Seventeen million Americans are affected by depression each year. Does this reflect an increase in the condition?
“I do think that depression is on the rise,” says Michael McKee, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Psychiatry and Psychology and author of Stress and Your Body, And What to Do About It. One major factor: Americans’ ever-increasing stress levels. “Chronic stress can be a trigger for a depressive episode,” he says. Just how stressed are we? In a recent survey done by the American Psychological Association, 44 percent of Americans said their stress levels had increased in the past five years. Topping women’s list of stressors: worries about money, the economy, job stability, family, household, parenting responsibilities and being overscheduled.