 | Report abuse |
  42. Soviet*Union


    October 1, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ICare

      Completely false. Look up the statistics on suicide.

      October 2, 2010 at 04:19 | Report abuse |
  43. Latesha Bo

    I'm depressed that Obama wasted $787 Billlion of our Stimulus Money and Unemployment increased from 7.4% to 9.6%. I am depressed that Obama is a LIAR and setting a POOR Example for Children in this country. I am depressed that Obama's sole objective is to STEAL from the Hard Working and redistribute to the Lazy Deadbeats. I am depressed that Obama is Incompetent and a Disgrace. Ok, I got this off my chest, now I feel better.

    October 1, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobby

      Being a glenn beck stooge makes you happy?

      October 1, 2010 at 17:02 | Report abuse |
    • Vision

      If one actually examines achievements such as the Health Care law so recently enacted and so vehemently (and ignorantly) attacked the Glenn Beckers you would see major benefits for the majority of Americans. Benefits such as guaranteed health insurance for all through high risk pools (you pay the premium but get care otherwise denied you), the ability to keep your children on the plan you work hard for at your employer to their age 26 and much more.

      Stop believing the shill coming out of FOX and the far right wing. The major insurance corporations are doing everything they can (paying everyone they can) to overturn "Obamacare" as it forces them to do the right thing which means less bonuses and profits for the executives. I have to laugh at the Tea Party folk as I doubt they have researched who is actually bankrolling their "grass roots movement".

      Now that level of lemming like stupidity is depressing when I know it will bring the same pre-2008 crooks back to DC again to "deregulate" the market and fix things. It sure "fixed" things real well during 80% of this decade. No Obama isn't waht he said he was and he has disappointed but how can the "other party" drivel on like they had nothing to do with the malaise of this nation? They were in power for decades of business first, people second or third politics that is the foundation of today's disasters in the nation.

      Unless we have real change, non-corporate, elite backed change in this nation, we are doomed to 3rd world status in 25 years for the majority. Like it or not. Now depression will make sense.

      October 2, 2010 at 04:42 | Report abuse |
  44. tone

    this really bums me out

    October 1, 2010 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. stu

    Not only are Americans depressed, they're also being overrun by dopey Christians who know less about their religion than do atheists and jews. America, the land of the sick and stupid...

    October 1, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. JS

    But I love my Honey Bunch of Oats.

    October 1, 2010 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JustJ

    Charles, you just have no idea. Haven't you ever heard of Celiac disease?

    October 1, 2010 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Depression Club USA

    Is it any wonder that 1 in 10 American's are depressed! Most of life is spent commuting in smog, vegetating in front of Big Brother’s Telescreen, drinking beer, replicating with the spouse. Then it’s time to enter DEEP sleep for few hours before repeating the process again. Not a very exciting life, but one step up from a mule’s existence. After all, unlike farm cattle, humans are not utilized for food…or so they tell us.

    October 1, 2010 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. raymond

    Life's rough, people who say they are depressed dwell on the stupid stuff, everybody has ups and downs and instead of dwelling on the dumb stuf, dwell on the good things in your life, your the only one that can change the mess that is your life, or dwell on the good. I only worry about what I can change, not what I can't

    October 1, 2010 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Chris

    Isn't it funny how there are all these real-world, situational causes for depression - unemployment, loneliness, job stress, divorce, etc. - but there's a pill for it?

    October 1, 2010 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.