Why You Can't AFFORD to Ignore Depression

Gentle Readers,
For most people who have never had personal exposure to mental illness, they may think, "What does this have to do with me?"

I think it is fitting that when we have an economic downturn, they call it a "Depression" because depression has an enormous impact on our economy.

Depression Costs US Workplaces $23 Billion in Absenteeism.
Depression is the most prevalent mental illness, affecting nearly 19 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 - essentially, the most productive years in the workforce. 12% of workers in the United States have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. In the workplace, they miss an estimated 68 million additional days, more than ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis.

The total economic burden of depression is $83 billion a year.
That exceeds the costs of the war in Afghanistan! Of this total, $26.1 billion (31%) were direct treatment costs, $5.4 billion (7%) were suicide-related costs, and $51.5 billion (62%) were workplace costs.

Depression is the leading cause of medical disability for people aged 14 to 44. Depressed people lose 5.6 hours of productive work every week when they are depressed. 80% of depressed people are impaired in their daily functioning. 50% of the loss of work productivity is due to absenteeism and short-term disability. In any 30 day period, depressed workers have 1.5 to 3.2 more short-term disability days.

People with symptoms of depression are 2.17 times more likely to take sick days. And when they are at work their productivity is impaired--less ability to concentrate, lower efficiency, and less ability to organize work. In fact, absenteeism and work performance are directly related to how severe the depression is--the more severe the depression, the worse the outcome.

BUT THERE IS AN ANSWER!  More than 80 percent of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated with early recognition, intervention, and support.

Would you recognize the symptoms of depression? If you think you or someone you know may have depression, use this link to find a place in your community, or Click Here to take an Anonymous Online Screening.

Please: Tweet and post these links or this blog so that as many people as possible will be made aware of the resources available to them.

Throughout October, I have devoted much of my blog to Depression Awareness Month. I have discussed my personal struggle as well as recognizing the symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicide, but I have also hoped to convey a sense of how Major Depressive Disorder feels to those of us who struggle with it every day.


Southern Girl Press and To Write Love on Her Arms have collaborated on a book sale benefit in an effort to help those who have never had to deal with depression understand.

Throughout the month of October, all profits from a trio of vignettes entitled Alicia Embracing the Dark will be donated to TWLOHA, a non-profit organization that focuses on hope and relationships, in order to raise awareness, benefit the organization, and highlight National Depression Screening Day

A Special Edition of this short collection is  now available only from Amazon for 99¢ for Kindle or Kindle apps for any device.

Alicia Embracing the Dark expresses some aspect of depression as experienced by each author at some point in her life. It is published collectively under the name of a fictional character suffering from major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts in the wake of her collapsing marriage in her own story, in which depression is a primary motif.

Please repost and retweet, get the word out, help others learn about mental illness, bipolar, and major depressive disorder. Encourage others to make the 99¢ contribution in support of TWLOHA. Let everyone know that there is help and there is hope.

You were created to love and be loved.
You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known.
You need to know your story is important, and you're part of a bigger story.
You need to know your life matters.
Beyond treatment, we believe community is essential. People need other people. We were never meant to do life alone.

The vision is that community, hope, and help would replace secrets and silence.

The vision is people putting down guns, and blades, and bottles.

The vision is that we can reduce the suicide rate in America and around the world.

The vision is that we would learn what it means to love our friends, and we would love ourselves enough to get the help we need.

The vision is better endings. The vision is the restoration of broken families and broken relationships. The vision is people finding life, finding freedom, finding love. The vision is graduation, a Super Bowl, a wedding, a child, a sunrise. The vision is people becoming incredible parents, breaking cycles, making changes.

The vision is the possibility that your best days are ahead.

The vision is the possibility that we're more loved than we'll ever know.

The vision is hope, and hope is real.

You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.

—Jamie Tworkowski
TWLOHA Founder
 

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