363 Depression Over Time & Education

Research by Todd, M., & Teitler, J. (2018).

Written by Shannon Cantalupo, B.S.

Of all mood disorders, depression is the most prevalent and immobilizing, causing distress and higher suicide rates. What are the trends in its prevalence and its treatment for individuals with different levels of education attainment?

Researchers used the National Health and Nutrition Survey data collected from 5000 randomly selected persons every two years, between 2005 and 2014, totaling 30,000 adults. They reviewed information collected through interviews and depression symptom questionnaires, and determined, educational attainment, and participation in psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy.

Results? The prevalence of depression increased over time. Trends showed that those with less educational attainment increased depressive symptoms. Depressed women with more educational attainment remained stable, but educated men decreased in their depressive symptoms. Over time, men’s rate of participation in treatment increased while women’s didn’t. Women who were depressed and had lower educational attainment, received less treatment but men in treatment received the same amount as they had previously.

The most concerning results in this study were that depressed women did not increase their participation in treatment, despite US national health care policy changes designed to improve access to mental health care. Encourage those with depression to seek treatment.


Todd, M., & Teitler, J. (2018). Darker days? Recent trends in depression disparities among U.S. adults. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 3 – 10.

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