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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]
are spreading in our culture.
See my comments after the summary. The opinions and hilights below are mine.-
Peter Gerlach, MSW
+ + +
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
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
After 33 years' clinical research, I suggest that
most non-organic psychological
disturbances are a direct result of an unseen [wounds + unawareness]
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
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
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.
here focuses on healthy mourning.
This free, modular
explains the [wounds + unawareness] cycle and its
and proposes an
effective way to
Peter K. Gerlach, MSW
Pause, breathe, and
reflect - why did you read this article? Did you get what you needed? If
you need? Who's
these questions - your