The Geography of Depression
December 10, 2013
by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia shows that rates of depression vary significantly from country to country—and patterns of depression worldwide can be quite surprising. The highest rates were reported in the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Europe, where more than 5 percent of the population suffers from depression. The lowest rates were in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia/New Zealand. The least depressed country is Japan, with a rate of less than 2.5 percent. On average, approximately 4 percent of the world’s population has been diagnosed with depression. The study also calculated the “burden of depression” for each country, that is, the number of healthy years lost to depression or depression-related premature death. Using this metric, depression becomes the second-leading cause of disability worldwide.
The authors of the study caution that their findings were based on preexisting data on the prevalence, incidence, and duration of depression; therefore, factors such as access to diagnosis and cultural attitudes about mental illness may have skewed results. The authors of the study also said that reliable surveys from some poorer countries were not available.
The Washington Post created a
map of clinical depression rates
based on the Queensland study; click on the link to learn more about these findings.
Share this post:
burden of depression
rates of depression worldwide
Could a Blood Test Diagnose Major Depression in Teens?
Researchers at Northwestern University Medical School have suggested that depression in teens could be diagnosed with a simple blood test. Their study, published in the April 17, 2012 issue of Translational Psychiatry, identifies 11 biomarkers for early-onset major depressive disorder—one of the most common yet debilitating mental illnesses among young people. If the results are confirmed in larger populations, diagnosis could become a much simpler process, and one that might help teens avoid some of the stigma currently associated with a depression diagnosis. Early-onset major depressive disorder is a serious mental illness that affects mainly teenagers and young adults. Although 2 to 4% of cases are diagnosed before adolescence, the numbers increase dramatically to 10-25% with adolescence, according to lead researcher Eva Redei, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Not diagnosed, depression affects how teens relate to others. The No. 1 cause of death among the depressed is suicide,” explained Redei in a recent interview with CNN. “If teens are depressed and not treated, there can be drug abuse, dropping out of ...
Vulnerability to Depression: Can It Be Contagious?
Researchers have found that college roommates of students who demonstrate vulnerability to depression are more likely to develop that vulnerability themselves over time. The research, conducted by psychologists Gerald Haeffel and Jennifer Hames of the University of Notre Dame, was published in the April issue of Clinical Psychological Science. Haeffel and Hames examined “cognitive vulnerability,” which they call “a potent risk factor for depression.” Those with cognitive vulnerability tend to interpret stressful life events as the result of factors over which they have no control; they see these events as a reflection of their own deficiencies. Cognitive vulnerability is normally quite stable in adulthood; however, the researchers wanted to examine whether it might be “contagious” during periods of major life transitions—like starting college. The research involved 103 randomly assigned roommate pairs who had started college as freshmen. When they arrived on campus, the participants completed an online questionnaire that included measures of cognitive vulnerability and depressive symptoms; they completed the same survey twice more, at 3-month and 6-month intervals, when they also answered questions about stressful life events. The results showed that ...
Upcoming Webinar: An Innovative Approach to Treating Depression
One in 10 American adults experienced depression in 2010, making it one of the most common complaints of those seeking therapy services. In her October 11 webinar, "An Innovative Approach to Treating Depression," PAR author Dr. Lisa Firestone will present a method for helping treat depression that encourages clients to identify and combat their self-destructive thoughts. According to Dr. Firestone, when someone is depressed, the hopelessness they feel clouds the lens through which they see the world; this lens is most harsh when it is turned on themselves. To begin challenging the roots of depression, therapists must help clients identify their self-destructive thoughts (“Critical Inner Voices”) and learn to take action in their own self-interest. In this webinar, Dr. Firestone will introduce a cognitive/affective/behavioral modality for bringing these thoughts to the surface, separating from them, and taking action against them. Clinicians will learn how to help clients challenge their Voices, show more self-compassion, and strengthen their sense of self. To register for this webinar, click here. The webinar will be held October 11, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST, is worth ...
Signs of Depression on Facebook?
A new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health suggests that Facebook may be a potential tool in finding individuals who are suffering from depression. However, study authors say that it should not be used as a substitute for clinical screening. Researchers analyzed the Facebook profiles of 200 college sophomores and juniors. Twenty-five percent of the students exhibited one or more symptoms of depression through their online activities, whether those were references to decreased interest or pleasure in activities, a change in appetite, sleep problems, loss of energy, or feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Only 2.5 percent of the profiles displayed enough information to warrant screening for depression. One of the most interesting findings? Students who complained of depression symptoms often had others in their social networks reach out to help them.
Non-Medical Prescription Drug Abuse Linked to Depression and Suicide in College Students
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling painkiller use in the U.S. a “public health epidemic.” A new study found that non-medical drug abuse is linked to depression and suicide in college students. Keith Zullig, PhD, from West Virginia University and Amanda Divin, PhD, from Western Illinois University conducted a study analyzing non-medical drug use among college students and its relationship to symptoms of depression. Zullig and Divin analyzed data from the 2008 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (ACHA-NCHA). ANCHA-NCHA asked 26,000 randomly selected college students from 40 campuses in the U.S about their non-medical drug use including painkillers, stimulants, sedatives, and antidepressants, along with their overall mental health in the last year. The study, entitled “The Association between Non-medical Prescription Drug Use, Depressive Symptoms, and Suicidality among College Students” appears in the August 2012 issue of Addictive Behaviors: An International Journal. Authors reported that 13 percent of respondents who felt hopeless, sad, depressed, or were considered suicidal were using non-medical prescription drugs. The results were especially apparent in college females who reported painkiller use. Authors ...
Social/Emotional Evaluations: Unraveling the ED/SM Dilemma Part 2
Last week, we presented the first part of a two-part series on unraveling the ED/SM dilemma. This week, we talk to the experts on how to use various assessments to evaluate emotional disturbance and social maladjustment. Catch up on last week's blog here. School staff members often have difficulties when it comes to assessing a student who may have emotional disturbance (ED), and getting hard data to back up the decision can be just as difficult. PAR spoke with experts in the field about the use of various instruments that have proven to be useful in gathering the hard data needed in order to make an informed decision about ED eligibility. Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF2) Peter K. Isquith, PhD, is a practicing developmental school neuropsychologist and instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He’s the coauthor of the BRIEF2, the new BRIEF2 Interpretive Guide, and the Tasks of Executive Control (TEC). PAR: Why would it be helpful to include a measure of executive functioning in the assessment of a student being evaluated for an ED eligibility? PI: In general, ...
About PAR (60)
Community PARtners (24)
Meet the Author (23)
New Products (80)
PAR Author (63)
PAR Staff (37)
Sometimes a screener is just what you need
ASCA: On the way to LA!
Now available: Two trauma screening forms for children!
Development of a novel approach to assessing reading comprehension
PAR exhibits at two conferences this week!
Read More »
career interest inventory
post-traumatic stress disorder