## Depression Rates on the Rise in the US, CDC Study Finds
A new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that depression rates among adults in the US are on the rise. The study, which was conducted across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., found that nearly one in five American adults are diagnosed with depression. The findings were based on government data collected in more than 3,100 counties across the country in 2020 as part of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.
### Higher Levels of Depression Found in Low-Income Areas
The CDC reported that higher levels of depression were found in adults living in low-income areas and regions with higher poverty rates and lower education levels. The findings suggest that these factors can negatively affect health and wellbeing.
### Geographic Variation in Prevalence of Depression
The study also found considerable geographic variation in the prevalence of depression, with the highest state and county estimates of depression observed along the Appalachian and southern Mississippi Valley regions. Among the most affected states were West Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
### Nearly 74,000 Participants Reported Feelings of Depression
Out of all participants, nearly 74,000 reported feelings of depression, amounting to a weighted result of 47 million US adults (18.7%) who suffer from depression. The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, ranging from feelings of excessive guilt or low self-worth to hopelessness and suicidal thoughts.
### Covid-19 Pandemic Contributed to Increase in Depression Rates
According to Dr. Rebecca Brendel, president of the American Psychiatric Association, the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the increase in depression rates. “The fact that Americans are more depressed and struggling after this time of incredible stress and isolation is perhaps not surprising,” Brendel told CNN last month. “There are lingering effects on our health, especially our mental health, from the past three years that disrupted everything we knew.”
### Discussions of Mental Health Becoming More Mainstream
The study has a minor silver lining: it reveals that discussions of mental health are becoming more mainstream, meaning more people could seek the help they previously may have shied away from. While this will increase the rates of people diagnosed with depression, this could be a positive result long term. “We’re making it easier to talk about mental health and looking at it as part of our overall wellness just like physical health,” Brendel told CNN. “People are aware of depression, and people are seeking help for it.”