Depressing news about depression this week: Less than a third of adult Americans with the mental disorder are receiving treatment for it, the New York Times reports. That’s the conclusion drawn from a large national survey of more than 46,000 Americans, who filled out a trusted questionnaire used to screen depression.
The results, published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine, show that about 8 percent of survey-takers fit the criteria for depression — and yet of those, only about 29 percent were being treated for it. (By “treatment,” the study authors meant taking an antidepressant or seeing a mental-health professional.)
It gets messier. This study also suggests that about 30 percent of those who are being treated for depression (by taking medication, for example), do not, in fact, have symptoms that meet the criteria for the disorder. Mental illness — depression, anxiety, and psychosis, too — is a huge problem, and this research underlines just how far we are from a solution.