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6. Youth Depression

In past State small area estimation (SAE) reports, estimates for major depressive episode (MDE) and serious psychological distress (SPD) were discussed in the mental health chapter. To address the need of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) for estimates of serious mental illness (SMI), several important changes were made to the adult mental health section in the questionnaire for the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). These questionnaire changes caused discontinuities in trends for MDE and SPD among adults aged 18 or older; thus, these measures are not included in this report. For more information about these changes, see Appendix B of the 2008 NSDUH national findings report (Office of Applied Studies [OAS], 2009). For youths aged 12 to 17, no questionnaire changes in the MDE items were made; thus, this chapter will only discuss the findings for MDE among youths.

Whether an individual has MDE is determined from 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 module in the NSDUH questionnaire allows for the production of various estimates relating to MDE, such as lifetime and past year prevalence, treatment, and role impairment. 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 2007-2008, 8.2 percent of persons aged 12 to 17 experienced MDE in the past year, which remained unchanged from the rate in 2006-2007 (8.0 percent) (Table C.23). At the State level also, there were no significant changes between 2006-2007 and 2007-2008. In 2007-2008 among the 12 to 17 population, Wyoming had the highest rate (10.0 percent) of having MDE in the past year, and Maryland had the lowest rate (7.0 percent) (Table B.23).

Below is a map; click here for the text describing this map.

Figure 6.1 Having at Least One Major Depressive Episode in Past Year among Youths Aged 12 to 17, by State: Percentages, Annual Averages Based on 2007 and 2008 NSDUHs

Figure 6.1

Source: SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2007 and 2008.

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