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. RonMan

    I have lived with depression for most of my life. For a long time I was unaware of the problem (or in denial, you pick) and the problems it was causing. It got worse as I grew older, a lot worse. Now that I know, medication is why I am alive. Without it I simply would not be here. Am I typical, most likely not, but those who have not lived with severe depression have no idea how hard it can be just to keep going everyday. Would hospitalization help me, I think so, but I can't afford it. As long as I don't hurt myself it is OK.

    Please, all of you making fun of us with this disease or just don't get, please think about it. Regardless of the cause (there are many and they are VERY complicated and race, color, creed and origin have little to do with it) please do not discount what we go through.

    There are lots of things I wish for, some I can get through hard work. Getting rid of depression when you have had it for over 45 years is more than hard work. It just might take a miracle.

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

      RonMan, Well said. Sometimes medication is the difference between life and death, functioning and non-functioning, a home and the street. Many people don't really have the frame of reference to understand what depression feels like and how little control one has over it. I'm glad for them, but like you, wish they'd keep their judgments to themselves. What might be well meaning advice sometimes has the opposite effect on someone who already is wondering why they can't make themselves feel better.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
    • No Name Please

      I've lived with recurring bouts of clinical depression for nearly half a century. I have had periods when I seriously considered suicide (I think I'm too stubborn to give anyone the pleasure of seeing me do that to myself...weird, huh?). Even now, when I feel pretty normal, when took the self-dianostic test for depression, I came up as having symptoms consistent with depression AND bipolar disorder. Yet I have never taken the medication route. After trying a few "depression medications" off-label - for migraines - and not being able to deal with the side effects, I decided to address the problem through a discipline of exercise, mediation, a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol. I've learned to manage my moods, if not equalize them. That is what has kept ME alive. My experience with the meds was one of - variously - weight gain, acne, tremors, vertigo, excessive torpor, jitteriness. For someone who is physiologically predestined to take a dim view of life from the get-go (this runs in my family), that is no way to live. I'd rather have my (rare) highs, my (frequent) lows, and my (normal for me) slightly stink-eyed perspective on life, than live medicated. I feel that if I make my body strong and healthy, my own body's chemicals will correct my imbalances. So far, it's worked for me.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse |
    • Margaret

      No Name Please, agreed, those side effects suck. I've tried all kinds of things in addition to medication and have found many of them help enormously but I need the medication to raise the base line up to the point where they help enough. The only exception I've ever found to this was a time when I was working out 2 hours a day 5-6 days a week. That did it, but I can't keep it up.

      October 1, 2010 at 19:08 | Report abuse |
  2. AS

    as a psychiatrist, I can tell you that I did't believe until I saw it. Yes, there are reactive depressions, but there are major genetic components, of which we are unraveling. One thing is clear by reading all these comments: this is hard stuff to tease out. Normal sadness vs major endogenous depression.

    October 1, 2010 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Johnny Ola

    I think 9% of the population is "gay" and those are the ones who are pretty much depressed.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ???

      100% you are a 9%er.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
  4. Veggiehead

    I am so tred of the Gluten is Evil lobby. There is no good science behind the theory. Real allergies to gluten are rare. Real sensitivities to gluten are slightly less rare, but even then the sensitive person may or may not have occasional digestive difficulties, and little else you can realistically blame on gluten. The people I know who have gone on no-gluten diets, and who gush about the benefits, are people who have lost lots of weight and gained energy because - and this is pivotal - they stopped eating processed foods, cut back their carbohydrate consumption overall, cut back their calorie intake, and began eating more whole foods. The fact is, it is difficult to avoid gluten unless you follow a very carefully chosen and HEALTHY diet. So of course things will improve for you. But it's poor science to attribute the changes solely to the lack of gluten in your diet.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Scott

    What does "some symptoms of depression" mean? That doesn't say that they meet the clinical criteria for depression. We all deal with a certain amount of garbage on a daily basis, and "Some symptoms of depression" doesn't mean a person is clinically depressed. Depression is an illness and it should be treated as such. However, itt sounds like we are starting to medicate the normal ups and downs of life.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Name Please

      Take the self-diagnostic test for yourself, and it may become clear.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
  6. youngest1

    It is interesting that the states with high rates of obesity (as well as high rates of illiteracy) also have high rates of depression.

    Perhaps this indicates the link between poor diet and depression?

