According to the World Health Organization, depression is estimated to affect approximately 340 million people worldwide, this being the world’s leading cause of disability and contributing significantly to the overall global burden of disease.
It is the most common of the disorders, in Europe, and estimates that 35 million people live with depression.
In its most extreme form, depression can lead to suicide. Around 800.000 people worldwide commit suicide each year, and suicide is the second leading cause of death among the 15- to 29-year-old age group.
In terms of sex, it affects approximately twice as many women as men; prevalence is estimated to be between 15 and 25% higher in women.
It is increasing in young people; 50% of cases start between the age of 20 and 40.
In Europe 1 in 10 people over the age of 75 suffer from depression
While there are effective treatments for depression, more than half of people with depression (and more than 90% in many countries) do not receive these treatments worldwide. Barriers include lack of resources, as well as stigmatization of mental disorders and inaccurate clinical evaluation.