What do you think is the most common disease? Do you think cold or flu? Forced to disappoint you. The most common disease in the world is depression.
The problem of depression has not only medical but also social significance. The subjective severity of its manifestations, the tendency to frequent exacerbations, and the high cost of treatment are a mental, physical and economic burden on the patient, his relatives and society as a whole.
In the United States, the economic losses from depression, which is considered the “most expensive disease”, amount to $ 43.7 billion annually. At the same time, only direct costs, including the cost of medicines, treatment in medical institutions reach 12 billion dollars. 8 billion are associated with premature death, including suicide; 23 billion – with a decrease in labor productivity, quality of life of the patient and his family members. It should be borne in mind that patients suffering from depression often seek help from ordinary medical institutions (clinics, hospitals). In this case, the total cost of treatment increases significantly. The duration of stay of elderly people in the hospital with a combination of diseases of internal organs with depression and the frequency of visits by them to the polyclinic at the place of residence is much longer than in people with the same diseases, but without signs of depression.
Depression affects the adaptive capabilities of a person, changes his well-being, quality of life, complicates social and labor activity to a much greater extent than such chronic diseases as diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma or hypertension. If depression persists for a year, then it leads to even greater physical, social and occupational limitation, as well as longer inpatient treatment than the above diseases.
It is generally accepted that depression complicates the course of other diseases and contributes to the patient’s disability. In the final analysis, depression significantly lowers the level of quality of life and leads to its reduction.
Depression is especially significant given the high risk of suicide in this condition. Suicidal thoughts are common in 60 % of patients with depression, and 15% may attempt suicide. During a depressive episode, the risk of suicide in the patient group is 30 times higher than in the general population . The danger of suicide is especially great with a protracted course of depression, often recurring exacerbations of the disease, as well as with a combination of depression with a chronic somatic illness.
According to epidemiological studies, depression is a widespread disease. More than 110 million people suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This disorder occurs in every seventh inhabitant of the planet, and every third of them has experienced at least one depressive episode in their life .