What is Depression

Depression is a common but serious medical condition. Symptoms may include sadness loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed loss of energy, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt, insomnia or excessive sleep, a change in appetite causing weight loss or gain, or thoughts of death or suicide. These could be depression symptoms if they interfere with daily life at home, at work, or with friends and last most of the day, neatly every day for at least 2 weeks.


Depression is the primary symptom for almost all behavior disorders. This is why SR Coaching has had the infrastructure for data collection from its introduction into psychiatric care in 1990. This is also why Step 1 of the Subconscious Restructuring program process establishes a baseline for your emotional state. This page presents a variety ofstatistics about Depression.

Depression in General

Clinical depression is an important health problem. The symptoms of depression include sad mood, loss of pleasure and energy, difficulty concentrating, as well as sleep and appetite disturbances. Estimates of the lifetime risk for clinical depression ranges from 5 – 12% in men and from 10 – 25% in women. In addition, the risk for relapse is 50 – 60% in individuals who have suffered from one major depressive episode, and the risk of further relapse increases with every episode, suggesting that relapse is a significant health care concern.

What Are the Signs of Depression?

At least five of the following symptoms for at least two weeks:

  • Depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in appetite or weight change
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Changes in activity (speeding up or slowing down)
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, self-blame
  • Decreased ability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Thinking about, or planning, suicide or death
Risk Factors

Research, to date, has established the following biological and psychosocial risk factors to be associated with the development of depression:

  • Genetic risk
  • Chemical imbalance and hormonal changes
  • Negative thinking and behaviour styles
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Early trauma and loss
  • Life events and hassles
  • Inadequate social support, social rejection, stress
  • Marriage and relationship issues

There is no single cause of depression and each risk factor should be given equal weight. The onset of depression results from complex interactions of various factors and it is near impossible to know what exact factors cause depression in any one person.

Depression in Canada

According to Health Canada and Statistics Canada, between 7.9% – 8.6% of adult Canadians will experience a major depression/anxiety at some point during their lifetime, and around 5% will in a given year.

Statistics Canada on Jan. 12, 2007, found that half a million Canadian workers experience depression and most of them — almost 80 per cent — say the symptoms interfere with their ability to work. 54% of people believe depression is a personal weakness.

80 per 100,000 population hospitalizations in Canada 1999 (Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Health Canada) Depression/anxiety continues to be Canada’s fastest-rising diagnosis. From 1994 to 2004, visits for depression/anxiety made to office-based doctors almost doubled. In 2003, that meant 11.6 million visits to doctors across Canada about depression/anixety.

Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with depression/anxiety. However, this may simply indicate that men are less comfortable seeking help or do not get an accurate diagnosis since depression/anxiety in men often manifests itself as a substance use problem. Men recently diagnosed with depression/anxiety are at double the risk of cardiovascular problems in the next five years.

Mental Health & Addictions in Alberta

Mental health and depression affects people here in Alberta. According to Alberta Health Services, there were more than 500,000 Albertans who saw a physician for mental health concerns. The number of Albertans who received addiction treatment services tally more than 36,000.


No one treatment is “the best” and most treatments have approximately equal outcomes. Combining treatments may improve the outcome and if one treatment doesn’t work, another may. Treatments for depression include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Cognitive therapy and behavioural therapy
  • Interpersonal, family and support therapy
  • Self-help strategies such as physical care (e.g., nutrition, sleep habits, exercise), improving social support and emotional self-care.

The earlier the depression is treated, the better the outcome. Inquire into Subconscious Restructuring today.

Depression and Antidepressant Medicines

Antidepressant medicines may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults. Depression and serious mental illnesses are the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions.

For more Information, see the Prescribing Information and the Medication Guide called Antidepressant Medicines Depression and Other Serious Mental Illnesses, and Suicidal Thoughts or Actions.

Canadians Most at Risk

Women are twice as likely to experience depression/anixety as men. Elderly women experience depression/anxiety more often than elderly men. Depression/anxiety occurs in about 15 percent of those over the age of 65. In Canada, suicide is the second highest cause of death for youth aged 10-24. Each year, on average, 294 youths die from suicide. Many more attempt suicide. Aboriginal teens and gay and lesbian teens may be at particularly high risk, depending on the community they live in and their own self esteem.

