A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has depicted the somber state of affairs in Queensland. Nearly 20 to 50% of the population is grappling with depressive symptoms, for which they seem to be relying on anti-depressants heavily.
The situation is so grave, it seems an everyday affair in Queensland where nearly 11,500 prescriptions for anti depressants are handed out to patients.
In 2005-2006 the State's G.Ps dispensed nearly 4.2 million anti-depressant prescriptions- to the extent that anti -depressant scripts make up for 11% of prescriptions issued in Australia.
Jenny Hargreaves, from the institute's economics and health services group, said, "About 60 per cent of those GP encounters were by females and almost 34 per cent were for depression. Males made up 53.3 per cent of the over 5 million service contacts with public community mental health services and hospital outpatient services and schizophrenia was the most common principal diagnosis reported."
White collar workers were prone to suffer depressive symptoms as compared to rest of the Australians, said another report. A survey conducted among 7500 white collar workers revealed that Lawyers portrayed one of the highest symptoms of depression.
Depression resulted in the loss of productivity among the working population. It is estimated that about 6 million working days were spent unproductively due to depression. The cost of each employee's absenteeism and loss of productivity due to depression was equated at $9660 annually.
It is well known that depression that goes untreated poses a grave risk for suicide. In 2004, there were 580 cases of suicide reported in Queensland.