Another study shows rise in the mental disorder rate

Here’s an article from The Montreal Gazette with the heading, Mental health issues on the rise.

Some studies are counterintuitive, case in point…

Mental health issues need to stop being society’s dirty little secret – particularly in the current unstable economic conditions, which are contributing to the problem in the workplace, according to a recent report that says our failure to deal with them is a drag on productivity.

A big part of the problem is the extent to which “mental health issues” are NOT society’s dirty little secret! “Mental health issues” are big business, and therefore the “mental health issue” rate grows by leaps and bounds. You’re not just talking about a loss to business; you’re talking about a gain of business, too. There is the health field, and the pharmacological field to think of, not to mention the judicial.

The report from the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says one in five workers is struggling to cope with some form of mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, which affects productivity and well-being in the workplace.

The fact that workplace conditions and quality of life issues have an affect on emotional stability was not mentioned in this article.

The report says the employment rate of people with a mental disorder is 55 per cent to 70 per cent, which is 10 per cent to 15 per cent lower than the rate for those without a mental disorder.

We just made a leap from loss of productivity to lack of a job. I suggest that the manipulations of big corporations and markets has a heck of a lot more to do with our excessive unemployment rate than somebody is letting on. I’d also like to point out that it doesn’t take much more than joblessness to get a person labeled “mentally ill”.

The issue I take with many studies of this sort is that, as well intentioned as they may be, their overall effect is to increase the problem they were designed to remedy. It’s not just our “failure to deal with” “mental health issues” that is the problem. It is also our selling of “mental illness” itself that contributes greatly to the problem. Although theory has it “mental conditions” are primarily “biological” in nature, the rapid increase in the psychiatric disability rate–it is at a much higher rate than the rate of population increase–would tend to dispute this explanation.

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3 Responses

  1. I haven’t used the word “issue” for years, not since it became dubiously popular as a noun.

    A person might say that “issue” is an exact synonym of “problem” so there is no harm in using the word “issue”. They might even suggest that the word “issue” is less threatening than the word “problem”.

    But I think it is used because people are less likely to ask, “What’s the issue?” than “What’s the problem?”

    Because the word has come to us from politicians, corporate types, pr etc the individual is likely to think that something has been settled by higher minds than theirs and are less likely to question at all.

    • Apples versus oranges, Rod, I have to use language. Using the same word to excess becomes tedious, and varying one’s vocabulary is a sign of intelligence. The et cetera you use, in this instance, is a very long and broad et cetera.

  2. I think that mental health issues/problems identified in the workplace are fundamentally flawed. Any intelligent person raising a justifiable concern about how business is conducted is likely to be thus labeled.

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