    October 1, 2010 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. cnsellout


    October 1, 2010 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. miserable for life

    The cause of most people's chronic, severe, depression is a brain injury. If you have been depressed for many years and nothing seems to help overall then think back if you ever had a concussion or multiple smaller brain injuries such as playing little league football or soccer or boxing. I bet you your depression started shortly after that.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Name Please

      Not quite true. I think you are referring to a recent story (covered here on CNN) that drew connections between a well-known athlete's suicide and his history of multiple concussions. The "multiple concussions" part of that is important, and the connection between that man's particular medical history and the mood disorder he suffered from is currently just a theory. As I recall, in the case of the athlete, researchers were trying to make a connection with a syndrome called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (related to Dementia Pugilistica), based on a sample of his brain tissue, where a rogue proetein will form with CTE. But all of this applies to people who have undergone repeated and serious trauma to the head. That usually means athletes.

      October 1, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse |
    • formerly depressed

      There is no evidence that that is a common cause of depression. However people with repeated brain trauma often experience depression. It's also been linked to PTSD. Also, interestingly enough, depression actually causes damage to the hippocampus, which is implicated in learning and memory. So in a sense, depression "causes" brain damage.

      October 1, 2010 at 19:09 | Report abuse |
  9. Left America

    I moved to the US for school but after I lived there for a few years, worked, went to sleep, worked again, went to sleep, worked again, with nothing else in the middle, I left quickly. I feel bad for Americans. Work and sleep is all there is to America. No social life. Nothing fun other than drink and bars. America produces, but its people aren't happy at all. Because they focus too much on money.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Harry

      I wish all Americans lived the land of free meals like you. Somewhere in Europe, right? Get paid a ton of cash to work two hours a day? Go on "holiday" three months out of the year? France, maybe? Albania?

      October 1, 2010 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
    • Ituri

      When it takes so much money to build a life, and you've never known any other lifestyle, how is one to know this is abnormal?

      Sad as it is, and hard working as the people are, I can't stand this much longer. The moment I've saved enough to go and finished school, I'd love to move somewhere where they haven't forgotten what being human is about...

      October 1, 2010 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
    • No Name Please

      Albania, Harry?

      October 1, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • Harry

      Sure. Or Shangra La. The Shire, maybe.

      October 1, 2010 at 19:37 | Report abuse |
    • Soleus

      Bring back Contra Dancing!!!!

      October 1, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • tgmee

      Please, I'd move somewhere else if I could get a job. I'd take the shire any day over this heartless greedy country.

      October 2, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    All Bible Belt states at the top of the list. No big surprise. People who believe their invisible superhero in the sky is going to save them and their lives, and then get depressed when he doesn't...

    October 1, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • youngest1

      Depression has nothing to do with living in the Bible belt, or with having Christian beliefs. It has everything to do with the poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and unhealthy diet that is prevalent in the states listed.

      Your negative, cynical and ignorant comment is disgusting.

      October 1, 2010 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
  11. Madman09

    1 in 10 unemployed, 1 in 10 depressed, makes perfect sense to me.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. David

    I've eaten 2 bowls of cereal a day nearly every day since I was a boy! I never get sick, never get vaccines, don't have any disease or disorder. Captain Crunch and Toucan Sam always got my back!!

    October 1, 2010 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Harry

    You mean that sitting around reading the posts of evil people on CNN isn't the cause of my depression?

    October 1, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kit

      It can certainly contribute. Hearing what comes from some people under the disguise of anonymity is a real eye-opener.

      October 1, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse |
  14. Ituri

    We eat horribly, and healthy food is more expensive. We grow up in a society that tells us we're worthless unless we work our lives away for questionable benefits. We ostrasize our families, or are ostracized by our families, for petty differences. We ignore crime as a society, unless we're the individual victims of it. We're so lost in PC nonsense that social shaming is no longer a legal route to ending anti-social (criminal) behavior. We cripple our teachers with unnecessary requirements (standardized tests) then whine when they don't have the time to actually teach what our kids need to know. We either smother our kids with overprotective assaults, or we ignore them entirely as they develop into little thugs and spoiled brats. We act as if the poor and ill deserve to be so, simply because they somehow ended up that way, regardless of the factors that put them there. We pay more for food, services, for everything, endlessly ramping up how hard and long we have to work to pay for even just the basic necessities. We're stuck in a political system that rewards only the extremes, and ignores the moderate majority who are working their lives away. We brag about our "freedoms" when we're far less free than many other civilized nations, and hampered by law and permits in every aspect of our personal lives, be it owning a dog or building a porch on our own property or loving the same gender.

