It's hard to say, Dr. Saltz says. "There's always been a lot of depression. It just hadn't been recognized. From bad humors in the body and melancholia, it's been talked about in history but never understood as a medical illness," she says.
Although modern society has a number of conveniences, Dr. Saltz notes that today's sense of competition can prevent people from asking for help. "Which doesn't jibe so well with reaching out to others and saying, 'You know what? I need help. I'm not doing so hot,'" she says. "And frankly, that really prevents people from seeking help and saying things are not okay by me."
More on Depression