You always hear people say that happiness is a state of mind. And that's true. If you're not happy here, you can't be happy anywhere. But it's also true that there are some places in the country that have higher rates of depression cases.
While personality and circumstances vary from one person to another, it's believed that poor health care and unsanitary living conditions can contribute to the development of depression disorder. Here's a look at the top most depressing states in the US.
Arkansas is often number one on the list of most depressing states. It has a very high rate of mental health problems, particularly among young adults. It is for this reason that the first lady of the state, Ginger Beebe, went on a "listening tour", talking to parents and families of mental illness patients.
Slow economy, high rate of unemployment, and poor mental health care are the reasons Indiana places second on this list. Not to mention, there is also a shortage in psychiatrists due to the state's very low budget. Because of this, mental health cases are not given the proper attention they require.
Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. It also hits rock bottom on almost every aspect of health care from heart disease to diabetes to mental illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mississippi has the highest rate of depression at 14.8 percent. It also has the third-highest rate of mental stress at 13.5 percent. Depression can aggravate symptoms of chronic diseases.
With its glitz and glamour, it's hard to imagine Nevada taking a place in this list. Las Vegas, in particular, is known for its gambling and partying that evoke a fun and carefree lifestyle. But what also happens here is the chronic cases of depression. About 1 out of 11 residents of Nevada experiences major depression every year. This is especially true after the economic crisis hit the state. Budget cuts of tens of millions of dollars make matters worse.
Poor mental health along with unemployment and drug abuse contributes to the prevalence of depression in this state. When a person doesn't have a job to support his/her family, it's more likely for him/her to succumb to depression than a person who has a well-paying job. The depression and everyday stress can lead to substance abuse.
One look at Oklahoma and you can easily guess the root of depression in this state. Flat barren landscape, weary weather, and high poverty rates are the obvious causes. Apart from these, the state also has very low rates of health insurance coverage. It's not a surprise that the state's official rock song is just as depressing. The song entitled "Do You Realize?" by Flaming Lips has lyrics that denote sadness "Do you realize that happiness makes you cry? Do you realize that everyone you know someday will die?"
Some parts of Michigan suffer from unemployment rate as high as 20 percent. Joblessness along with other misfortunes contributes to the psychological fallout in the state. Lack of mental health care further worsens the condition.