    And we wonder why we're depressed? Please... our culture SUCKS, people.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carol A

      I think you summed it up quite nicely.

      October 1, 2010 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
    • tgmee

      You forgot that we work our a&&es off in school to get in to a college to obtain "The American Dream" only to come out on the other end indentured to the banks for decades paying off loans.

      October 2, 2010 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
  15. Sonia

    That is not surprising to me since Americans work long hours, don't take the time to eat well, and there isn't much for mental health care, let alone regular healthcare! There used to be a time where 40hrs/week was a full time job and people had a balanced and restful life. Life in America is so expensive now that no one had time to enjoy their life or their health, that they work so hard to protect!

    October 1, 2010 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sonia

    Leave the site buddy and go post on political articles...maybe people who can follow directions should vote opposite of your view

    October 1, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Dr Goodwell

    As a practicing psychiatrist, nuclear physicist and brain surgeon I can tell you that being around people who are depressed is depressing and that cereal if eaten with fruit to get the benefit of tri nuclienanic phophorescent amomiltrates will surely make the depression go away. Another option is left or right frontal lobe vivisection.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Dr Jack Mehoff

    Regular masturbation although may cause blindness will cure depression. were you ever depressed while masturbating? well well were you?

    October 1, 2010 at 18:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • John in NY


      October 1, 2010 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ituri

      Actually, not to be weird, but... chronic masturbation (the kind that gets in the way of a social life and work) is a symptom of deeper depression. Its like it becomes a substitute for feeling anything, or a mask to cover the bad feelings. So yeah, people can be depressed when masturbating. Sad, huh?

      October 1, 2010 at 18:57 | Report abuse |
  19. SuckitUp ppl

    I really don't know why the people who say they're SOOOO depressed just don't do the deed and get it over with. You think we want to hear about how bummed out you are? If life is so bad either man up, or stop crying for attention.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ICare

      You may be too self-involved to want to be there for others, but people have a right to express their feelings and seek someone to talk to.

      October 2, 2010 at 04:33 | Report abuse |
    • 1Houligan

      Dear Suck it Up. Shut the f#*! up.

      October 2, 2010 at 09:32 | Report abuse |
    • Haezz

      And I assume people with cancer should stop whining also? A heartless bigot is exactly what you are. And an extremely unknowledgable one at that. I do feel so sorry for any people in your life... I'm sure they can really not feel the love.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Why don't you just shut up? That would go a long way toward improving the planet for everyone. You're an ignorant twerp, who, like most of the morons commenting about depression, knows nothing about it at all.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • sonovagun

      Who said you had to hear about it, Suckitup? Why are you reading this article and bothering to comment? Why don't you scram if you don't want to hear about depression? Is someone forcing you to learn? That'd be a first; I doubt you've ever learned anything much, you ignoramus.

      October 2, 2010 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
  20. Dario

    Yes! I'd much rather go blind than be depressed.

    October 1, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Veggiehead

    Wow, David, you are consuming 12 g of sugar in each 3/4 cup of those cereals. That's slightly more than a g of sugar per ounce of cereal. Add to that another 13g of sugar per cup of milk. So if you are having two cups of cereal a day, with two cups of milk, that's 58 g of sugar right there. The RDA for sugar intake is a max of 40g per 2k of calories eaten. You must either be plump, or bouncing off the walls.

    At least you are getting your vitamins, since the cereal is fortified.

    October 1, 2010 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Ieat

    Depression sometimes has to do with nutritional deficiency. Well at least mine did.

    October 1, 2010 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Wendy

    Hey Suckitup,

    people like you keep the stigma and misconceptions of mental illness alive! The STUPIDEST thing you can ever say to someone with a mental illness is SNAP OUT OF IT! They can't you moron!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Bob

    That's not bad when you consider that 100% of U.S. adults are governed by Obama

    October 1, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Chris

    Wow... nearly 1 in 10 people are unemployed too.... interesting.....

    October 1, 2010 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. does it matter

    Greed and never being satisfied would make anyone depress. Most countries have people depressed because of lack of food or shelter. Americans are depress because they have to wait for a new i phone being over weight or having to wait for the new call of duty and dumb s@#t like that.

    October 1, 2010 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ituri

      It doesn't seem like you understand either what depression is or anything about Americans. Spoiled brats whining about waiting on a new game happens in EVERY rich country, and depression is a real illness. Pick up a book before you whine about an entire country.

