Tuesday 18 December 2018
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The Cost of Depression

The Cost of Depression

Depression can affect anyone at any point in their life, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide according to WHO.  The worst part is, it’s an ailment with no known cure that affects people everywhere for a number of reasons, but with treatment, many people are able to move passed their depression.

From traumatic life events to genetic disposition, depression affects more than 300 million people every year. So what effect does that have on the world around us?

We are going to take a look at depression from a standpoint of cost: fiscal, emotional, and personal.  With the growing number of depression cases around the world seeming to grow overnight, it’s important to understand how it impacts the daily lives of those who are affected by the disease, their loved ones, and the ones who help treat its symptoms.

Fiscal Cost

From an economic standpoint, depression is an industry that generates a lot of revenue all over the world.  In fact, the industry in the United States alone accounts for $83.1 billion dollars in revenue, and that was just in the year 2000.

Medical practices, medical facilities, treatment centers, and even funeral homes all seem to have direct ties to depression.

Emotional Cost

Depression can lead to a number of issues within your personal life.  Its crippling grip can lead to so many symptoms:

  • Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or weight gain (a change of more than five percent of body weight in a month)
  • Significant increase or decrease in appetite
  • Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive and inappropriate guilt nearly every day
  • Diminished ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

These symptoms tend to start stacking on the individual, and often times, they can be anything but easy to handle.

Being around people with depression all the time can have an effect of the individuals around them too, so they will often times seclude themselves from groups.  You should always try to help, but never push a person with depression.

There is also an emotional burden put on the caregivers and psychiatrists who help this person.  They want you to beat the beast as much as you want to, but sometimes, tragically, they have to fight a losing battle.

Personal Cost

Dealing with these symptoms is never easy, and sometimes they can get the better of people without them knowing it.

When these times arise, people battling depression can often times find themselves missing work or other important tasks.  Depression has the ability to take hold of someone, and not let them grow as they were intended.

The help, though it has shown its great potential, isn’t always effective, and sometimes it results in a person taking their own life.  Around 800,000 people around the world die from suicide each year, and out of the 30,000 cases in the USA, 60% of those people have suffered from depression at one or more points in their life.


Though it has many genetic ties, depression can be the result of trauma, money problems, difficult relationships, medications, substance abuse or withdrawal, and excessive stress.

The good news is, you can fight depression.  Normally, most bouts of depression can be cured with sessions of psychotherapy.  By talking with a trained professional, you can talk your way through your issues to get to the route of the problem.  From there, you can create a pathway to fight your depression from the root cause.

Sometimes the problem can be solved by simply talking it through, but sometimes people need additional help to get passed their depression.  Antidepressant medications are often used to help patients avoid the crippling effects of depression.

If patients don’t react to the medications in a positive way, there are alternative methods such as TMS that are saved for those who find no relief from normal medications.  Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) uses focused MRI strength magnets to stimulate the brain waves.  Patients can have treatments done in the office and drive home from that appointment.  They can even continue going to work during the treatment process. 60% of patients that had treatment-resistant depression responded to TMS.

If you or a loved one suffers from depression, it’s time to seek help to fight this killer disease.

Have you talked to a doctor about your depression?  How did counseling or other alternative treatments help cure your depression?  Share in the comments below.