Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, is a serious mental health condition. It is defined by the APA as follows, ‘A mood disorder marked by a substantial decrease in the quality-of-life, in a number of different areas.’ On an emotional level, depression typically features feelings of isolation, despair, low self-esteem, introversion, and intensely negative thoughts.
A study published by John Elflein (4 November, 2021) from data collected in 2020 found that 9% of individuals between 26 – 49 years of age experienced a major depressive episode. Females were disproportionately represented with MDD at 10.5%, with males at 6.2%.
The data from the bar chart above reflects the incidence of major depressive episodes across different age-related demographics. The following conclusions can be drawn from the US-based chart:
- Individuals 18+ years of age – 8.4%
- 18 to 25-year-old age group – 17%
- 26 – 49-year-old age group – 9.1%
- 50+ age group – 5.4%
- 5% of females reported a major depressive episode in 2020, compared to 6.2% of males.
Depression is treated in a number of ways, notably medication, psychotherapy, and alternative options such as Deep TMS™, VNS, DBS, ECT, TDCS, and MST. Each of these acronyms describes industry-accepted treatments for major depressive disorder. Be advised that the surgical treatment options for MDD can have serious, sometimes life-threatening, complications.
Nowadays, many psychiatrists, doctors, and therapists recommend non-surgical treatment for major depressive disorder, notably Deep TMS™ (transcranial magnetic stimulation) as an effective option. This treatment option uses a specialized H-Coil inside of a helmet reach deeper and over a wider area, into problematic areas of the brain thought to be responsible for depression. Over time, Deep TMS™ has proven to be an effective treatment for depression.
The data collected over the years (1990 – 2019) indicate a growing number of people suffering from depression in male and female genders. For example, in 1990, an estimated 3.05% of males and 5.04% of females suffered from depression. This rose sharply through 2010, when 3.66% of males and 6.15% of females were struggling with depression. Since then, the numbers have come down.
By 2019, 3.5% of males and 5.92% of females suffered from depression. The gender differences are consistent with worldwide patterns in depression incidence and reporting. It is believed that males tend to underreport symptoms of depression, primarily because of patriarchal systems and the attendant bravado. Females tend to seek medical treatment for issues more frequently than men, and consequently more incidents of depression are reported among females.
Depression with LGBTQ you and the attendant suicide risk/anxiety in the US 2020 – 2022
The data collected and published by John Elflein on Statista indicates that some 15% of LGBTQ youth attempted suicide in 2022. Some 45% considered suicide, while 58% had symptoms of depression. 73% of LGBTQ youth had symptoms of anxiety in 2022. These numbers are high, and point to the existing pressures in the community.
Census.gov – the US government official census website, reported that, ‘Regardless of Household Type, LGBT Adults Struggled More with Mental Health Than Non-LGBT Adults.’ The data compiled by the government found that there were higher rates of symptoms reported in the LGBTQ community than non-LGTQ adults. This was particularly true during the lockdown of the pandemic between 2020 and 2021.
According to the data compiled, between July and October 2021, 49.9% of LGBT individuals had symptoms of anxiety compared to 24.8% of non-LGBT people. By March-May 2022, the percentage of US adults with symptoms of depression in the LGBT community was 41.6%, while the corresponding percentage in the non-LGBT community was just 19.4%.
There are several reasons that may contribute to the increase in prevalence of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in the population. Some of these include:
- Increased awareness and understanding of MDD. This has led to more people seeking help and treatment for the condition.
- Changes in lifestyle and increased stress levels. These factors can trigger or worsen symptoms of MDD.
- Improved diagnosis and recognition of MDD. With better diagnostic tools, more cases of MDD are being identified.
There are a few things that can be done to make it more socially acceptable to come forward and get treated for depression. We can increase awareness about depression and its symptoms. This can help people understand that depression is a real condition that needs treatment. It’s important to continue working hard to reduce the stigma around mental illness. This will help people feel more comfortable seeking help for their condition. By encouraging open discussion about mental health. This can help normalize the experience of mental illness and make it easier for people to seek help.