The High Financial Cost of Depression

Depression is on the rise and it is not cheap.  While loneliness and the post pandemic world wrestle with the mental health issues that have added, individuals are beginning to see the rising cost of depression.  While only world wide, 5 percent suffer from depression, it still costs the world economy over 1 trillion dollars.  Also, for every dollar, it is important to note that additional funds go towards negative ways of coping.

The financial cost of depression and similar treatments are in the trillions of dollars worldwide


The article, “Depression is costing the global economy a ‘profound’ $1 trillion per year, warns U.S. Surgeon General” by Alexa Mikhail takes a closer look at these stats and how it is costing the global economy.  He states,

“As health officials continue to sound the alarm on the growing loneliness epidemic, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy says the prevalence of depression is closely linked. Loneliness and social isolation increase the risk for mental health problems, including depression. About 280 million people—or 5% of adults globally—have depression, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).”

“Depression is costing the global economy a ‘profound’ $1 trillion per year, warns U.S. Surgeon General”. Mikhail, A. (2023). FortuneWell.

To review the entire article, please click here

In the United States, the cost for depression is over 250 million alone and it continues to rise as more become depressed through the years.  What is causing this? Many blame loneliness.  Some blame the pandemic as well.  Regardless, investment needs to be put into helping individuals cope better with loss and if depressed, find the right help and learn how to cope and find healing.   Remaining permanently dependent on medication is not the answer for everyone either.  Some severe cases may need long term, but those with minor cases need coping as well to balance the issue within the mind.  The high cost of pharmaceutical drugs is astounding and depression is only aspect of it.  In addition anxiety, OCD, ADHD and other minor disorders are constantly treated rising the price globally.

So in essence, it is important to find the reason why depression is increasing, treat it more cost effectively and help people return to normal with stronger coping mechanisms.

Healthcare expenses related to mental health

One of the primary financial costs of mental health is the healthcare expenses associated with diagnosis, treatment, and ongoing care. Mental health services, including therapy, medication, and hospitalization, can be prohibitively expensive for many individuals and families. Insurance coverage for mental health varies widely, with some plans offering limited coverage or high out-of-pocket costs. As a result, individuals often face significant financial strain when seeking the help they need.

Moreover, the lack of accessible and affordable mental healthcare options exacerbates the financial burden. Limited availability of mental health providers, especially in rural areas, means that individuals may have to travel long distances or pay exorbitant fees for specialized care. This further contributes to the hidden costs of mental health.

Lost productivity and economic impact

Another significant financial cost of mental health is the loss of productivity in the workforce. Mental health conditions can lead to decreased work performance, absenteeism, and even long-term disability. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization, depression and anxiety disorders alone cost the global economy over $1 trillion in lost productivity each year.

Employers also bear the financial burden of mental health issues among their workforce. They face increased healthcare costs, decreased productivity, and higher turnover rates. Additionally, the stigma surrounding mental health often leads to a reluctance among employees to seek help, resulting in prolonged suffering and further financial strain.

The cost of untreated mental health conditions

Unaddressed mental health conditions can have severe consequences, both for individuals and society. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, these conditions often worsen over time, leading to increased healthcare costs and reduced quality of life. The cost of untreated mental health conditions extends beyond the individual, affecting families, communities, and the economy as a whole.

Individuals with untreated mental health conditions are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as substance abuse, which further compounds the financial burden. The costs associated with addiction treatment, legal issues, and lost productivity due to substance abuse can be astronomical.

Financial burden on individuals and families

The financial burden of mental health falls heavily on individuals and their families. The cost of therapy sessions, medication, and other treatments can quickly add up, straining budgets and depleting savings. In some cases, individuals may be forced to choose between paying for mental healthcare and meeting other basic needs, such as housing or food.

Furthermore, the impact of mental health on employment can lead to job loss, reduced income, or increased healthcare expenses. This creates a cycle of financial instability and stress, exacerbating the mental health condition and making it even more challenging to seek help.

