The Lowdown on Depression

Presents a mental health index with statistics on the prevalence of depression. Percentage of families of depressed patients manifesting significant family dysfunction; Direct workplace cost of depression in terms of time lost per year; Rate of depression relapse for recovering patients; More.

By PT Staff, published March 1, 1993 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Percentage of families of depressed patients manifesting significant family dysfunction: 50-75%

Proportion of families that continue to have significant dysfunction even after recovery of depressed member: 40-50%

Strongest predicator of relapse among depressed patients from dysfunctional families: Amount of perceived criticism

Percentage of depressed women who report marital difficulties: 50%

Lifetime prevalence of major depression, for women: 7%

Direct workplace cost of depression in terms of time lost per year: Over 172 million days

Assuming treatment, amount of time it takes for recovery of work function: 4 to 6 months.

Difference in long-term symptomatic effectiveness between drug therapy and cognitive psychotherapy: None

Increase in average relative risk of major depression in each successively younger generation born since 1935, in the U.S.: 1.9

Increase in average relative risk of major depression in each successively younger generation born since 1935, in Florence, Italy: 2.6

Increase in average relative risk of major depression in each successively younger generation born since 1935, in Christchurch, New Zealand: 1.3

Age at which a Parisian born before 1925 acquires a one-in-ten risk of developing major depression: 55

Age at which a Parisian born since 1955 acquires a one-in-ten risk of developing major depression: Under 25

Percentage of depression patients who recovered following 16 weeks of drug or psychotherapy and remained well during 18 months of follow-up: 24%

Rate of depression relapse for recovering patients: 33% to 50%

Two-year incidence rate of major depression in the offspring of depressed parents: 8.5%

Mean time to recovery for offspring of depressed parents exposed to a divorce in the family, in weeks: 66.7

Mean time to recovery for offspring of depressed parents not exposed to divorce, in weeks: 29

Two-year relapse rate of depressed patients treated by medication: 50%

Two-year relapse rate of depressed patients treated by cognitive therapy: 21%

Sources: Ivan W. Miller et al., Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Vol. 101, No. 4); Jim Mintz, Ph.D., et al., Archives of Genreal Psychiatry (Vol. 49, No. 10); Cross National Collaborotive Group, JAMA (Vol 268, No. 21).