“Like any other form of medical illness or disease, major depressive disorder results in a good deal of suffering, incapacity and, often, vocational disability,” says psychiatrist Ronald Pies, a professor at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse and Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston.
About one in 14 adults in the United States are depressed. That is about 16 million Americans. In addition, some 2 million adolescents from age 12 to 17 deal with depression. Pies says people with depression are at increased risk for cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and suicide.
He says depression is likely to become the leading cause of disability in the United States and other high-income countries within the next 20 years, according to researchers at Harvard University and the World Health Organization.
Also this week, physical therapist Dale Avers tells how to stave off Alzheimer's disease through exercise.