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6. Mental Health Problems

6.1 Serious Psychological Distress among Adults

Serious psychological distress (SPD) is an overall indicator of past year psychological distress that is derived from the K6 screening instrument for nonspecific psychological distress (Kessler et al., 2003). In the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the K6 scale is administered to adults aged 18 or older. Numerical scores derived from responses to these six questions range from 0 to 24. For this report, a score of 13 or higher is considered as having SPD (for details, see Section A.9 in Appendix A).

In 2006-2007, SPD was present in 11.1 percent of the population aged 18 or older and was statistically unchanged from the rate in 2005-2006 (11.3 percent) (Table C.23). West Virginia had the highest rate of SPD in the past year among persons aged 18 or older (14.4 percent), while Hawaii had the lowest rate (8.2 percent). Indiana, Tennessee, and West Virginia were in the top fifth for both age groups (18 to 25 and 26 or older) and among all persons 18 or older (Figures 6.1 to 6.3).

Hawaii, Vermont, and Washington showed significant declines in SPD between 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 among young adults aged 18 to 25. (Table C.23). In addition, the West region showed a significant decline among young adults aged 18 to 25. Kansas and Utah showed significant decreases among persons aged 26 or older and among persons aged 18 or older. No other changes occurred at the national, regional, or State level.

6.2 Major Depressive Episode

Major depressive episode (MDE) was derived from the criteria specified for major depression in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 1994). The MDE questionnaire module in NSDUH permits estimates to be calculated for lifetime and past year prevalence of MDE, treatment for MDE, and role impairment resulting from MDE. For this report, estimates were produced only for having MDE in the past year. For details on how MDE is defined, refer to Section A.10 in Appendix A.

In 2006-2007, 7.3 percent of all persons aged 18 or older experienced having MDE in the past year, which remained unchanged from the rate in 2005-2006 (Table C.24). Rates for the three age groups nationally were 8.0 percent among youths aged 12 to 17, 9.0 percent among young adults aged 18 to 25, and 7.1 percent among adults aged 26 or older (Table B.24).

For the 18 or older population, Tennessee had the highest rate (9.8 percent) of having MDE in the past year in 2006-2007, and Hawaii had the lowest rate (5.0 percent) (Table B.24). Seven of the 10 States in the highest fifth for past year MDE among persons 18 or older were also in the highest fifth for past year SPD (Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia) (Figures 6.1 and 6.4).

Nationally, there was a decrease among persons aged 18 to 25 who experienced MDE in the past year from 2005-2006 (9.4 percent ) to 2006-2007 (9.0 percent). In addition, there were decreases in MDE rates among youths aged 12 to 17 in Florida and young adults aged 18 to 25 in Massachusetts, Utah, and Vermont (Table C.24).

For details on the adult and adolescent modules for MDE, see Section B.4.5 in Appendix B of the 2007 NSDUH's national results report (Office of Applied Studies [OAS], 2008a, pp. 135-139).

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Figure 6.1 Serious Psychological Distress in Past Year among Persons Aged 18 or Older, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.1

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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Figure 6.2 Serious Psychological Distress in Past Year among Persons Aged 18 to 25, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.2

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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Figure 6.3 Serious Psychological Distress in Past Year among Persons Aged 26 or Older, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.3

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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Figure 6.4 Having at Least One Major Depressive Episode in Past Year among Persons Aged 18 or Older, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.4

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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Figure 6.5 Having at Least One Major Depressive Episode in Past Year among Persons Aged 12 to 17, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.5

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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Figure 6.6 Having at Least One Major Depressive Episode in Past Year among Persons Aged 18 to 25, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.6

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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Figure 6.7 Having at Least One Major Depressive Episode in Past Year among Persons Aged 26 or Older, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2006 and 2007 NSDUHs

Figure 6.7

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006 and 2007.

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