Facts About Depression

Depression, a profound and often misunderstood condition, casts a shadow on the lives of many individuals and their loved ones. This deeply personal and subjective experience can manifest in various symptoms, including persistent sadness or hopelessness and an increased risk of developing a substance use disorder.

Whether you or someone you love is grappling with depression or seeking a deeper understanding of this complex condition, learning more about depression can serve as a guiding light.

We’ll offer facts about depression to shed light on statistics, symptoms, causes, and strategies for overcoming this condition. Our goal is to foster a comprehensive understanding of this common mental health condition and demonstrate compassion for sufferers. 

Fast Statistics and Facts About Depression

  • In 2020, around 14.8 million adults in the United States had at least one depressive episode with significant impairment in the past year.
  • It’s estimated that 4.1 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in the U.S. have had at least one major depressive episode.
  • About 5% of adults suffer from depression worldwide.
  • Over 25% of adults with severe mental health problems also have a substance use disorder.
  • About 49% of adults experiencing major depressive episodes do not receive treatment. 


Commonly Asked Questions

What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

There are many symptoms of depression, and not everyone will experience the same ones. However, common symptoms include the following:

  • Persistent feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, sadness, or tearfulness
  • Irritability or angry outbursts, even over minor matters
  • Loss of interest in some or all activities
  • Lack of energy or feeling fatigued
  • Easily overwhelmed, with even smaller tasks requiring extra effort
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Anxiety and restlessness
  • Persistent feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Recurrent or frequent thoughts of death or suicide
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Forgetfulness


The severity of symptoms can vary between sufferers. However, many people with depression experience symptoms severe enough to cause noticeable disruption in daily life, like school, work, relationships, or social activities. 

What Are the Types of Depression?

When exploring facts about depression, it’s essential to explore the many types of depression that plague sufferers worldwide. These include:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): MDD is the most common form of depression and involves a prolonged state of emotional and physical distress that significantly impairs daily functioning and quality of life.
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder: This chronic depression lasts at least two years. In some cases, persistent depressive disorder symptoms may be less severe than MDD but still cause distress and impairment in daily life.
  • Seasonal Depression: Also called seasonal affective disorder, seasonal depression involves MDD symptoms alongside seasonal changes. For example, many seasonal depression sufferers experience symptoms throughout autumn and winter.
  • Postpartum Depression: Postpartum depression is a common type of depression following childbirth. Symptoms are similar to MDD, but hormonal changes, the pressure of caring for an infant, and a persistent lack of sleep are typical causes.
  • Psychotic Depression: This form of depression includes the symptoms of a major depressive disorder but involves psychotic features like delusions, hallucinations, psychosis, or paranoia. 


What Causes Depression?

Experts believe a combination of risk factors causes depression, including hormones, genetics, and brain chemistry. Additionally, several risk factors increase the likelihood of developing depression, including these:

  • A history of abuse or trauma
  • The presence of other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • A family history of depression

Overcoming Depression

While understanding facts about depression can shed light on this multi-faceted condition, seeking treatment is essential if you suffer from it. Combining therapy, medication, lifestyle adjustments, and a strong support network can be a significant step toward managing and overcoming depression.

In addition to treating depression, if you or a loved one suffers from addiction, Buena Vista Recovery can help. The relationship between substance abuse or addiction and depression is complex and often intertwined. It’s not uncommon for individuals with depression to turn to substances as a means of self-medication, seeking temporary relief from emotional turmoil. 

Depression and substance abuse share many common risk factors, such as traumatic experiences, imbalances in brain chemistry, and genetic predispositions. Addressing depression and substance abuse concurrently is crucial for effective treatment. At Buena Vista, our personalized approach helps patients on the road to recovery with comprehensive treatment plans. 

If you or a loved one suffers from addiction, contact Buena Vista today for more information or to get started on the path toward life-long recovery.