Depression Symptoms Prevalence Tripled: Controversy in Psychiatry Re-emerged

According to a study published on JAMA, a journal database by the American Medical Association, depression symptoms prevalence tripled among U.S. adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey study compared results from 5065 participants before the pandemic and 1441 participants during the pandemic using the Patient Health Questionnaire–9. Researchers showed that the low-income populations or those who had savings less than $5000 or were exposed to more coronavirus-related stressors are prone to exhibiting depression symptoms.

While the presence of such symptoms does not equate with the diagnosis of major depressive disorder, it does shed light on the long exiting controversies within the academia of psychiatry: How should psychiatrists draw the line between normality and mental illness?

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