Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some But Not Unhappy Statistics

It's been a long week for me. I'm tired and pretty stressed. Actually cried for a couple hours Wednesday afternoon. Between N's struggles and the other two being sick and my husband being back in school and me trying to be the writer that I'm not, well, things got pretty bleak for a day or so here. It feels like a cop-out, especially because I spent a lot time working on a post about gender and emotional support systems, but for today's Science Friday installment I'm just going to give you some interesting stats. I typically take statistics with a grain salt (numbers are too malleable; too much depends on the set up) but I think that it's good to be informed of them all the same.

* Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.

*Pre-schoolers are the fastest-growing market for antidepressants. At least four percent of preschoolers -- over a million -- are clinically depressed.

*30% of women are depressed. Men's figures were previously thought to be half that of women, but new estimates are higher.

* 54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness and 80% of depressed people are not currently having any treatment. (Now that's depressing!)

*Depression results in more absenteeism than almost any other physical disorder and costs employers more than US$51 billion per year in absenteeism and lost productivity, not including high medical and pharmaceutical bills.

(For sources and more information on any of these stats please click here.)

And finally, some food for thought from Judith Guest:

"Depression is not sobbing and crying and giving vent, it is plain and simple reduction of feeling...People who keep stiff upper lips find that it's damn hard to smile."
(oh, excuse her French.)


Courtney said...

I am sorry you had such a hard week. I know my hsuband starting school again was hard for me, its just the cahnge that throws me off, and sick kids just adds to the fun!
I hope next week the sun shines a alittle brighter in your window! :)

Misty Lynne said...

I love stats, but they DO need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Hope the sun Wednesday helped, though I crashed and burned Thursday with all three of my kids. I even started dreaming of putting them in public school. Gasp. :) Some days are just hard.

Kerry Blair said...


I do so love your blog ~ and you! I've been here for almost an hour now and found such joy and hope and love. Don't you ever dare say you are not a writer! Your gift is obvious to us all.