Depressive is more common, and is starting earlier in life, than in past generations.
One study found that only 3.5 percent of newly diagnosed depressed patients received appropriate treatment.
The mortality rate for untreated manic-depressive illness is higher than that for most types of heart disease. Fifteen to 25 percent of people with untreated or poorly treated bipolar illness attempt suicide.
Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States.
In 2000, Steven Pliszka and colleagues reported that 42 percent of juvenile offenders they studied suffered from depression, mania, or bipolar disorder. S. L. McElroy and colleagues reported in 1999 that 61 percent of male sex offenders they studied suffered from a mood disorder, with 36 percent having bipolar disorder. In 1990, J. J. Collins and colleagues studied 1,140 incarcerated male felons and found "evidence of a direct relationship between a lifetime diagnosis of dysthymia [minor depressive symptoms] and an arrest or incarceration history for robbery as well as with multiple incidents of fighting since age 18." They also found that recurrent depression was significantly associated with a history of incarceration for robbery, and that "depression symptoms (regardless of whether a disorder diagnosis was made) were associated with multiple incidents of fighting since age 18."
Eighty percent of depressed individuals who do not receive treatment have poor outcomes. In addition to increased risk of suicide, they are at high risk for lost jobs, marital strife, and academic failure.
Depressive illnesses cost the U.S. approximately $44 billion annually. Of this, $24 billion is lost on absenteeism and low productivity.