      October 1, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
  27. Beverly NC

    I have never more ignorant and self-centered stupid comments in my life. Depression has NOTHING to do with where you live, what job you have, how much money you do or don't have and you cannot just ignore it and "snap out of it:. Most clinical depression is genetic and includes a chemical imbalance in your brain, I cannot stop my depression any more than a person with diabetes can just "get over it" and ignore it. The pure stupidity of knowing nothing about mental illness is why we are still so far behind in proper treatment, the lack of mental health facilities, and the stigma it still carries.
    So many people are truly suffering wtih a mental illness and believe me no one wants this illness, or to struggle to get through a normal day. It's a living hell. I can't will it away. It is a DISEASE just like diabetes, genetic heart problems, Parkinson's, rhumatoid arthritis, cancer, or migraines. Jesus can't help unless your faith gives you the strength not to kill yourself to escape this mental pain. No friend or family member can help you except love you as you keep fighting to live another day. Shut up and do not judge what you know NOTHING about. Maybe you should get off your high horse and go get an education. You can't cure stupidity but you can fix ignorance. Many people with mental illness use most of their energy pretending to be normal because of cruel, stupid, clueless morons like most who have posted here. Shame on you!

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

      You said it, sister.

      October 1, 2010 at 19:58 | Report abuse |
    • tgmee

      woohoo Beverly

      October 2, 2010 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
  28. Dean

    10% unemployed, 17-18% underemployed, interest rates at zero – kind of hard to be retired when the money you have worked for and saved all your life for retirement is earning 1%, and no hope in site. I would think that the number would be much higher.

    October 1, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Translation

    One in ten sounds low to me. That's only ten per cent. In these times I'd think it was closer to one in four.

    October 1, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Chris Freely

    That's odd, the same percentage are officially depressed as are officially unemployed. Must be a coincidence...

    October 1, 2010 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Ryan

    I personally think that there is more depression in teens than adults.

    October 1, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Floris

    How is there "less access" to mental health care in the South. That makes zero sense. There are counselors, psychiatrists and psychologists here in as many numbers as anywhere else. I think it may be that there is simply a stigma against it in some circles, namely in the older generations. I wish they would have researched this article a little better. It makes you lose trust in anything they say.

    October 1, 2010 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. peaceandlove

    Just reading some of these comments shows why there is such a high incidence of depression in America. Do you people have no empathy? or even a little bit of compassion? If you have not experienced depression for yourself, you have absolutely no right to make assumptions. I truly hope to all of you suffering from depression that you become better and know that you are a great individual.
    Also, I read in the Economist a few years ago that India actually has the highest suicide rates. There is so much expectations placed on the child to be at a certain level of intelligence that when they do not meet those standards they will commit suicide. Depression and suicide is not only characteristic in America, it is everywhere.
    Put yourself first always, and do not care too much about what others think. Be grateful that you have a voice for your life in this country.

    October 1, 2010 at 20:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Tom.F.

    What I find funny is that according to this article, its as easy as a poll to diagnos people with depression now days... boy how technology has come along.

    October 1, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. crazypants

    If someone in America is depressed they should take a train to Mexico, take a cab through Mexico City, then get on a plane and go to Ethiopia where people wear shirts found on the side of road, wear them daily for 5 years, lick whatever food remains on the collar, all while filling their bucket of water that they had to walk 6 miles to get to. then sit on the ground next to the bucket that you just went to the bathroom in and eat your porridge with the smell of urine next to you.
    Then come back to America and tell me you're depressed.

    October 1, 2010 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      Crazypants, why don't you go first and report back on your findings. Idjits like you are depressing.

      October 2, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
  36. Carol A

    I don't think people have no empathy but look all around us, on TV, in magazines, newspapers, internet, blogs, etc...it is a victim, poor me mentality. I'm not saying that what people are feeling isn't real or valid but people open up and boo hoo too much.

    October 1, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Rebecca

    Having 1-2 of the symptoms required for a Major Depressive Episode is NOT pathological in itself. You need at least 5, one of which must be depressed mood for most of the day more days than not, or anhedonia. These criteria must be met for 2 weeks. Feeling fatigued and having trouble concentrating is NOT ENOUGH to be called depression. Calling something "depression" when it is not makes it more difficult for people with clinical major depressive episodes to be taken seriously. Depression is a real disorder, so get screen like this article recommends, but there are actual criteria for determining whether or not what you are experiencing is depression or not.