Depression in Women

Depression/anixety in women occurs most frequently between the ages of 25 and 44. Married women have higher rates of depression than single women, with depression most likely during childbearing years. Depression/anxiety is the leading cause of disability in women. Only one of every three depressed women will seek professional help. Almost 15 percent of women suffering from severe depression will commit suicide.

Depression in Men

Though women experience depressionanxiety at double the rate of men, men are three times as likely to commit suicide than women. Suicide is most common among men who are separated, widowed, divorced. One in seven men will develop depression/anxiety within 6 months of becoming unemployed. Retired men are also at an increased risk for depression/anxiety.

Depression and Divorce

According to Statistics Canada when a man’s marriage breaks down, he may be at higher risk of depression than people who remain together and women who divorce or separate. The study looked at the link between marriages that break down in separation or divorce and their effects on emotional health, using data from the National Population Health Survey.

Marital break-up was tied to risk for depression after taking into account other factors such as change in household income, social support or the number of children in the household, history of depression, education level and age, Statistics Canada said.

Considering that nearly 71,000 married couples divorced and thousands more separated in 2003 and the link between divorce and mental health problems, “these findings are relevant to population health,” the study concluded. Time did seem to help. More than three-quarters of those reporting a depressive episode in the two-year period after the break-up did not report another episode when they were re-interviewed after four years.

Depression in Children

Research indicates that the onset of depression/anxiety occurs earlier now than in past decades. During childhood, boys and girls experience depression/anxiety at about equal rates. Girls entering puberty are twice as likely than boys to experience depression/anxiety. Children with depression are more likely to have a family history of depression/anxiety.

A nationwide survey of Canadian youth by Statistics Canada found that 6.5%—more than a quarter million youth and young adults between 15 and 24—met the criteria for major depression in the past year.

Depression in America

Oct. 4, 2005 – More than one in 20 Americans has experienced major depression in the last 12 months and more than one in 10 has experienced the mental illness at some point in life, according to a new national survey.

The results show that for the first time, middle-aged baby boomers are more likely to have experienced depression than young adults, marking a major shift in depression age distribution.

Other groups more likely to report a history of depression include:

  • Women (Approximately 7 million women in the United States are clinically depressed)
  • Native Americans
  • Widowed, separated, or divorced men and women
  • Low-income individuals

Researchers also found that the average duration of a major depression episode was six months rather than the four months found in previous studies.

Major depression was defined as two or more weeks of persistent depressed mood accompanied by five or more symptoms of depression during that time, such as loss of interest in daily activities, changes in appetite, and feeling tired all the time.

Researchers say it’s the largest survey ever on depression and co-existing disorders and offers a better picture of how the mental illness affects Americans.

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, was based on analysis of data from face-to-face interviews with more than 43,000 adults as part of a 2001-2002 survey on alcohol and related conditions, including depression.

The results showed that 5.3% of U.S. adults experienced major depression in the 12 months preceding the survey and 13.2% had experienced major depression in their lifetime.

Americans Most at Risk

The highest lifetime risk of depression was among baby boomers aged 45 to 64, which researchers say is a shift from younger adults who were most at risk for depression in surveys conducted in the 1980s and 1990s.

The study showed that the risk of depression increases dramatically between ages 12 and 16, followed by a more gradual rise in risk until the early 40s when it begins to decline.

Researchers found about 60% of people with depression received treatment specifically for the disorder.

Other findings of the study include:

  • Of people with depression, nearly one-half said they wanted to die, one-third considered suicide, and about 9% attempted suicide.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, Native Americans had the highest prevalence of depression in their lifetime at 19%, followed by whites (15%), Hispanics (10%), blacks (9%), and Asian or Pacific Islanders (9%).
  • Current and lifetime depression was also frequently associated with alcohol or drug use, smoking, and other mental disorders, such as personality and anxiety disorders.
SOURCES: Hasin, D. Archives of General Psychiatry, October 2005; vol 62: pp 1097-1106. News release, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Mental Health Resources & Websites

Calgary Resources and Information on Depression

Canadian Mental Health Association

Mood Disorders Society of Canada:

Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada: