Mental Health

Depression is complicated – this is how our understanding of the condition has evolved over time

Scientists have the tools to understand depression more accurately today than they did in the past. Image: Unsplash/Gadiel Lazcano

Saloni Dattani

Researcher, Our World in Data

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a chart showing results of a questionnaire the different depressive symptoms across the total US population
Over half of respondents in this questionnaire experienced the depressive symptom of low energy. Image: Our World in Data

this chart shows how people with depression experience different combinations of symptoms
Depression is complicated and can present as a combination of symptoms. Image: Our World in Data

charts showing that depression scores tend to decline over time
The symptoms of depression change over time. Image: Our World in Data

a chart showing how long is takes people to recover from depression
In this study, it took the average person two to three years after their first depressive episode to have a year without depression. Image: Our World in Data
a chart showing the share of people who have a recurrent episode of depression
People's experiences of depression recovery varied widely. Image: Our World in Data

a chart showing the age of onset of mental health disorders
There is a great deal of variation shown here. Image: Our World in Data

a chart showing the cycles and stages of depression
The cycles and stages of depression. Image: Our World in Data

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