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  • Treatment Costs of Depression


    Depression is widespread and statistics suggest that percentage of depressed people throughout the world is growing. A survey done in America shows that nineteen percent of Americans suffer from depression at one or another period in their lives. Children, as well as the elderly are being affected by depression, just like the rest of us. Some statistics show that almost 50 percent of children and adolescents and 20 percent of adults have same symptoms of depression. Many kids don’t qualify for clinical diagnosis of depression, that said some of their problems are quite disturbing & are a major obstacle for them to be able to enjoy life. These kids eventually have high risk of becoming depressed adults. It has also been suggested that children born after 1960 are more prone to depression than children born before 1960. Hard to tell whether there is any evidence to back up such claims, since most of the depressed people in past decades have been undiagnosed & unreported, however, current life speed & pressure can be a cause of significant stress, which can contribute to higher percentage of people being depressed.

    There are some life quality & human life costs associated with depression, like the feeling of constant annoying sadness, feeling of isolation, self medication & substance abuse, inability to enjoy life and almost 35000 suicides yearly. People with depression issues are 30 times more likely to commit suicide compared to people who are not suffering from depression. Drug abuse & alcohol dependency have direct correlation with depression and they both can become cause of ruined lives & families, and in some cases death. These factors are giving us a definite reason to be worried about depression.

    Economic costs associated with depressive disorders are quite alarming as well.

    • There is quite a high number of medical disability caused due to depression between the age group of 14 to 44.
    • When a person is suffering from depression, he/she loses some 5.6 hours of productive work weekly.
    • Almost 80 percent of depressed people are unable to work efficiently.
    • During depression 50 percent of the work loss is due to absenteeism and short-term disability.

    It has been documented that people with depression symptoms are likely to take sick days 2.17 times more. At work they have hard time concentrating, are not efficient and they also unable to organize their work well. Work performance and absenteeism are directly related; the more severe is the depression, the more affected is the work performance. With this in mind, it’s not a surprise that the chance of being unemployed for a depressed person is seven times more.  A depressed person has almost seven non working weeks in a year, which causes a loss of almost 20 percent of potential income. Apart from all this there is also an increased medical cost which is also there to be taken care of. Due to depression there are millions of people who have become financially vulnerable & unstable. In 1998 average treatment cost per US patient was $11.000, medication constitutes only 2% to 11% of the total number.

    If we take into consideration the productivity loss and the medical expenses, it comes to $ 83 billion each year. There are a number of treatments for depression, which include speech therapy as well as medication, and for the most cases the mental illness can be managed successfully, however, in average a depressed person waits for almost 10 years before seeking treatment. Treatment onset at an early time of development of depression can greatly reduce many of these challenges.




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