Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Depression causes sadness, a lack of interest in activities, withdrawal from others, and little energy. Depression may also cause people to feel hopeless about their futures and even consider suicide as a solution. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States, as it carries the most substantial burden of disability among mental and behavioral disorders. In 2014, the NIMH estimates that some 15.7 million adults in the U.S. had at least one severe depressive episode in the past year. This number represented about 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults. Most people who experience depression need treatment to gain relief. The good news is that depression is very treatable. The VA estimates that about 1 in 3 Veterans visiting primary care clinics has some symptoms of depression; 1 in 5 has severe symptoms that suggest the need for further evaluation for major depression; and 1 in 8 had significant depression, requiring treatment with psychotherapy or antidepressants.