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The Forum > Article Comments > The cost of depression > Comments

The cost of depression : Comments

By Michael Hilton and Harvey Whiteford, published 31/10/2005

Michael Hilton and Harvey Whiteford explain the economic costs of untreated depression to businesses and the community.

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Is it just me, or do others find it really offensive that we have to go through an economic exercise like this to justify spending money so that sick people can be cured? And where is the connection back to the characteristics of people's employment which may actually cause (or contribute to) the illness?

And if it is intended as an argument to convince the bean counters that it's economically rational to cure depression, what happens if it turns out that it isn't economically rational? Do we just let the sufferers suffer?
Posted by Alexm, Monday, 31 October 2005 2:16:22 PM
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I would suggest that researchers colate the increase in workload compared to 20 years ago, that the average employee is supposed to be able to get through in 8 hours on a daily basis. Some people like myself are predisposed to depression, so when made to carry huge workload burdens over a period of time, depression sets in, especially if, as in my case the employee is verbally threatened, and occasionly psyhically threatened, with the loss of employment. A great tactic for bosses if they know the employee has a mortage, and cannot afford to be out of work. The cost has to be seen in economic terms as they are the only terms employers understand. I am now on a disability pension, after being worked 12-13 hours a day @100 miles an hour without breaks of any kind for 21 years, or paid overtime. I am sure I would not be the only case in Australia, who had fallen into chronic major depression, generalised anxiety disorder, and a host of accompaning disorders and phobia's after this type of treatment. The only answer I can see is that when someone gets a Manager's job, they should have "up to date" manergiaral qualifications, this is not the case at the moment, one of the Managers I worked for had gotten his degree in the 60's, 20 years before he became a Manager, also business owners should be required by law to have current qualifications, or to take a refresher course to update their skills every 5 years, so they are abreast of lasest inovations, if not we will continue to see employee's lives wrecked and the accompanying loss of production to the nation as a whole. This is where employee Unions are worth their weight in Gold.
Posted by SHONGA, Monday, 31 October 2005 5:27:32 PM
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I am sorry for sticking my nose into these posts with my little experiences. But I wonder, given, that a lot of creative-type people are prone to depression (we are talking clinical here I have assumed) if there has been even greater loss of creative potential and its financial benifits. For instance: I knew a young fellow who was a very good artist. You probably have seen his work on skate boards. Great lad but he was prescribed Effexor and he needed lots of it. That medication just destroyed his creative ability. When he went off it and got in the zone, he would just work day and night and produce good art. The contract for his drawing was very lucrative for a youngster. Unfortuneatly, he would get super depressed -suicidal when he went off his medication. So in effect he couldn't work at all without risk and trauma. Two other right-brainers have confirmed that this is the case for them also. I am sure the authors didn't mean to be cold - but i think the tragedy is more in the loss of opportunity and life potential. I hope their input proves to be helpful in raising the consciousness of mental health issues.
Posted by rancitas, Tuesday, 1 November 2005 2:20:18 AM
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You have not addressed a depression that can be easily fixed - caused by Thyroid disorders - because of little knowledge of this more-common-than-you-think illness by the Medical World.

Please - start your research in this direction - it is argued by Medical people that this illness is very common and certainly not recognised by Doctors who as my GP stated "when I studied Medicine (London University) I was told when I diagnosed Thyroid to give the patient tablets and send them home, telling them to come back in 2 years", he and many Endocrinologists have an ignorance of this
illness, of which a main symptom is Thyroid dysfunction.

Another large problem is the Medical people worship blood tests and in the case of Thyroid dysfunction the TSH test is simply not in anyway an indicator of Thyroid illness,even though the patient may have debilitating signs of this (can be) totally devastating illness.
Posted by Pachelbel, Wednesday, 2 November 2005 7:14:11 PM
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Given the incidence and prevalence of violence among the community and in workplaces, including emotional harassment, bullying, and sexual violence, and given that poor mental health is the most likely outcome of that violence, interventions that only target compliance and not the causes of depression, anxiety and related disorders, is unlikely to be effective in reducing rates of depression. Interventions need to be more than just band-aid responses.
Posted by HelenK, Monday, 7 November 2005 2:49:33 PM
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There are some serious problems in Mental Health in Australia but it's not a case of throwing money to the industry - it's a case of making the right medication available in the case of more difficult to treat cases incl bipolar disorder/sever depression - in fact all so-called mental illness where psychosis is a problem. The biggest problem is that the industry is full of shonks and not real medical professionals:

A 1000-page report by the Mental Health Council of Australia and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission has exposed that people looking for help with mental problems are being subjected to over-drugging and excessive use of electro-convulsive therapy (shock treatment).
The West Australian, Pg 24 02 Nov 2005

They must really love it in these mental health centres? This reminds me of 'One-Flew-Over-The-Cuckoos-Nest':...........

Nearly 1500 patients absconded from Queensland mental health centres last year, including six from The Park facility on Brisbane's southside.
The Courier Mail, Pg 12 04 Nov 2005

....and, of course, there is the medication that Tony Abbott does not want to see used in the country - Here’s an application for Mifepristone which in a high dose which acts on cortisol (rather than progesterone) which causes the psychosis:

“Traditionally, patients with psychotic depression receive one of two treatments: combined antidepressant and antipsychotic medication, or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Even when effective, both treatments are relatively slow and can leave symptoms that last for months. "With mifepristone (RU-486) there's a very quick intervention. The patients often feel better and then we can put them on conventional antidepressants without the antipsychotics or ECT," Schatzberg says. "What's interesting is that the results are not effervescent. The patients feel better and it lasts. Nobody's had to come back, nobody's had to undergo ECT."

The social implications of the treatment are profound, Schatzberg says, both because mifepristone might eliminate the need for shock treatments and because it comes from a drug with other uses that some people don't like. "

Refererence obtained from:
Posted by Felix, Saturday, 12 November 2005 4:04:50 PM
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