• Major Depression Diagnoses Up 33 Percent Since 2013, Study Finds

Depression is soaring in all but one US state – and rates are climbing fastest among teenagers, data reveals

May 11, 2018

  • Rates of depression rose in every state but Hawaii between 2013 and 2016
  • Depression became more common in every age group and saw a startling 64 percent increase among 12- to 17-year-olds
  • All but 15 percent of people with depression insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield suffered from at least one other health condition in 2016
  • The latest data from the insurer suggests more screening is needed across the US to keep national life expectancy from taking a hit and to cut costs

Depression diagnosis is up 33% in the US, and that’s a good thing


Depression is on the rise in the United States. A quick glance at the data, which show rising diagnosis rates, could give the impression that a series of terrible events plunged millions of people into depression. (Those with different political ideologies will likely point to different events, but much of the data pre-date 2016, so the election can’t be entirely to blame.)

A more nuanced evaluation, though, suggests this isn’t a tale of increasing numbers of depressed Americans. Instead, it shows that people in the US are just as depressed as they ever were—but are increasingly seeking the treatment they need.

Major Depression Diagnoses Up 33 Percent Since 2013, Study Finds


May 14, 2018

The Details:

  • A study has found that major depression cases have risen by 33 percent since 2013
  • Teens and millennials are showing the largest jump in diagnoses
  • Doctors are looking at increased social media and electronics use as a cause

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), who insures over 106 million people, reports that major depression cases skyrocketed from 2013 to 2016. The jump is reportedly even more serious among children and young adults, with depression diagnoses rising by 47 percent in millennials and 63 percent in adolescents.

“The high rates for adolescents and millennials could have a substantial health impact for decades to come,” BCBSA chief medical officer Trent Haywood said in a press release.

The organization’s Health of America Report adds that more than nine million Americans with health insurance have been diagnosed with major depression.

Women were twice as likely to be diagnosed with major depression than men. The study found that depression was likely linked to other issues that the patient was dealing with, as 85 percent of people diagnosed were also suffering from another chronic condition too.


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