Only half of the 16 percent of Americans, about 35 million people, who suffer from depression seek treatment. Women and men are equally at risk to commit suicide.
Dr. Ronald Kessler, Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard, says that many people seek help from family doctors, who are apparently not yet up to speed enough to give good quality care. People with depression fail to receive proper care.
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Editorial by Sieglinde Alexander:
According to my personal experience, depression is still not recognized as a key factor in physical illnesses. Depression can cause physical illness and physical ailments can bring on depression. The general practitioner who is not educated in the effects of trauma- related issues that can lead to depression, quickly writes out a prescription for symptoms of a physical illness without understanding the cause, or worse, in the knowledge that there are other interventions available but at more cost in professional time and effort.
How intensely a patient experiences pain is, more often than not, related to a high stress level or even to depression. If a patient experienced ECT (early childhood trauma) the pain of the present triggers the early experienced pain and connects both. The pain level becomes dramatically and unbearably high. Many illnesses an adult experiences can be traced back to similar pains experienced in the childhood. The connection of ECT (early childhood trauma) to depression could be easily made if the general practitioner would ask the patient if he remembers a similar pain in childhood. More often, as in my case, the ear infection, the childhood illness was neglected in childhood and out of fear of being not heard or helped again, anxiety elevates the pain.
Dr. Arthur Janov delivers his research findings and the connection between mental and physical illnesses in many of his books especially in “Why You Get Sick and How You Get Well.”
Alice Miller alerts doctors to embrace the connection of depression and physical illness in her book “The Truth Will set You Free”.
As long as we refuse to act on the knowledge that a human being is made up of intrinsically interconnected physical and mental aspects, and functions only if both work in harmony, the medical model must fail in its attempts to help the healing process.