    October 1, 2010 at 21:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Lee Oates

    Rehire Rick Sanchez on CNN, don't let racism rule the airwaves.

    October 1, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. PlanetX

    When your a slave to society you have a tendency to become depressed Time to wake the fu– up !!

    October 1, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. pflau

    1 in 10 adults is UNEMPLOYED... but of course!!!

    October 1, 2010 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. The_Mick

    Reading the sheer ignorance of many of those commenting on this article is enough to cause depression!

    October 1, 2010 at 22:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      The_Mick, it's depressing indeed to read comments from people who think depression is just a character fault and that people who have it are lazy, wimps, weak-willed, crybabies, and so on. How do they explain what happens to someone who has been a functioning, independent, successful person and suddenly finds himself or herself paralyzed by lack of any enjoyment in life? People who are depressed aren't just sad, they're without any feeling at all-they are unable to make decisions, can't think clearly, have no appetite, want to sleep but can't, and suffer from many other symptoms that ARE NOT under their control at all.

      Do you idiots think anyone who feels like this WANTS to? Don't you think the person who is depressed would LOVE to 'snap out of it'?

      Geez. I might be depressed, but you're stupid, and I can't take medication and get better. You're hopeless.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Oops, that should be "I can take medication and get better." Stupid can't be fixed.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
  42. AwesomeBob

    God, this is depressing news...

    October 1, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. allourfault

    i went to a doctor with chronic mild headache. he wrote a prescription for elavil, an anitdepressant that supposedly works on the same receptors in the brain that cause headaches. i took one that evening at bedtime and it turned me into a complete zombie for all of the next day. i couldn't perform my job at all and felt as if i was in a waking dream state, how the hell do people function while taking this stuff? i actually became depressed for that one day because i just wanted to have a nap and couldn't form a complete thought. i never took one of those tiny blue pills again.

    October 1, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      The doctor you went to probably was not a psychiatrist who has adequate knowledge about antidepressants. You might have been helped had the dosage been lower. Or a different class of medication might have worked better. My father had a terrible reaction to Prozac, because his GP prescribed a dose that was too high for him to tolerate. Had he been given a lower dose and gradually given enough to be of benefit, he might have been able to take Prozac.

      It is often true, particularly with tricyclics like Elavil, that one feels worse when first beginning to take the meds. It takes at least a couple of weeks before there can be any improvement in symptoms.

      October 2, 2010 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
  44. Tom

    North Dakota has the LOWEST depression rate; North Dakota has the LOWEST unemployment rate at 3.7%; North Dakota was the only state to see an INCREASE in household income in the latest report on that statistic, and; North Dakota has a budget surplus of ONE BILLION DOLLARS!
    What does North Dakota have that no other state has?
    Its own STATE BANK!
    Read "Web of Debt" by Ellen Brown.

    October 2, 2010 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. 1Houligan

    I suffer from depression and have heard it all. My brother and friends say, "Just snap out of it." The inane and ignorant postings on this thread prompted me to post. My depression has always been underlying... always there but I've had to put one foot in front of the others and "act as if" I was okay. If you've never experienced depression, you have no right to open your mouth or pass judgement. To feel every second of every day just sucks the life out of you. I was laid off short of a year ago. What self-worth and self-confidence I had is no longer there. I'm in therapy and on medications. They do help but it's not a permanent fix. I isolate because I have nothing to offer and nothing to say. Days out of the house are rare. I am stuck. One second I'm up; the next I'm stuck in a never ending spiral. I don't answer the phone. I do, however, submit 5-6 resumes per day, 7 days a week. Nothing. I have no family and support is non-existent. It's just me. I will continue to look for work. Have to. Hopefully, soon, I'll receive an offer. I will continue to put one foot in front of the other and function as I always have. I've been slammed because I'm unemployed and suffer from depression. To say that being unemployed has not exacerbated my depression. To say otherwise would be untrue. I didn't ask for depression. The snarky remarks on this post don't necessarily bother me. It's plain ignorance. It's also the "I'm better than you are" mentality that sickens me. Easy to throw stones. I hope none of the snarkers have to deal with depression. But... you never know.

    October 2, 2010 at 09:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. jwbrent

    After reading this article and many of the comments, it saddens me that we live in a society where people show such a lack of empathy for others who are in chronic pain. If this article was instead about Parkinson's, for example, would the same individuals who expressed such ignorant replies feel compelled to voice their belittling remarks? Perhaps not. This is due to a complete lack of understanding that the brain is an organ that is subject to genetic diseases like every other organ in the body. For those who want to be funny or disrespectful at someone else's expense, think about how you would feel if you had a disease that others dismissed or mocked.

