Rate of increase outpacing heart, diabetes, and others.
I just knew we were losing our marbles in this country...when Taylor Hicks won American Idol!!!
(Just kidding...he's a great guy).
However...some sobering new data.
Our government has releaseed new data recently that shows that the growth of spending on 'mental illness' in our country is soaring faster than in any other segment of health care, including heart disease, cancer, trauma-linked disorders, and asthma.
We really are nuts.
Data pooled from 1996 and 2006 shows an increase in spending from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to almost $58 billion, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The report also showed a near doubling of the number of Americans who sought treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health complaints from 19 million to 36 million.
These numbers follow a study that found antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between a similar time frame, 1996 and 2005.
According to the report, spending on heart disease rose from $72 billion in 1996 to $78 billion in 2006; cancer care rose from $47 billion to $58 billion; asthma costs climbed from $36 billion to $51 billion, and expenditures for trauma-related care rose from $46 billion to $68 billion.
In terms of per-patient costs, cancer was first at $5,178 in 2006 (up slightly from $5,067 in 1996), while costs for trauma care and asthma rose rather sharp-- from $1,220 to $1,953 and from $863 to $1,059, respectively.
Here's a sobering thought...
The study's authors reported that a shade over 10 percent of Americans aged 6 and over, (about 27 million people), were using antidepressants in 2005, compared to 5.84 percent, or 13.3 million people, in 1996.
The increase seemed to span virtually all demographic groups.
At any given time, however, I could estimate between 20-30% of my patients are using anti-depressants.
What does this mean?
Is there a better way than to put our hopes of a better tomorrow in the form of a pill?
I believe so.
If you...ike me... believe you have some control over how good you feel, consider the Silva program. You'll be glad you did.