Health Status of Canadians 2016: Report of the Chief Public Health Officer - How are we unhealthy? - Mood disorders

How are we unhealthy?

Mood disorders

In 2014, just over 2 million or just under 1 in 10 Canadians said they had been diagnosed with a mood disorder by a health professional (see Figure 1)Footnote 1.

Figure 1: Just under 1 in 10 Canadians said they had been diagnosed with a mood disorder.Footnote 1

Mood disorders are among the most common types of psychological disorders in Canada. They can lead to stress, problems at work or with social relationships, as well as poor health and well-being.Footnote 2,Footnote 3

Over time, by sex, by age

The proportion of Canadians who said they had been diagnosed with a mood disorder has been increasing, from 5% in 2003 to 8% in 2014 (see Figure 2)Footnote 1.

Figure 2: Percent of Canadians who reported being diagnosed with a mood disorder, 2003-2014Footnote 1
Figure 2
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Line chart showing the percent of Canadians who reported being diagnosed with a mood disroder from 2003 to 2014.

  • 2003: 5.3%
  • 2005: 5.6%
  • 2007: 6.4%
  • 2008: 6.8%
  • 2009: 6.3%
  • 2010: 6.5%
  • 2011: 7%
  • 2012: 7.1%
  • 2013: 7.6%
  • 2014: 7.8%

The proportion of Canadians who report being diagnosed with a mood disorder is increasing for both men and women. Women are consistently more likely to report being diagnosed with mood disorders than men (see Figure 3)Footnote 1.

Figure 3: Percent of Canadians who reported being diagnosed with a mood disorder by sex, 2003 and 2014Footnote 1
Figure 3
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Bar chart showing the percent of Canadians who report symptoms similar to those of a mood disorder by sex in 2003 and 2014.

Men

  • 2003: 3.8%
  • 2014: 6%

Women

  • 2003: 6.7%
  • 2014: 9.6%

The proportion of Canadians reporting that they have been diagnosed with a mood disorder has increased in all age groups since 2003.Footnote 1

Percent of Canadians who reported been diagnosed with mood disorder by age, 2003 and 2014Footnote 1
  2003 2014
12 to 19 years 3% 5%
20 to 34 years 5% 8%
35 to 44 years 6% 8%
45 to 64 years 7% 10%
65 years and older 4% 6%

By income

In 2014, 14% of Canadians living in the lowest income households and 5% of Canadians living in the highest income households reported having symptoms similar to those of a mood disorder (see Figure 4)Footnote 4.

Figure 4: Percent of Canadians who report symptoms similar to those of a mood disorder by household income, 2014Footnote 4
Figure 4

Deciles (D) are calculated by dividing the Canadian population into ten groups of equal size (deciles) based on income.

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Bar chart showing the percent of Canadians who report symptoms similar to those of a mood disorder by household income in 2014. These data are divided into income deciles. Deciles are calculated by dividing the Canadian population into ten groups of equal size (deciles) based on neighbourhood income.

  • Decile 1 (lowest) = 14.4%
  • Decile 2 = 10.1%
  • Decile 3 = 8.2%
  • Decile 4 = 8.2%
  • Decile 5 = 6.6%
  • Decile 6 = 7.3%
  • Decile 7 = 6.2%
  • Decile 8 = 6%
  • Decile 9 = 5%
  • Decile 10 (highest) = 5%

Indigenous populations

Data on mood disorders in Indigenous populations are not directly comparable to the data described above. Data on mood disorders have not been collected at a national level for First Nations on-reserve.

In 2007-2010, First Nations living off reserve and Métis were more likely to report being diagnosed with a mood disorder than Inuit and non-Indigenous people.Footnote 5

Percent of Canadians reporting being diagnosed with a mood disorder at some point in their life, 2007-2010Footnote 5

Data presented in this table are adjusted by age. Indigenous populations tend to be younger than non-Indigenous populations which can affect the ability to compare data across groups.

First Nations off-reserve 12%
Métis 10%
Inuit 5%Table 2 footnote a
Non-Indigenous 6%

International comparison:

Data related to mood disorders are not collected such that they can be compared across countries.

Notes to the reader

  • Mood disorders are measured in Canadians aged 12 and over. Data presented in this section are based on whether or not people report having been diagnosed by a health professional with a mood disorder (such as depression, bipolar disorder, mania or dysthymia).Footnote 1
  • Indigenous populations consist of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.

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