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Mild depression symptoms test, is depression a disorder - For You

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In any 2-week period, 5.4% of Americans 12 years of age and older experienced depression. Approximately 80% of persons with depression reported some level of functional impairment because of their depression, and 27% reported serious difficulties in work and home life. Only 29% of all persons with depression reported contacting a mental health professional in the past year, and among the subset with severe depression, only 39% reported contact. Non-Hispanic black persons had higher rates of depression than non-Hispanic white persons. In the 18-39 and 40-59 age groups, those with income below the federal poverty level had higher rates of depression than those with higher income.
Among persons 12-17 and 60 years of age and older, rates of depression did not vary significantly by poverty status. Overall, approximately 80% of persons with depression reported some level of difficulty in functioning because of their depressive symptoms. In addition, 35% of males and 22% of females with depression reported that their depressive symptoms made it very or extremely difficult for them to work, get things done at home, or get along with other people. More than one-half of all persons with mild depressive symptoms also reported some difficulty in daily functioning attributable to their symptoms. Among all people with depression - those with moderate or severe symptoms - 29% reported contact with a mental health professional. Among those with severe depression, only 39% reported contact with a mental health professional. Major depression is a clinical syndrome of at least five symptoms that cluster together, last for at least 2 weeks, and cause impairment in functioning. Depression was measured in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), a nine-item screening instrument that asks questions about the frequency of symptoms of depression over the past 2 weeks (11).

It is possible that severely depressed persons disproportionately chose not to participate in the survey or health examination, which included administration of the PHQ-9; therefore, the prevalence estimates in this report may slightly underestimate the actual prevalence of depression.
Depression severity was defined by various cut points from the total score from the PHQ-9 screening instrument (11).
The data do not indicate whether persons who contacted a mental health professional actually began treatment for depression.
It is treatable, but the majority of persons with depression do not receive even minimally adequate treatment (1). People have an episode of depression, get well, and may or may not have another episode later in their life. Successful depression treatment enables people to return to the level of functioning they had before becoming depressed.
Mood symptoms include depressed, sad or irritable mood, loss of interest in usual activities, inability to experience pleasure, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. In addition, people who were being successfully treated for depression would not be identified as depressed by the PHQ-9. A test for trend was done to evaluate estimates of contact with a mental health professional by depression severity.
Clinical and health services relationships between major depression, depressive symptoms and general medical illness.
Depression, disability days, and days lost from work in a prospective epidemiologic survey.
Minor depression in family practice: Functional morbidity, co-morbidity, service utilization and outcomes.
Depression is characterized by changes in mood, self-attitude, cognitive functioning, sleep, appetite, and energy level (2).

In 2005-2006, in any 2-week period, 5.4% of Americans 12 years of age and older had depression. Persons living in institutions, where rates of depression are higher than in the community-dwelling population, are not included in NHANES.
The World Health Organization found that major depression was the leading cause of disability worldwide (3). Females, people 40-59 years of age, non-Hispanic black persons, and people living below the poverty level had higher rates of depression than their respective counterparts. Physical symptoms include fatigue, lack of energy, feeling either restless or slowed down, and changes in sleep, appetite, and activity levels (2). Depression was defined as a PHQ-9 score of 10 or higher, a cut point that has been well validated and is commonly used in clinical studies that measure depression (11). Depression causes suffering, decreases quality of life, and causes impairment in social and occupational functioning (4). Depression is a condition that causes impairment in many areas of functioning - including school, work, family, and social life.
Depression is a major public health problem, and increasing the number of Americans with depression who receive treatment is an important public health goal and a national objective of Healthy People 2010 (10).
Studies have shown that a high number of depressive symptoms are associated with poor health and impaired functioning, whether or not the criteria for a diagnosis of major depression are met (6,7).

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