You are hereDepression Strikes Every Family In America!

Depression Strikes Every Family In America!

By harrisjensen - Posted on 26 May 2009


Depression strikes more people than you think, and in more ways than you imagine

Dr. Harris Jensen Reviews The Devastating Impact Of Depression On Ordinary People In America

No Family Is Spared

By Harris Jensen, MD
Editor, Good Day Journal
Each year Americans lose $70 billion due to medical problems, and depression accounts for 12 billion of those dollars. This is money lost due to time off work and another $11 billion is lost from decreased effectiveness at work.
These and other amazing facts are reviewed in an article, "Statistics On Depression," in the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website, and all are facts based on articles in scientific publications or government documents.
 How much do you know about Depression? Test your knowledge with the questions below, which are taken from the DBSA website. These amount to an avalanche of statistics that show depression is not just a medical problem, but the number one health care crisis in the world, causing more problems in families lives than any other medical problem.
In the face of these facts, people who say depression is just  a “mental” thing clearly come across as callous and self absorbed or else just not well informed. 
Maybe hopelessly uninformed.
But that is the common attitude about depression in the US. Depression is just a result of “weak thinking” that is easy to reverse if a person would just try a little.
The common person’s view of depression in this country is way off base. About 80% of people in the US think depression comes from how you think, or evil spirits, or a weak character, or a person just isn’t trying hard to be positive. From the mid 1950's to the early 1990's people did not change their attitudes much in regard to taking care of their head, but with the coming of the internet and a higher percentage of well educated people in this country, those attitudes are changing.  People are taking an interest in getting informed about how to take good care of their "noggin."
These ignorant attitudes are changing for the better in this country, and this change is reviewed in an article, “Americans’ Attitudes Toward Mental Health Treatment Seekling: 1990-2003,” by Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PHD, in the May, 2007 issue of Psychiatric Services. (You can Google this article.)
See how well you can be a part of this new trend of people getting informed about what works to take care of your brain. Take the quiz below and try to guess the right answers…
1.       Adults in America with depression in any given year?
14.8 million or 6.7 percent of adults
2.       Average age depression starts?
3.       Is depression more common in women or men?
4.       Percent of children and teens getting clinically depressed?
One in 33 children get depressed and one in eight teens get depressed. Ever hear someone say they think it is hard to be a teenager now days?
5.       If you are depressed, how much more likely are you to get a heart attack?
Four times more likely.
6.       If you have depression are you more likely to die of sudden death after a first heart attack, compared to people who are not depressed?
7.       Likelihood of depression if you have cancer?
8.       Likelihood of depression if you have had a heart attack?
9.       Likelihood of depression if you have Parkinson's disease?
10.   Likelihood of depression if you have diabetes?
11.   Likelihood of receiving treatment for depression if you get depressed late in life?
12.   Likelihood of  a family caring for an older relative?
13.   Likelihood of feeling depressed if caring for an elderly relative?
14.   How much more likely are women than men to get depressed?
Twice as likely.
15.   Likelihood for a woman to get depressed?
16.   Likelihood of a man to get depressed?
17.   Among women, the percentage of decreased bone density among those who are depressed?
18.   Increased risk of hip fracture over a ten-year period among women who are depressed?
And now let's talk money. Depression hits us all square in the pocket book. Let's see if you know your facts about depression and money.
1.       What is the number one cause of disability in the world among people age 5 years and older?
Major depression.
2.       What is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people aged 15 to 44.
Major depression.
3.       What is the annual expense of depression on business in America?
$70 billion.
4.       Billions of dollars in lost days from work due to depression?
$12 billion.
5.       Billions of dollars lost due to lower energy and poor memory and concentration at work, in the United States each year?
$11 billion.
Now let's will deal with suicide. Depression not only kills people's finances, it takes their life.
  1. The number of suicides due to untreated or mistreated depression in the United States each year is...
  1. Older adults get depressed and commit suicide how much more often than others in general in the US?
The suicide rate for the elderly is 50% higher than that of the general population.
  1. Number one risk for suicide among young people is what?
Untreated depression.
  1. What rank is suicide as a cause of death in 15 to 24 year old people in the US?
Number one.
  1. Rank of suicide as cause of death in 10 to 14-year-olds in America?
Number 4. It is harder to be a teenager in the US.
  1. Young men aged 15 to 24 commit suicide how much more often than do young women of that age in this country?
Seven times more.
  1. What has a higher death rate in this country: suicide or chronic liver disease or Alzheimer's dementia or homicide or hypertension or coronary artery disease?
Suicide. But it gets the least ink in the press.
Now let's talk about what makes depression better. Depression has many causes. Depression is caused by bad brain chemistry, bad DNA, and problems relating to relationships, economic stress, as well as social isolation and thinking negatively.
But depression can and does get better with treatment. Medication is one of the most powerful methods for turning depression around. Now let's test your depression treatment IQ.
  1. What percent of people find their depression is getting better within six weeks of starting counseling, medication, or a combination of both?
  1. What percent of people with depression do not actively try to find help for it, or try but never get adequate help?
Two thirds. Only one third of people who are depressed actually try hard to find good medical care and get the medication and counseling they deserve.
  1. What percent of people with depression, seeking help, actually do not respond to counseling and medication?
  1. What is the number one cause of the failure of medication and counseling to help someone with their depression?
People just don’t follow through with their doctor and counselor.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation for the good work done by the Depression and bipolar support alliance for their good website and this excellent of the most telling facts about depression and its treatment. I would like to challenge the reader of this article to share it with others and fight the widespread ignorance about the biological nature of depression and how well it can be treated. You may well save a life!