Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

November 24, 2017
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The high cost of untreated depression

Charting the numbers across Canada from 2014 to 2041


The Toronto-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health suggests that mental illness costs the Canadian economy about $51 billion a year. Research by the Canadian Mental Health Association estimates that employees who take a leave of absence owing to depression cost employers an average of $18,000. It further points out that only 43% of sufferers from depression seek help, and most people who do, go on to lead fulfilling, productive lives.

Mood disorders by sex and province/territory1

In 2014, a total of 2,346,244 Canadians (7.8% of the population) aged 12 and older reported that they were diagnosed with depression or a related mood disorder, depression being the most prevalent.1,2 Mental Health Commission of Canada estimates the numbers will rise by 22.5% by 2041.


Canada
2014 Both sexes 7.8% / Females 9.6% / Males 6.0%
2041 Females 11.8% / Males 7.4%


Newfoundland and Labrador
2014 Both sexes 6.6% / Females 8.5% / Males 4.7%
2041 Females 10.4% / Males 5.8%


Prince Edward Island
2014 Both sexes 9.3% / Females 13.0% / Males 5.3%
2041 Females 15.9% / Males 6.5%


Nova Scotia
2014 Both sexes 11.0% / Females 14.8% / Males 6.9%
2041 Females 9.6% / Males 6.0%


New Brunswick
2014 Both sexes 10.4% / Females 13.5% / Males 7.2%
2041 Females 16.5% / Males 8.8%


Quebec
2014 Both sexes 5.1% / Females 6.1% / Males 4.1%
2041 Females 7.5% / Males 5.0%


Ontario
2014 Both sexes 8.4% / Females 10.2% / Males 6.6%
2041 Females 12.5% / Males 8.1%


Manitoba
2014 Both sexes 7.5% / Females 9.3% / Males 5.7%
2041 Females 11.4% / Males 7.0%


Saskatchewan
2014 Both sexes 8.1% / Females 11.6% / Males 4.6%
2041 Females 14.2% / Males 5.6%


Alberta
2014 Both sexes 8.9% / Females 11.6% / Males 6.2%
2041 Females 14.2% / Males 7.6%


British Columbia
2014 Both sexes 8.8% / Females 10.2% / Males 7.4%
2041 Females 12.5% / Males 9.1%


Yukon
2014 Both sexes 8.7% / Females 11.3% / Males 6.2%
2041 Females 13.8% / Males 7.6%


Northwest Territories
2014 Both sexes 7.7% / Females 8.7% / Males 6.8%
2041 Females 9.6% / Males 6.0%


Nunavut N/A


Refers to Canadians ≥ age 12 diagnosed by a health professional as having a mood disorder.
N/A: Data deemed too unreliable for publication. In 2013, the overall rate (female/male) in Nunavut was 4.7%.

Depression is highest in low income city dwellers 3,4,5

Urban dwellers are more prone to depression as are individuals in the lowest socioeconomic groups. Recent immigrants report considerably less depression.


Urban dwellers Both sexes 9.17% / Females 11.44% / Males 6.82%
Recent immigrants Both sexes 5.24% / Females 6.64% / Males 3.87%
Low-income individuals Both sexes 14.52% / Females 17.07% / Males 10.79%
According to the 2011 Census, individuals living in urban areas (population centres) made up 81% of the total population of Canada.6

Depression affects abilities

Scale range: 0 (no interference) to 10 (very severe interference)13


Work at a job 4.5
Maintain close relationships 4.8
Home responsibilities 5
Social life 6

High cost of absenteeism

Absenteeism and presenteeism due to depression, chronic depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and agoraphobia costs the Canadian economy $20.7 billion a year. By 2030, these costs are expected to reach $29.1 billion. Two out of three employees who return to work after an absence due to depression have trouble. concentrating, remembering things, making decisions, and performing tasks - even though they may no longer be depressed. 13

Depression sufferers use of negative coping14

Wishing situations away Depressed 85% / Not depressed 70%
Use of smoking, drinking, sleep, drugs Depressed 80% / Not depressed 55%
Self blaming Depressed 70% / Not depressed 45%
Avoiding people Depressed 65% / Not depressed 25%

Depression doubles the risk of alcohol abuse

Harmful alcohol use and alcohol dependence in persons with a 12-month diagnosis of MDD were 12.3% as opposed to 6.9% in the general population. 12

High cost of suicide

Depression is the most common illness among those who die from suicide, with approximately 60% suffering from this condition. The estimated cost of a suicidal death ranges from $433,000 to $4,131,000 per individual depending on potential years of life lost, income level and effects on survivors. 9,10

Signs of Relapse 14

Social withdrawal
Loss of interest
General gloominess
Sleep disruptions
Self-loathing
Irritability
Weight changes
Fatigue
Brain fog
Aches & pains

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

Comments

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  1. On January 21, 2016, Dr. Ezzat Guirguis said:
    The study reports on those who attended for treatment as 43% of those suffering depression. In other words an additional 57% are not reporting their illness and not getting treatment. That is 3,110,137 persons. Approximately 15% of the total population of Canadians. A staggering figure for a treatable yet highly disabling illness.

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