How Common is Depression and Anxiety
Written by WinGate Therapy, in Section Parent Resources
Talking about mental health can be challenging.
One thing to keep in mind is that mental health concerns are not unusual. Many people deal with them over the course of a lifetime.
Though there is no “typical” experience when it comes to mental health, there are two many people find familiar: Anxiety and depression.
Both anxiety and depression are extremely common, and they often appear together.
These conditions can arise at any time of life, from early childhood through adulthood. The odds are good that, even if you never experience them, you know someone who has.
Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions around these issues. It can be especially hard to understand why they arise in adolescents and teens. Remember, the experiences young people have when suffering anxiety and depression are, in all respects, almost identical to those of adults.
Just how common are anxiety and depression? Let’s take a look at the truth.
How Common is Anxiety?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most frequently seen mental illness in the United States. They affect about 40 million U.S. adults, just over 18% of the total population, every year.
Although anxiety is a fact of life for many people, they do not always receive the care they need. It’s estimated that just under 37% of sufferers will actually get medical care for an anxiety disorder. This contributes to a much higher risk of psychiatric hospitalization.
Some widespread anxiety disorders include:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD presents as a pattern of persistent and disturbing worries about a range of topics. The topics vary by individual and may change over time. For a diagnosis, the sufferer must report difficulty controlling worry at least 50% of the time for at least six months.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
Social Anxiety Disorder is likely to arise early in life, typically around age 13, and it affects both women and men equally. It presents as intense fear of being judged or rejected in social situations. Social situations may seem like insurmountable challenges and produce severe stress.
Panic Disorder (PD)
Panic Disorder typically begins in adulthood, after the age of 20. Patients experience sudden and intense panic attacks that may seem to have no obvious cause. They can also develop significant anxiety around the possibility of recurring attacks, adding to a sense of long-term unease.
Phobias are intense fears that center around a single object or experience, such as agoraphobia (fear of public places.) They are most likely to begin in childhood. The sufferer is aware his or her fear is irrational, but has severe, prolonged fear responses to the object of the phobia.
How Common is Depression?
In any given year, about 16.2 million adults – over 6.5% of the population – have a major depressive episode. Overall, more than one in six people will experience depression at some point in life: About 16.6% of the population.
Experts estimate 2%-3% of children aged 6-12 and 6%-8% of teens may have severe depression. In a recent year, nearly three million adolescents aged 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode in which at least five of nine major symptoms was present.
These include things like depressed mood, loss of interest in normal activities, weight changes, sleep changes, agitation, fatigue, excessive guilt, impaired thinking, and suicidal thoughts. To meet the definition, an episode must last at least two weeks.
Teens and adolescents can ease the burden of anxiety and depression with the life lessons they learn at WinGate Wilderness Therapy. To find out more, contact us today.