The Widespread Socioeconomic Burden of Anxiety and Depressions

Anxiety and depressions are chronic and common obstacles in today’s life. It increases the burden of the illness. We are thinking that depression is a very severe mental disorder but we are safe from this as we don’t have any severe symptoms of depression.

Do you know we all are at risk knowingly or unknowingly due to depression? Even the more severe concern is that we don’t know how we become the victim of depression slowly like slow poisoning.

According to a medical survey. The unipolar disorder has become the 2nd most common disability factor across the world.

Most of the countries are facing unemployment issues and the common mass is middle class or poor. This disability increases the cost of treatment in a significant way. The treatment and medication are available for the betterment of the patients but the cost is effectively higher.

Most of the healthcare sectors are facing the problem of limited resources. The doctors need to participate during the budget allocation as they know the exact financial and infrastructural requirements of the healthcare unit.

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The Actual Reality of the anxiety and depressions in Society

The saddest thing is that most of the mood or anxiety disorder cases are ignored due to poverty, society, and lack of education.

Three groups are still underdiagnosed though they are suffering from acute anxiety and depressions disorders.

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1) The persons who are pretending and presenting the symptoms as physical symptoms.

2) People who ignore such symptoms and

3) The specialist physicians focus more on physical symptoms rather than the severe symptoms of anxiety and depressions disorder.

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Few treatments are aggressive to make the remission of the symptoms rather than to reduce such symptoms.

In such cases, symptom reduction is essential than immediate remission. The better compliance between collaborative management and treatment schedule is the most effective sources for the welfare of both the society and patients.

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Why do physicians need to focus on economics?

If we think about an individual patient, the physicians can consider the economic aspect and treat it in a better way. But in the bigger aspect, this wave of cost for such treatment is impossible.

The increase in healthcare costs is considerably faster than general inflation. The survey report states that the number of elderly persons is also increased than the earning people. That also complicates the situation.

The medical requirement is always indefinite but the resources are scanty. As a result, most such patients get limited treatment options as the budget is crafted by the managers or politicians.

As the doctors are entirely aware of the medical system and the requirements. The doctor can better understand the better estimate of the financial requirement for better medical infrastructure. They will think and estimate the cost and set budget in favor of the patients.

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Assessing the cost of medical requirement

The evaluation of the financial aspects of the medical infrastructure is not easy. As the medical budgets are highly influenced by potential biases and methodological issues, the cost determination is extremely difficult.

1. Direct health care cost:

These are the most predictable and simple cost. These include medical time, hospital admission, drugs, and diagnostic services. These costs are directly linked to the health care sector.

2. Nonmedical cost:

This includes special social services, such as modified provisions for disables or social support to the community.

3. Indirect cost:

These costs incurred due to inefficiency during work, premature death. unemployment, or early-retirement.

The financial impact of anxiety and depressions disorder on productivity cannot be underestimated. According to the report of 1990 of the US, the indirect cost of mood disorders mostly directed to indirect medical costs. That was about sixty percent.

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But the proportion of anxiety disorder cost to the indirect cost was below forty percent.

The anxiety and depression disorders are prevalent among the working population. So the impact of such disorders is more significant than physical illnesses on the productivity and quality of employees.

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4. Overall illness cost: 

There are 2 popular methods to estimate the overall illness cost.

1. The counts of newly affected per year and the cost is estimated on the lifespan of the patients.

2. The headcount of a patient suffering at any point of time and estimate the cost (overall) per year.

The burden of anxiety and depression on Society 

While considering the cost of anxiety and depressions, the overall population suffering from mental disorders needs to be under consideration. That means the treated, undertreated, or untreated population needs to take into account.

Measuring such cost, a thorough knowledge of the treated population, treatment outcome, and loss from non-effective treatment are essentially required.

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Though several cost estimations are done in several parts of the world for the last 50 years, the effective result couldn’t be derived due to different methodologies.

The financial assessments are usually estimated on individual disorders. In many cases, patients have both physical and mental disorders.

As the cost assessment is done on a single illness, there is always a chance for double-counting of a single person.

A critically ill person may also suffer from insomnia. Though the person has both physical illness and insomnia, the cost for treating insomnia should include along with the other physical illness. Thus the cost for depression and anxiety remains ignored in financial studies.

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The estimated victims of unipolar disorder in the US are eight percent, in the Mediterranean (Eastern) is three and a half percent and in Africa, it is one percent.

This estimation reflects a success picture of controlling anxiety and depression disorder across the globe. Or the other side of this picture is the symptoms of anxiety and depression are ignored and remained untreated.

The threatening findings are that unipolar depression is the 2nd common disability cause across the globe. This covers 11.6 percent of the global population.

Though the anxiety and depression disorder is a significantly huge burden of our society, still people underestimate and ignore the symptoms and distress of it.

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According to the survey of ESEMeD, ten percent of the world population is suffering from an anxiety disorder. This is based on official or reported cases. Most of the affected people are also suffering from specific phobias.

It is found that almost all depressed persons are suffering from an anxiety disorder.

The ratio of MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and anxiety disorder is 10:2. That means 2 out of 10 MDD victims are also suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Managing depression and anxiety

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Recognize and diagnose

The following groups are mostly ignored.

a) Persons never go to the health care department and report the symptoms.

b) People go to the doctor but do not emphasize the depression symptoms.

c) People go to the specialist clinic for physical illness but ignore the symptoms of depression both by the patient and doctor.

According to WHO, 90 percent of the depressed person is treated under primary care. They stated that twenty-six percent of the total patient go to general physicians. Among them, seventeen percent of people were suffering from general depression, eight and a half percent were suffering from an anxiety disorder.

Among the forty-four percent comorbid depression. Lack of proper education of the medical staff is also a major barrier to recognize and treat the mentally disordered people.

This requires the education of the medical staff, common public, and medical processes to treat people in a better way.

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Efficient treatments of anxiety and depressions 

The aim of the approach needs to be focused on the remission of the symptoms rather than the improvement of symptoms.

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There is always a chance of relapse of the symptoms, increased suicidal thoughts and tendencies, poor social activities, and lower outcomes.

By boosting the self-confidence, optimism, productive activities and effective treatment will help the patient to get back to the normal self.

Chronic depression and anxiety disorder require long term medication. Doctors use the antidepressant drugs and therapies to provide remission of the symptoms and prevent the risk of reoccurrence. The treatment becomes difficult if the symptoms reoccur.

Aggressive treatment

Longer the patients suffer from these symptoms, the recovery will become more difficult.

As soon as the symptoms are recognized, the treatment needs to get started. Doctors use antidepressants to control anxiety and depression disorder.

It is generally showing remedial results within few days. If the symptoms remain the same for 3 weeks, even after using the prescribed antidepressant, more aggressive treatment would be required for remission.

Improving outcomes

The following will provide better outcomes.

  1. Spreading awareness and educating the general public and doctors about depression and anxiety.
  2. Participation of the patients while deciding and communicating the treatment.
  3. Frequent communications between patients and doctors.
  4. Improvement of general care management by involving efficient medical staff.

The combination of these approaches might help to reach a better and improving outcome.

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Though inefficiency and lacking of resources are prevailed in treating depressions and anxiety disorder, we should admire the present effort to deal with such complications with scanty resources. The efficiency and effectiveness of clinical management provide better and improved outcomes.


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