Some facts and figures about depression

It is estimated that at any one time, almost 10% of the UKpopulation meet the criteria for mixed depression and anxiety. the figures differ by gender - men, 7%, women, 12.5%. ("The Management of Depression in Primary and Secondary Care, National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), 2004).

One in every four people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year (Mental

Around 1 in 20 people at any one time experience major or ‘clinical’ depression (Hale, A. 1997, ‘ABC of mental health: depression’ British medical journal, 315,  5 July pp. 43-46).

Almost 1 in 4 of workplace absences (23% ) have a psychological basis. Surveys of Psychiatric Morbidity in Great Britain, Report 3, Economic Activity and Social Functioning of Adults with Psychiatric Disorders, Office for National Statistics, 1995

As many as three in four cases of depression (up to 75% of cases) are neither recognised nor treated. Depression Alliance

Women are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men (29% compared to 17%). This could be because, when asked, women are more likely to report symptoms of common mental health problems. "Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health ff Adults In Great Britain", National Statistics (2003)

By the year 2020, major depression will be second only to chronic heart disease as an international health burden (this is measured by its cause of death, disability, incapacity to work and the medical resources it uses). The World Health Organisation

There are 30 working days lost due to depression and anxiety for every single day lost to industrial disputes. "Mental health at work—why is it so under-researched?" Jenkins J Occupational Medicine (London).1993; 43: 65-67.

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Common Triggers of Depression


Psychological Factors
Environmental /Genetic
Recent Bereavement
Relationship Problems
Recent or Older Trauma
Moving House
Stress at Work
Financial Problems
Family Issues
Low Self Esteem

Lack of Assertiveness


Being a victim of a Crime or an Accident
Family History of Depression



Seasonal Changes

Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Infectious Diseases eg some viruses


Heart Attack

Parkinson's Disease

(very rarely) Brain Tumour
Anti-hypertensives ('blood pressure' pills)
H2 blockers (prescribed for stomach acid control)
Oral Contraceptives ('the Pill')
Corticosteroids (Steroid-based anti-inflammatory drugs)

Although I have mainly focused here in this website on psychological causes of depression, environmental circumstances and/or genetic disposition, certain illnesses and medication can all cause, or impact upon, depression. 

Famous people who have suffered from depression

Artists (Van Gogh, Georgia O'Keefe, Tracey Emin, Francisco de Goya)

Actors (Audrey Hepburn, Halle Berry, Sarah Lancashire, Patsy Kensit, Jim Carrey, Courteney Cox, Anthony Hopkins)

Writers (Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath, JK Rowling, Raymond Chandler, Catherine Cookson, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka)

Philosophers (Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault)

Politicians (Alastair Campbell, Winston Churchill, Boris Yeltzin)

Musicians (Jon Bon Jovi, Mel C, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Beyoncé Knowles, Gustav Mahler,)

Sportspeople (Stan Collymore, Frank Bruno, Ronnie O'Sullivan)

Comedians (Ruby Wax, Caroline Aherne, Paul Merton, Stephen Fry)

Scientists ( Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Robert Oppenheimer)

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Use the links below and at the top to skip to a specific section.

Mild Depression

Moderate to Severe Depression

Differences between depression in men and women

Depression facts (you are here)

The Biological model of Depression and antidepressant medication

Depression symptoms (next page)

Test for depression

Different experiences of depression are discussed on the pages above, together with some of the therapeutic options relevant to each type.

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