The debilitating symptoms of depression come at a high price. Between the feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and fatigue, those who suffer from depression may feel unmotivated to do anything. Individuals with depression often find it difficult to concentrate on tasks, let alone get out of bed on some or most days.
Sadly, for many who wake up feeling this way day after day, depression ultimately costs them their life. So in the most severe outcomes, the cost of depression is not just felt by the sufferer but everyone who knows and loves them.
Yet even in the less severe cases, depression can interfere with an individual’s ability to maintain a job and take care of themselves. When this happens, the impact of depression is felt not only by the individual but also by society.
The hard truth about depression is that when one person suffers, we all do. And here are just a few reasons why:
Depression causes lost labor.
Depression can lead to absenteeism, which immediately impacts an individual’s coworkers and, ultimately, their employer and company. Compared to workers without depression, those with major depression lose almost six times as many productive hours — that’s 1.5 lost weekly hours compared to 8.4.
Also, according to additional data from an extensive survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association, absenteeism in workers with depression costs a lost productivity time totaling 8.27 billion dollars.
Depression reduces productivity at work.
In addition to absenteeism, depression also leads to “presenteeism,” when someone comes to work but their productivity is reduced because they’re dealing with depression symptoms. They are more likely to make mistakes at work and fail to complete tasks.
This reduced productivity and quality of work can cost the company money and impact morale. It’s also one contributing factor to the 44 billion-dollar cost of labor loss in our nation.
Depression increases medical costs.
Between the healthcare costs for disability, screening, counseling, and treatment (therapy and medications), depression is a costly disease. And for those who do not seek treatment because they cannot afford the cost, it only results in a greater economic impact when they cannot work.
Additionally, depression often goes hand-in-hand with other physical health problems. People with depression are far more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and obesity. These physical health conditions come with their own set of costly treatments and medications.
Suicide attempts and suicides are costly.
Suicides and suicide attempts also come with a significant financial burden, costing the U.S. over $70 billion per year in lifetime medical and work-loss costs alone. This includes the cost of emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, mental health services, and lost productivity from premature death.
When someone dies by suicide, their family and friends are also left to deal with the financial and emotional costs of their loss.
Depression takes a toll on caregivers.
The cost of depression doesn’t just fall on the sufferer. It also takes a toll on their family and friends, who typically become their caregivers.
Caregivers often have to miss work to care for their loved ones, leading to lost wages and productivity. They may also experience their own physical and mental health problems due to the stress of caregiving. In other words, depression can set in motion a series of vicious cycles that, while distinct, all circle back to a shared societal impact.
Overall, the cost of depression is astronomical – not just for those who suffer from it but for society. It’s vital to be aware of the many ways depression can impact our lives and the economy to work towards a solution together.
Beat Depression – We Can Help You Heal
Depression is not something you should have to face alone. At New U Therapy and Family Services, we have a variety of effective treatments that can help you break free and move forward. We’re known as a one-stop shop for mental wellness and healing. Reach out to our compassionate team today and begin your healing journey.