Depression Facts: Remember You Are NOT Alone

Suicide is a permanent solution to a crisis point that will pass. If you need to speak with someone urgently, click the button for some resources that will help keep you alive.

Get Help

I love a good comeback. My opponent has six pieces to my four which includes his Queen. He thinks he’s got this. But he’s left me with both my Bishops. Deadly mistake. That’s like giving Tom Brady the ball back with 40 seconds left on the clock, worse if he’s down by 3 points because he’s not going for the tie.

Tom Brady is not my team’s Quarterback. Although he is, without question, one of the most talented to ever play that position, it is his remarkable ability to bring his team back from the brink of (near certain) defeat that is most impressive. And unless he is your Quarterback, you’ve experienced that sick feeling that comes over you when you see him strolling back onto the field and realize how much time he has left to kick your ass. Not that much is needed.

“Yep. Here we go. Again.”

When you enjoy sports, love for a team is a common way to feel like you belong. There are others that cheer and cry with you. Often, people you have never or will never meet. You instantly bond in your united fight against a common enemy. And you are stronger for it because you know, win, lose or draw, you are not alone.

Battling mental illness has the opposite effect. You feel alone and like no one understands you. A team of one, without a spiffy jersey. And you feel tremendously outmatched against the villains, marching toward you down the field.

Reality Check: You are not alone, and we have facts to back that up.

Many of them, so please be reassured.

Depression Facts

The World Health Organization states the following about mental health worldwide:

  • 20% of youth battle mental health issues and about half of mental disorders begin before the age of 14.
  • Over 800,000 people die due to suicide every year and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. There are indications that for each adult who died of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting it.
  • Mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Mental health is stigmatized differently throughout the world. Human rights violations of people with mental and psychosocial disability are routinely reported in most countries. These include physical restraint, seclusion, and denial of basic needs and privacy. Few countries have a legal framework that adequately protects the rights of people with mental disorders.

Specifically relating to Depression, Fact Retriever shares these important figures:

  • Even positive events such as graduating, getting married, a new job can lead to depression.
  • In established market economies such as the United States, depression is the leading form of mental illness.
  • As many as 15% of those who suffer from some form of depression take their lives each year.
  • Self-mutilation (cutting or burning) is one way in which individuals show they are depressed.
  • Because the brains of older people are more vulnerable to chemical abnormalities, they are more likely than young people to suffer depression.
  • During the Middle Ages, mentally ill people were seen to be under the influence of the devil or other evil spirits.
  • Approximately 80% of depression sufferers are not receiving treatment.
  • The average video gamer is typically a 35-year-old male who is most likely depressed, overweight, and introverted.
  • A depressed woman is more likely to give birth early, increasing health risks for both the woman and the baby.
  • Between 14 and 23% of pregnant women experience some sort of depressive disorder.
  • A recent Dutch study suggests that depressed dads are twice as likely to have an infant who cries excessively than dads who are not depressed.
  • Postpartum depression affects about 10% of new mothers, according to the National Women’s Health Information.
  • Patients with depression may develop agoraphobia or a fear of going out in public.
  • Depression is common among those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
  • Depressed individuals have two times greater overall mortality risk than the general population due to direct (e.g., suicide) and indirect (medical illness) causes.
  • Types of depression include major depression, dysthymia, adjustment disorders, and bipolar disorders. Within each of these main categories are several subtypes.

Anxiety Facts

Anxiety is thought to afflict up to 30% of people at some point in their lives. It comes in many forms. Here are some estimates from Calm Clinic on the likelihood of developing an anxiety disorder at some point in your life. (Note that this is data on adults only.)

  • Any Anxiety Disorder: 28.8%
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: 5.7%
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.6%
  • Panic Disorder: 4.7%
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: 6.8%
  • Social Phobia: 12.1%
  • Specific (Other) Phobia: 12.5%

Lastly, Do Something spotlights some other interesting data on anxiety:

  • Anxiety affects a sufferer physically as well as mentally. Some physical symptoms, especially during a panic attack, include shortness of breath, shaking, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, dizzy spells, and more.
  • Despite its high level of treatability through therapy and/or medication, 2/3 of adults with anxiety do not receive treatment. Teenagers with anxiety receive treatment even less frequently – only 1 in 5 teen sufferers get help
  • Biological factors contributing to anxiety are still being studied, but brain scans of people suffering from various anxiety disorders have often shown evidence of chemical imbalances.
  • Statistically, women are more commonly afflicted by anxiety disorders than men.
  • Rather than being simple fears, phobias are seriously debilitating, intense feelings of panic that cause sufferers to go to great lengths to avoid encountering the subject of their phobias, such as heights or tightly enclosed spaces.
  • Closely related to OCD are various ‘manias,’ or compulsions, which include, among others, pyromania, and trichotillomania. These are, respectively, the uncontrollable, continuous urges to start fires, pull out one’s hair, eyebrows, or eyelashes.
  • Those who suffer from anxiety are prone to suffering from depression simultaneously.
  • Although anxiety disorders can be triggered by extended environmental stress or traumatic life events, anyone can be afflicted with this form of mental illness.

Here at Sad Runner, we are so much more than people linked together by statistics. You’ll find a thriving community making each other stronger because we are together. There are others, like you, who need to feel understood. Let’s fight and let our united voices encourage, inspire and empower others who need a hand to pull themselves out of troubled waters. Let’s all help each other mount a comeback.

Diana Jordan
Diana Jordan

Diana Jordan is a writer, editor, and small business owner. Diagnosed with PMDD in her early 30s, she is passionate about helping end the stigma of mental illness and hopes to encourage others fighting it through Sad Runner. If she isn't writing, working, or beating someone at Chess, you'll find Diana cheering on the San Francisco Giants from her home in Canada alongside her husband, step-daughter, and Pearl, her superhero Persian cat.