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Who gets depressed?

Depression can strike anyone regardless of age, background, socioeconomic status or gender.  It does not care who is sweeps up in its path.

The most common time of onset is between the ages of 30 and 40, with a later peak between 50 and 60, and the condition appears to be more common in women.

Depression is quite a common condition, and about 15% of people will have a bout of severe depression at some point in their lives. However, the exact number of people with depression is hard to estimate because many people do not get help, or are not formally diagnosed with the condition.

Most of the 5,000 suicides committed each year in the UK are linked to depression. On average, 15% of people with recurrent depression (repeated attacks) have an increased risk of suicide.

Women are twice as likely to suffer from depression as men, It may be that depression in men is harder to spot because they are less likely to talk about their feelings. Men are far more likely to commit suicide.

Depression can affect people of any age, including children. Studies have shown that 2% of teenagers in the UK, are affected by depression.
People with a family history of depression are more likely to experience depression themselves.

THE FACTS:

  • Depression is very common.
  • Between 5 and 10 per cent of the population are suffering from the illness to some extent at any one time.
  • Over a lifetime you have a 20 per cent, or one in five, chance of having an episode of depression.
  • Women are twice as likely to get depression as men. Depression is more common in women than in men, though its most dramatic outcome, death by suicide, is more common in men.
  • Bipolar affective disorder is less common than depressive illness with a life-time risk of around one to two per cent. Men and women are equally affected.
  • It is estimated that close to 10% of the population has a depressive disorder.
  • Women experience depression at roughly twice the rate of men
  • Over 6% of adults 18 and older suffer from a major depressive disorder in a given year. Click here for Mental Health Resources for students.
  • While major depressive disorders can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.
  • It is estimated that close to 3% of the population has a bipolar disorder with the median age being 25.
  • 2.5% of children suffer from depression.
  • Two-thirds of children with mental health problems do not get the help they need.
  • 80% of people who get help for their depression have a better quality of life.
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