Sad News for Sad People: Depression on the Rise in LA County
Feeling a little down, Los Angeles? You're not alone--alarmingly so. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says that there has been a significant increase in the percentage of adults who said that they have been diagnosed as depressed, according to a release issued today.The trend has been tracked over the decade, with the findings compiled in a report called "Trends in Depression: Shedding Light on the Darkness." Since 1999, when about 9 percent of the of the surveyed population indicated they had been diagnosed as depressed, the number of adults reporting they were clinically depressed has risen sharply by almost 50 percent, with nearly 14 percent of people surveyed saying they had been diagnosed as such.
Better reporting of depression may be the root of the increase. Identifying and treating depression is key for LA County residents, in order to reduce other health risks. “Quality and culturally-appropriate mental health care is important for the effective treatment of the diverse LA County population,” said Rod Shaner, MD, Medical Director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.
They urge anyone who believes they are suffering from depression to eschew the stigma that often accompanies mental health issues and seek treatment, and have abundant information and resources available for County residents.