Who Has Depression?

Who is suffering from depression?

Depression is twice as common as diabetes, three times as common as cancer and more common than asthma. One in four people will suffer from some sort of mental illness at some time in their lives, while one in five people will suffer from depression.

At any one time about five percent (1 in 20) are suffering from severe depression. A further five percent of people are suffering from a milder form of depression.

Who are they?

  • It is often said that five times more women than men suffer with depression. This is true in the case of mild depression, but for more severe depression the figures even out between women and men. Overall, depression is twice as common in women as in men.
  • Depressed men are three times more likely than women to kill themselves.
  • Mothers of babies and young children.
  • Depression occurs in 15 percent of people over the age of 65. The most severe forms of depression are more common in middle and old age. The highest suicide rates are among the elderly, particularly those aged over 75.
  • People who have recently experienced a divorce, bereavement or other major life event, such as redundancy or moving house.
  • Men in certain jobs, such as farmers (including horticulturists, farm managers and male farm workers), are twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population. Doctors, veterinary surgeons, pharmacists and dentists are also at particular risk.
  • Adolescents (approximately three percent).
  • Children (about one percent).

Are there any other symptoms for depression?

Among people suffering with depression, other symptoms are also common:

  •  60-90 percent have symptoms of anxiety
  • 30 percent suffer panic attacks
  • 38 percent suffer obsessional symptoms
  • 27 percent have social phobia

Key Facts: Depression is common. In fact, one of the commonest of all medical conditions. Depression can affect anyone from all age groups and all walks of life, regardless of status, wealth, education, profession or external events. At any given time, about 4 – 10 percent of women and 2 – 4 percent of men will be suffering from depression. Depression is a serious illness and has far-reaching consequences. Rapid, effective treatment lessens the chances of recurrence.