Clinical depression is now recognized as one of the most common mental health disorders plaguing society today. According to an American Psychiatric Association report (1994), up to 3% of men and 9% of women, roughly about 16 million people, in the United States suffer from the symptoms of major depression at any given time. In the United Kingdom estimates are somewhat higher, where 6% of men and 12% of women, upwards of 4 million people, are depressed (Milligan & Clare, 1994). So prevalent is depression among the adult population that 1 in 20 people are currently suffering from the symptoms of a mood disorder (Milligan & Clare, 1994). Furthermore, there is also evidence to suggest that the number of depressed people is on the rise. Since the Second World War, researchers have estimated that there are now ten times as many depressed patients as ever before (for example, see Seligman, 1989a), and it is now accepted that 1 in 5 people will develop depressive illness in their lifetime. It should not be surprising then that mood disorders are often referred to as the “common cold of psychology” and a “psychiatrist’s bread and butter.”
KeywordsHealth Care Professional Depressed Patient Mood Disorder Antidepressant Drug Emotional Symptom
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