Researchers estimate that in the United States, around 12 million women and 6 million men suffer from depression every year. This is about 8 percent of the total population.
Depression can strike anyone, regardless, gender, ethnic background, social or economic status, or age.
Although it is more likely to occur during middle age, depression can also affect the young and old. Studies show that one in every five children will experience depression before adulthood. Currently, 1 in 16 Americans over the age of 65 suffers from full-blown depression. Another 2 in 16 suffer from a less severe form of the illness known as dysthymia.
About 15 out of 100 people will experience at least one episode of depression during their lifetime. To put these numbers in perspective, more people suffer from depression than have heart disease and cancer combined.