Tennessee ranks number one in the nation in the percentage of residents suffering a major episode of depression in the past year, according to a report released Monday by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration.
While the reports claims 9.8 percent of the population had at least one episode, the figures may be misleading, said a Knoxville clinical psychologist.
According to Dr. Josh Williams, a newly elected board member of the Tennessee Justice Center, it’s possible the statistics may be high because depressed Tennesseans seek help more often than residents of other states.
“My hope is that, if we're making the diagnosis more frequently than other places, we're doing a better job of treating it,” Williams said.
As the nation begins to overhaul its health care system, Dr. Williams advocates sufficient funding for mental health treatment, and he says the need for help with depression is considerable.
“Depression is the most common disorder in all of psychology. Depression is part of the human condition,” he said.