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Study: Many Americans are depressed, but few seek treatment

A recently published report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics reached some rather startling conclusions concerning the rate of depression among the U.S. population, as well as the rate at which people are seeking the help they need.

As part of the report, the CDC researchers interviewed a nationally representative group of Americans who had previously agreed to take part in a broader ongoing survey being conducted by the federal government. Here, the researchers gauged the volunteers' experiences with both moderate and severe depression from 2009 to 2012.

They discovered the following:

  • Americans in their 40s and 50s had the highest reported rates of severe and moderate depression at 9.8 percent, followed by Americans between 18 to 39 years of age with a depression rate of 7.4 percent.
  • Women had higher reported rates of severe and moderate depression than men among all age groups.
  • "Serious difficulty" managing work, home and social activities was reported by 43 percent of people with severe depression, while "some difficulty" with these duties were reported by 45 percent of people with severe depression.

Perhaps most shocking of all, however, the CDC researchers found that only 35 percent of the people with severe depression and 20 percent of those with moderate depression actually sought some sort of comprehensive treatment, meaning a regimen of both medication and therapy from a mental health specialist.

What makes this study so significant from a disability perspective is that it serves to reaffirm just how incapacitating severe depression can prove to be.

In fact, those diagnosed with a crippling depression that has left them unable to work despite their best efforts need to know that they may be able to secure the financial help they need and deserve via Social Security disability benefits.

Indeed, an experienced legal professional can examine their case, outline their options as they relate to the SSDI program, and guide them through the entire process, including handling any appeals.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "7.6% of Americans are depressed, but few seek mental health treatment," Karen Kaplan, Dec. 3, 2014

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