Depressive disorder, frequently referred to simply as depression, is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch. It’s a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and medical care. Left untreated, depression can be devastating for those who have it and their families. Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and a treatment plan consisting of medication, psychotherapy, and healthy lifestyle choices, many people can and do get better. Some will only experience one depressive episode in a lifetime, but for most, depressive disorder recurs. Without treatment, episodes may last a few months to several years.
More than 17 million U.S. adults—over 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
People of all ages and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds experience depression, but it does affect some groups more than others.
Combined, depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.
People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population.