Rates of diagnosable depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, are quite high in the general adult population. These rates are increasing, with Major Depressive Episodes reported by 6 percent of women and 4 percent of men at any given time.
Nearly 25 percent of women experience a Major Mood Disorder at some point in their lives– most commonly during the teenage to early adult years. It is reported that 15 percent of men experience a diagnosable mood disorder during their lifetimes. Read more about the depression rates in children.
Depression is especially common among women in their child-bearing years (20s-30s). Approximately eight percent of mothers are clinically depressed. This rate increases to 12 percent of mothers of newborn babies.
The course of Depression can vary widely. Individuals who suffer from Clinical Depression typically experience five to six episodes on average. For young mothers who have had at least one Major Depressive Episode this means they are at high risk for recurrences. Most depressive episodes can last six to nine months, although 20 percent last for two years or more.
It is important to know that depressed individuals tend to marry partners who also experience psychological difficulties or who have family histories of mental illness, making depressive symptoms more severe and marital and family disturbances more likely. This leaves their children at high risk for poor parenting from both parents.
— Dr. Patricia Turner, Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta