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Ever had depression

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For sample adults age 18 and over, DEPRESSEV reports if respondents ever had depression. Beginning in 2019, if necessary, interviewers told respondents, "Some common types of depression include major depression (or major depressive disorder), bipolar depression, dysthymia, post-partum depression, and seasonal affective disorder."

The 2019 Field Representative's Manual defines depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) as "a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working."


Changes in question wording affect comparability over time. In 2008, depression was respondent defined and the condition did not have to be diagnosed by a health professional. Beginning in 2019, respondents were asked whether they had ever been told by a doctor or other health professional that they had depression.

Questionnaire design changes introduced in 2019 limit comparability with earlier years. The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 2008: Sample adults age 18+.
  • 2019-2020: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 2008, 2019-2020