    October 2, 2010 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Haezz

    I was "clinically depressed" as I had nearly all the symptoms needed for their little checklist. So, I was put on medications. Well, the medications made the "symptoms" worse. And so, the next step would be to put me on a piggy-back med. The thinking is, if one medication isn't working, we'll add another to help it work. Puh-lease! I became even worse. Basically lost all involvement in my own life. And paid for it. Relationship ended. Job lost. Friends lost. Family lost. Yeah, good call, those meds.

    Did lots of research and if you read what these companies say about psychotropic medications it clearly states that they (makers) do not know how these medications work. They "think" they do this. They do not know what effect these medications have on just one neurotransmitter, let alone two, as the newest drugs target i.e., serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. And they can be especially dangerous as in serotonin syndrome and even the hellish effects of withdrawal that you are never told about.

    A friend made the comment that psychiatrists are making sure that their jobs are never at risk by diagnosing LIFE itself as a mental illness. Think about that!

    Yes, we need more community. Yes, we need more social interaction in our lives. And yes, we need more love and kindness in our world. But do we actually need more medication in our bodies to achieve what we can do on our own??
    Since going through the withdrawal hell of two medications, I will NEVER go on another anti-depressant. I do go to therapy and am active in my own life now, but not on medication. It ruined my life and I will be picking up the pieces for years. These companies prey on articles and the readers of these articles. They prey on the "Are you depressed" quizzes.
    If you sincerely cannot function, then by all means try a medication under the supervision of a medical or psychiatric professional you trust, and be honest with them. Better that then dead.

    But for me... no way will I ever take another anti-depressant. When you begin screwing with neurotransmitters that you have no idea what effect you are causing, the body tries its best to go back into balance and all kinds of nasty side effects occur. And these kinds of articles fuel the fires that make us believe we are in need of medication. And those bloody commercials that start black and white (depression before their meds) and then become bright and sunny with the ingestion of their "newest" drug.

    Please, make sure you do your research and do not take anyone's word as gospel. Know your own body and mind and fight for yourself. I say this from both a personal experience and my involvement in the mental health field for many years. Having been on both sides, I see that pill-pushing is tops in getting a person back to normal. BUT, you have to know what normal is, for yourself, first and foremost.

    October 2, 2010 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dana

      Oh, malarkey. Doctors didn't know why aspirin worked, either. The fact is that antidepressants do work, regardless of the mechanism. You have every right not to take them, but you don't have the right to post misinformation about them, and it's irresponsible of you to do so.

      October 2, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
  48. phoenix

    all you knuckleheads out there hang out with jesus and read his loveletter the bible.

    October 2, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Crazy Waiter

    The other 9 people are lying. With the state of the world today if you are NOT depressed you are mentally f*cked up.

    October 2, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. R.H

    Clinical depression is real...I have seen it in my family and my spouses family, to include my spouse. It ruined my marriage after 24 years. They can not just "Buck-Up"! Posters, don't be hateful there. I will say though that alot of people are struggeling in ways they never thought they would financially. It is threatening their livelyhood in such a way that it manifests itsellf into areas never before being of issue. It is a rotten shame. My only comment beyond that is that I dare say one needs to give deep thought into how reaching out is going to effect them down the road. If you are just in a rut and feel blue about it....you are OK!! This too, will come to pass. DO NOT SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP...count on friends and family to help you through the situation....YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER!!! We are all in the same boat. Look, let me make this clear, (humor!) the government will be keeping computerised records of those that request mental health assistance through this so called "fundiMENTAL" change. Existing condition...after your prescribed drugs have caused you to become lame to all but the need for the drug? This and this alone...seeking help will cause you pain. You will either be determined to have $$...via financial overhaul...or to poor to contribute. Have $$...big pay out to Your Obamacare premium till they break your back. If you have no funds you can hang on for a spell...but ultimately...truely, you are of no use to us...the Elite who build their fortunes off of us. The weak link...get my drift??? If you are just blue due to too, much negativity with no hereditary or prior history of depression or mental health issues...YOU ARE NORMAL...AGAIN, DO NOT SEEK OUT A SHRINK! Hang tight and vote!

    October 2, 2010 at 15:27 | Report abuse | Reply
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