Depression, a disease is fast becoming a bane in the health policy of Britain. Experts arguably explain that as the person suffering from depression are not physically marked or hurting it becomes difficult to identify and to be treated and controlled. For it to be classified as an epidemic one in six people at some point of their life have suffer from depression or anxiety serious enough to warrant medical treatment.
Though this is a condition that creates havoc in an individual lives, and leaves a lasting effect on society and a weakening effect on the economy, experts explain that it can be treated in ways that are affordable mainly by paying for itself by helping the incapacitated back to normal work.
The Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics is publishing the 'The Depression Report', which is an account that has resulted due to the dire consequences of ignoring the epidemic. Professor Richard Layard, the report's author, while summarising his findings said: 'the government should implement guidelines set out by the National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence, training more professionals in therapeutic techniques which have been proven to alleviate the suffering caused by depression and, in many cases, to cure it.'
Professor Layard's while explaining that three-quarters of the 6-million people suffering from depression fail to receive treatment because of a shortage of qualified therapists; called on the government to accelerate the funding so as to treat a the 'great submerged problem'. He further stated that the research clearly shows that cost need not be a barrier. He explained that the savings would be made if the one million sufferers of mental illness currently claiming incapacity benefit, at a cost of £750 each per month, were targeted and given the right treatment. The actual difficulties, it was explained would be due to the lack of public awareness and lack of support from the government.
Professor Layard also explains that the political cowardice, or the lack of support, would also be easily be predicted due to the contempt that would be shown on the government, if it plans to train up an army of therapists at taxpayer's expense. This would partly be due to the widespread failure to distinguish between depressions as a dangerous illness and because the word is more commonly used to describe a sombre mood that is unpleasant, but not pathological.
Explaining that there is a widespread taboo about mental illness and a common presumption that people should be able to heal their own minds with an effort of will, a stiffening of upper lips and a pulling up of socks, but at same time if the same attitude were applied to cancer patients with cancer then they would be quickly be condemned as ignorant and cold-hearted, the professor explained.
The research also indicated that up to 70% of men in prison have usually some forms of psychiatric disorder, as are the many who were homeless, which could only be due discrimination and neglect. The professor felt that there are encouraging signs of the political mood changing. But he did caution that this political science was still in its very young stage of being implemented or followed. He said that the idea of government developing a concept like universal happiness, like all utopian projects, deserves scepticism. He said that the states are usually advised to leave people alone, but he warned that the mentally ill are an obvious exception.
Experts explain that there may not be many policies that give happiness for all, but there are some that reduce and ease misery for many, and that Professor Layard's report identifies one such policy and therefore the government must act on it.