Riding out major recessive disorder

It’s psychiatry. Naw, it’s the economy, dummy. It’s still the economy. This, at any rate, is my response to an opinion piece appearing in The Milford Daily News with the heading Mental illness and the economy.

There can be a lot to be depressed about in this economy. Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Perhaps it would be better if we changed the name of this class of disorder to recessive disorders. In the confusion, some peculiarly mischievious and lucky major recessives might be able to affect a quick turn around, and make off with a bundle.

The author, one John Griffin, claims a 9.5 % rate for major recessive disorder in this country. We’ve got a 9 % jobless rate in many parts of this country now. I wonder how many of this 9 % are deeply recessed?

The author of this piece points to a 15 % suicide rate among recessives for which he blames that bug-a-boo of bug-a-boos, the will o’ the wisp, “stigma”.

This is a tragedy. In a country with as much medical care available as we have, you have to wonder why this happens. It has to rest with a stigma still attached. To those who are in depression, there seems nowhere to go for help. Not wanting to attach a stigma to themselves, they hide their depression until it worsens. What kind of nation do we have when those truly suffering among us have to risk a stigma for something that falls beyond their control?

“Stigma”, in this case, sounds an awfully lot like a housing crisis and shortage. The author claims that there are places without “stigma”. I’m hoping that what he means is that there are places that provide safe and affordable housing for all.

The poor grow poorer. Foreclosures continue. Personal tragedies and wars surround us. No wonder 18.8 million suffer from depression.

Correction: recession. I thought we’d resolved that one.