On its own, where you live isn’t enough to make you depressed. Personal circumstances and genes also play an important role in mental health, so an area that feels like a downer to one person may be home sweet home to another.
That said, mental distress is unusually and persistently common in some states, whether due to economic troubles, lack of access to health care, or other factors.
Using data from federal health agencies, Health.com has identified the 10 states with the highest rates of depression, psychological distress, and other indicators of poor mental health. Our own Mississippi made the list, which was printed in alphabetical order
The poorest state in the U.S., Mississippi ranks at or near the bottom on many health measures, from obesity to heart disease. Mental health is no exception. The state has the highest rate of depression in the nation (14.8 percent), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it has the third-highest rate of frequent mental distress (13.5 percent).
Indeed, the state’s many health problems may feed one another. “Depression can both precipitate and exacerbate the symptoms of a chronic disease,” Lela McKnight-Eily, PhD, a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist at the CDC, told Health.com in 2010.
Here are the rest of the states:
>> West Virginia