Lesson 1 of 7 - free your true Self to guide you

U.S. Spending on Mental
Health Care Soaring

HealthDay News,
via Yahoo News 8/6/09

The Web address of this article is http://sfhelp.org/gwc/news/US_MI_increasing.htm

  Updated  April 11, 2015

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        This research summary indirectly supports a core premise in this Web site: that the effect  ("mental health problems") of the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle are spreading in our culture. See my comments after the summary. The opinions and hilights below are mine.- Peter Gerlach, MSW

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. spending on mental illness is soaring at a faster pace than spending on any other health care category, new government data released Wednesday shows.

The cost of treating mental disorders rose sharply between 1996 and 2006, from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to almost $58 billion, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

At the same time, the report showed, the number of Americans who sought treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health woes almost doubled, from 19 million to 36 million.

The new statistics come on the heels of a study, released Monday, that found antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between a similar time frame, 1996 and 2005.

Spending on mental illness showed a faster rate of growth over the 10-year period analyzed than costs for heart disease, cancer, trauma-linked disorders, and asthma.

According to the report, spending on heart disease rose from $72 billion in 1996 to $78 billion in 2006; cancer care rose from $47 billion to $58 billion; asthma costs climbed from $36 billion to $51 billion, and expenditures for trauma-related care rose from $46 billion to $68 billion.

In terms of per-patient costs, cancer led the way at $5,178 in 2006 (up slightly from $5,067 in 1996), while costs for trauma care and asthma rose sharply -- from $1,220 to $1,953 and from $863 to $1,059, respectively.

On the other hand, average per-patient spending for heart conditions fell, from $4,333 to $3,964. And spending on mental disorders declined from $1,825 to $1,591.

In the Monday study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, researchers reported that 10.12 percent of U.S. residents aged 6 and over, or 27 million people, were using antidepressants in 2005, compared to 5.84 percent, or 13.3 million people, in 1996.

The increase seemed to span virtually all demographic groups.

"This is a 20-year trend and it's very powerful," remarked Dr. Eric Caine, chair of the department of psychiatry and co-director of the Center for the Study of Prevention of Suicide at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

        For information on mental health issues, head to the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.


      This brief widely-published (Yahoo) research summary is noteworthy for several reasons  First, it credibly reports significantly higher rates of U.S. "mental illness," but attempts no explanation of why this is or what it means.

      After 33 years' clinical research, I suggest that most non-organic psychological disturbances are a direct result of an unseen [wounds + unawareness] cycle which is spreading inexorably in our society. The public is unaware of this cycle so far, which puts future generations at significant risk of "mental health problems.".

      Second, the report promotes the misconception that psychological disorders are "illnesses." This wrongly implies that people suffering such disorders are "sick" and need medical treatment. It also  focuses attention on the sufferer, not the cause - public indifference to unqualified child conceptions and ineffective parenting - i.e. indifference to widespread early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse ("trauma"). I propose that typical trauma survivors are psychologically wounded, not sick. Self-improvement Lesson 1 gives more detail on this.

        Third, by labeling depression as a "mental illness" like "bipolar disorder," this summary promote public ignorance that some depression may be normal grief which requires empathy and support, not "treatment" or medication. Lesson 3 here focuses on healthy mourning.

        This free, modular self-improvement course explains the [wounds + unawareness] cycle and its effects, and proposes an effective way to break it.

- Peter K. Gerlach, MSW

      Pause, breathe, and reflect - why did you read this article? Did you get what you needed? If not, what do you need? Who's answering these questions - your true Self, or ''someone else''?

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Updated  April 11, 2015