Depression Is the Leading Cause of Ill Health

Depression Is the Leading Cause of Ill Health

Posted May 1, 2017 by Christian Smith

Anxiety orders have been, for a while, the most common mental illness in the United States. Nearly one out of every five American adults suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder, such as clinical depression. However, this isn’t only an American problem. Depression and anxiety are problems that people face all over the globe. Despite this prevalent problem, it is astounding that there are still so many social stigmas that surround the conversation about depression. The good news, though, is that the World Health Organization is setting out to change that…

World Health Organization

Recently, the World Health Organization declared that depression was the number one leading cause of ill health and disability in the world, and called upon governments around the globe to do something about it. Based on current estimates around the world, 300 million around the planet suffer from depression, which is nearly as much as the entire American population. Because of these numbers, the World Health Organization recently opted to release a campaign called “Depression: Let’s Talk”. The purpose of this campaign is to counteract myths and stigmas that are associated with depression and mental illness. This is all in reaction to the fact that the amount of people with depression has risen about 20% since 2005.

The economics of helping fight depression

While the widespread global emergence of depression is a human rights issue, first and foremost, there are also economic consequences, as well. Based on collected reports from the World Health Organization, an estimated $1 trillion is lost, annually, due to depression. Of this amount, over $200 billion is lost in the United States, alone. The reason for this economic crater is due to health care costs that stack up for governments, as well as the lost productivity that comes with a depressed workforce.

Depression increases rates of addiction

The major health problems of today do not exist in a vacuum, and they often have a profound effect on each other. Aside from depression, another major health epidemic that we are witnessing on a global proportion is that of addiction. In a strange irony, there is a strong connection between these two ailments. Depression, along with other anxiety disorders, have been shown to increase the likelihood that addiction develops in a person. Likewise, people who struggle from addiction are more likely to develop disorders like depression.

filed under: Brain Health