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Quantifying the Cost of Depression

A new study reveals just how vulnerable the work environment is to the financial impact of depression.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is estimated to affect around 16 million Americans (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2013) and, according to the World Health Organization, is the leading cause of disability worldwide (World Health Organization 2012). Among In the U.S. workforce, the prevalence of MDD has been estimated at 7.6% (Birnbaum et al., 2010). Major depression is a psychiatric disorder that goes beyond the normal human experiences of sadness. It encompasses a broad range of symptoms such as feeling worthless, having thoughts of suicide, losing interest in most or all activities, experiencing a significant reduction or increase in appetite or sleep, and having difficulty concentrating. Symptoms must be distressing to the individual or lead to an inability to function normally, such as at work or in maintaining relationships.

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