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More Americans Face Depression Now Versus Five Years Ago
Posted on August 3rd, 2011

Mental health screening data collected in 2005 as compared to 2010 shows an increase in the number of Americans reporting symptoms of depression and other mood and anxiety disorders. The data, collected and analyzed by Screening for Mental Health, Inc.*, a nonprofit organization that provides mental health education, screening and treatment resources, also showed a 14% decrease in the number of Americans who are currently being treated for depression or who have received treatment in past.

Other key findings include:

•A 34% increase in the very likelihood of depression among men
•A 23% increase in the very likelihood for depression among Black or African American people
•A 49% increase in the very likelihood for depression among people who are divorced or separated
•A 15% increase in the very likelihood for depression among Hispanic and Latino people
•A 17% increase in the very likelihood for depression among people ages 18-25
•An 18% increase in women who scored positive for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder
•A 76% increase in people in the workplace being treated for generalized anxiety disorder

"The data is staggering and emphasizes the need to focus on screenings as a means to help people who may be suffering," said Dr. Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the founder of Screening for Mental Health. "Research supports the use of online mental health screenings with getting people into treatment. In an independent study we commissioned, 55% of study participants who completed an online depression screening sought treatment within three months of completing the screening."
Depression symptoms are present on an almost constant basis for two or more weeks and are often marked by a deep feeling of sadness or loss of interest or pleasure in otherwise enjoyable activities. Warning signs of depression include:

•Changes in appetite that result in weight losses or gains unrelated to dieting
•Insomnia or oversleeping
•Loss of energy or increased fatigue
•Restlessness or irritability
•Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
•Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
•Thoughts of death or suicide or attempts at suicide

A video of Dr. Jacobs discussing the warning signs of depression is available at

About Screening for Mental Health

For two decades, Screening for Mental Health has worked with organizations to provide mental health education and screening programs, including National Depression Screening Day®, National Alcohol Screening Day®, and the National Eating Disorders Screening Program®. These programs are designed to educate, reduce stigma, and screen people for mood and anxiety disorders, alcohol problems and eating disorders.

National Depression Screening Day is October 7th, and through this program individuals have the opportunity to take a take a free, anonymous mental health screening. Individuals can locate a screening site by visiting , or take the screening any day of the year at .

For more information about Screening for Mental Health, visit or find them on Facebook at and Twitter

*Data compares individuals who self-selected to take an online mental health assessment in 2005 to those who took it in 2010.

Posted in Depression    Tagged with Depression, depression screening, mental health screening