Why Depression is So Common | Banyan Mental Health
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Why Depression is So Common

Depression, also referred to as major depressive disorder, is a serious mental disorder that negatively affects how you think, act, and feel.

Depression can induce feelings of extreme sadness, which can cause changes in a person’s character and how they treat themselves and others. People who suffer from depression may feel isolated and lonely, and their relationships with friends and family may suffer. This medical illness can lead to additional emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at home or work.

At Banyan Mental Health, we provide treatment for depression to those who are battling with this disorder.

Signs of Depression

It may be difficult to recognize the signs of major depressive disorder in yourself and your loved ones. Being able to identify the beginnings of this disorder can help us better understand why depression is so common. This disorder can sneak up on a person before they realize the changes it’s made in their thoughts and behavior.

Some signs of depression to look out for include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble remembering
  • Fatigue
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Sleeping too often or not at all
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyable
  • Overeating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Aches that don’t seem to go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t seem to go away
  • Constant feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

If you recognize the signs of depression in yourself or someone you know, get help in our partial hospitalization program for mental health.

Is Depression More Prevalent Today?

As society continues to shift and change, stress and depression now seem to be more common. As mental health cases increase, many are left wondering: are people more depressed now? Although it’s tempting to answer “yes”, you should keep in mind that mental health wasn’t always a common, or even acceptable, topic of conversation. It’s only in the last decade or so that mental health is widely expressed, and only recently have people become more willing to discuss their own struggles with mental illness. The rise in the cases of major depressive disorder may result from a combination of social and technological advancements.

A study published in the Social Indicators Research Journal reported that college students in the 2010s were 50 percent more likely to feel overwhelmed than college students in the mid-1980s. The same study also reported that adults were more likely to say their sleep was restless, that they had poor appetite and everything they did required a lot of effort, which are all classic psychosomatic symptoms of depression.1 These results are some of the many that show the increase in individuals who suffer from a major depressive disorder. Fortunately, programs like our mental health residential program are available to help.

Why Is Depression So Common?

There are many reasons that could explain why depression is so common now. Two main factors contributing to the rise in the number of people with depression are social media and the home environment.

Social Media

Interacting with others without physically meeting has been made possible with technology and social media. Nowadays, people don’t have to meet face-to-face to communicate anymore. Instead, they can text, email, call, or even video chat each other. The way we communicate with each other has been affected by this advancement. Although social media allows people to communicate with anyone who has social media of their own, its use also promotes the importance of acceptance from online peers. People have become focused on the number of likes, comments, and shares they get on their content. Social media users are now heavily relying on the opinions of their online peers for self-satisfaction.

Social media also serves as a platform on which people from all around the world can talk about their mental illness. This commodity was not always available, and mental health was not always an acceptable topic for public discussion. In addition to the peak in people with major depressive disorder, it is now being widely discussed without restrictions from social or environmental pressures.

Home Environment

Divorce is also a component of the reason why depression is so common. According to research conducted at the University of Minnesota, demographers found a significant increase in divorce rates between 1990 and 2008. These rates have since doubled in the past two decades.2 Another study reported that in 1970, 84 percent of children lived with their married biological parents, whereas by 2009, only 60 percent of children lived with their biological parents.3 These children grow up experiencing social and cognitive difficulties, like problems with learning, as a result of experiencing divorce and brokenness in their homes. These children eventually grow up to be adults who develop or struggle with mental health issues.

To find out more about how we can help you overcome mental illness, call us now at 888-280-2360.


  1. RG- Time Period and Birth Cohort Differences in Depressive Symptoms in the U.S., 1982–2013
  2. NCBI- Breaking Up Is Hard to Count: The Rise of Divorce in the United States, 1980–2010
  3. NCBI- The impact of family structure on the health of children: Effects of divorce
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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