Spokane, the second-largest urban center in Washington, is known for its vibrant cultural scenes, stunning natural landscapes, and thriving economy. However, a recent study by CEUFast, a nursing education website, revealed that it is also among the most depressed cities in the entire nation. While the Evergreen State offers numerous joyful living experiences, Spokane does not seem to be one of them. As the economic hub of eastern Washington, this revelation comes as a surprise and calls for immediate attention to the mental health of its residents.
How the Study Measured Depression
CEUFast conducted a study on depression rates in 200 cities across the United States, utilizing data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study focused on four primary indicators of depression.
- The percentage of adults who have received a diagnosis of depression from a healthcare professional.
- The percentage of adults who have endured frequent mental distress within the past month.
- The percentage of adults who experience poor physical health.
- The percentage of adults who suffer from poor mental health.
Based on the aforementioned criteria, the study computed a depression score for every city, where a higher score indicates a greater incidence of depression.
Why Spokane Is So Sad
According to the study, Spokane has a depression score of 76.6, making it the 15th most depressed city in the United States and the most depressed city in Washington. The study also found that 23.8% of adults in Spokane have been clinically diagnosed with depression, while 14.9% have experienced frequent mental distress. Additionally, 17.1% of the population struggles with poor physical health, while 17.8% deal with poor mental health.
Spokane is often associated with feelings of sadness and melancholy, and there are a number of factors that contribute to this reputation.
The median household income in Spokane stands at $53,274, which is lower than the national average of $62,843. Additionally, the poverty rate in the city is 16.5%, higher than the national average of 11.4%. The decline of Spokane’s manufacturing and mining industries, which were once the primary sources of employment for the residents, has contributed significantly to the city’s economic challenges.
Located in the eastern part of Washington, Spokane’s distance from major cities like Seattle and Portland creates a sense of isolation. With a population density of 3,526 people per square mile, the city has a lower density than the national average of 4,272 people per square mile. Additionally, Spokane’s high divorce rate of 13.7% exceeds the national average of 10.9%, contributing to feelings of loneliness and disconnection among its residents.
Seasonal Affective Disorder:
Spokane’s weather is characterized by cold and cloudy conditions, with an average yearly temperature of 50°F and an average annual rainfall of 17 inches. The city’s low sunshine rate of 47% implies that it receives less than half of the possible sunshine hours each year, which can affect the moods and energy levels of its residents, especially during the winter season.
How to Cope with Depression
Millions of Americans are affected by depression each year, a serious mental health condition that can cause persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and worthlessness. These symptoms can interfere with daily life and overall quality of life.
If depression is something you or someone you know is dealing with, there are ways to manage and overcome it.
Don’t suffer from depression alone; seek professional help. There are effective treatments available, including medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. A mental health professional can help you find the best treatment option for your situation and monitor your progress.
It’s common for depression to make you feel alone, but it’s important to connect with others for your mental health. Keep in touch with your loved ones or think about joining a support group. This way, you can share your thoughts and emotions with people who can relate to what you’re experiencing.
Take Care of Yourself: Depression can impact both your physical and mental wellbeing, making it crucial to prioritize self-care. Ensure that you eat a healthy diet, engage in regular exercise, get sufficient sleep, and stay away from alcohol and drugs. These healthy habits can boost your mood, increase your energy levels, and aid in preventing or managing other health concerns.
Find joy in activities: Depression can take away the joy and interest in activities that you once loved. However, engaging in positive activities can help you manage negative emotions and improve your overall outlook on life. It’s important to find something that brings happiness into your life, whether it’s a hobby, passion, or personal goal. Make it a goal to do something that puts a smile on your face every day.
Spokane may have a reputation as one of the saddest cities in the country, but this doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. The good news is that there are many resources and strategies available for residents to overcome depression and find happiness in their lives.
Spokane residents can improve their mental health and overall well-being by seeking help, reaching out to others, engaging in activities that bring them joy, and taking care of themselves. Although Spokane may face challenges, it also has many strengths, such as a rich history, diverse culture, and breathtaking scenery. It is important to note that Spokane is a resilient community, despite any negative perceptions.
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