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Record High Depression

depressed white woman on a bed
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Depression is the US has reached record levels. According to the latest Gallup poll, “The percentage of US adults who report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lifetime has reached 29%, nearly 10 percentage points higher than in 2015.” This is a troubling statistic, especially at a time when the country is enjoying a level of prosperity.

Treatment for depression has also increased. “The percentage of Americans who currently have or are being treated for depression has also increased, to 17.8%, up about seven points over the same period.”

Those who were polled were asked, “Has a doctor or nurse ever told you that you have depression?” and “Do you currently have or are you currently being treated for depression?” The answers to both of those questions became part of the ongoing Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index.

It is also disturbing to discover which demographic groups showed the greatest increase in depression. More than one-third of women (36.7%) report having been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lifetime. Women (23.8%) and adults aged 18 to 29 (24.6%) also have the highest rates of current depression or treatment for depression.

Lifetime depression rates are also climbing among Black and Hispanic adults. In fact, these rates have now surpassed those of White respondents. In the past, White adults usually had marginally higher rates of both lifetime and current depression.

The reasons for rising depression are many: social isolation, loneliness, and substance abuse. Christians might add loss of meaning and rejection of the supernatural as other key factors. That is why I recommend that pastors and Bible teachers address the issue of depression and explain the medical, social, and spiritual factors to their congregation. This is an important issue the church cannot ignore.viewpoints new web version

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