The role of insurance coverage in managing mental health costs

Insurance coverage plays a crucial role in managing the financial costs of mental health. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, passed in the United States in 2008, requires insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental health and substance abuse services. However, despite this legislation, many individuals still face significant barriers to accessing affordable mental healthcare.

Employers can play a vital role in ensuring comprehensive mental health coverage for their employees. Offering robust insurance plans that prioritize mental health services and provide adequate coverage can help alleviate the financial burden on individuals and families. Additionally, advocacy for broader insurance coverage for mental health treatments can contribute to a more inclusive and supportive healthcare system.

Strategies for reducing the financial burden of mental health

Addressing the hidden financial costs of mental health requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some strategies that can help reduce the burden:

  1. Early intervention and prevention: Investing in early intervention programs and preventive measures can help identify and address mental health issues before they escalate. By providing accessible and affordable mental healthcare at the early stages, individuals can receive timely support, reducing the need for more extensive and costly treatments later on.
  2. Education and awareness: Raising awareness about mental health and destigmatizing seeking help is crucial. By promoting understanding and empathy, society can create an environment where individuals feel comfortable seeking treatment, reducing the financial burden associated with untreated conditions.
  3. Integration of mental health into primary care: Integrating mental health services into primary care settings can improve access and reduce costs. By offering mental health screenings and treatments in the same setting as physical health care, individuals can receive holistic care that addresses all aspects of their well-being.
  4. Community support and resources: Communities can play a vital role in supporting individuals with mental health conditions. By establishing support groups, providing resources, and fostering a sense of belonging, communities can help reduce the financial burden on individuals and families.

Conclusion: Investing in mental health for a healthier and wealthier society

The financial costs of mental health are often hidden behind the emotional and psychological toll that these conditions take on individuals and their loved ones. However, addressing these costs is essential for creating a healthier and wealthier society. By investing in accessible and affordable mental healthcare, promoting early intervention and prevention, and reducing the stigma surrounding mental health, we can alleviate the financial burden on individuals, families, and communities. It is time to recognize and prioritize mental health as an integral part of overall well-being and work towards a future where everyone has equal access to the support they need.

Depression care has numerous costs. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification.  Grief Counselors can better help individuals cope with loss and take workload from LPCs and other necessity of medicative needs.  While certified Grief Counselors can only help with basic loss and not depression or more severe maladies, they can play a key role in helping those suffering.  Some Grief Counselors are also LPC’s though and with a certification in Grief Counseling can confidently help those with depression.


“The Economic Cost of Depression is Increasing; Direct Costs are Only a Small Part”. (2021). American Psychiatric Association. Access here

“How Much Does Depression Cost?”. Cherney, K. (2020). Healthline.  Access here

“The Costs of Depression”. Kessler, R. (2012). National Library of Medicine.  Access here

“Depression Cost the US $326 Billion Per Year Pre-Pandemic, a 38% Increase Since 2010”. (2021). Cision.  Access here


Postpartum Depression Video

After the birth of a child, it should be a celebratory time, but for some, postpartum depression can strip one of the joy of a newborn and as well limit one in the new responsibilities of infant care.  If symptoms persist for longer than a week, it is important to contact a mental health care professional who better help one with diagnosis and proper steps to correct the issue.  Primarily a woman issue, men can also fall victim to it, so it is important that partners watch each other after the following days of child birth to ensure each are properly coping with excitement but also stress that comes with a new born child.

Postpartum depression can rob one of the excitement of a child. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.


Please also review AIHCP’s video on Postpartum Depression

Grief and Aging

Change and adapting to change is one of the primary ingredients of grief itself.  When something is altered or changed it requires adjustment.  Sometimes the adjustments are minor or insignificant, but the greater the change, the greater the adjustment.  Some adjustments are for the better and can be challenging but exciting, but some changes are closely related to losing something and adjusting to a new normal that is less than ideal.

The loss of youth is a true loss but through coping and healthy adjustment, one should be able to age throughout life with a healthy mindset


While one normally thinks of death and loss as the key changes and adjustments in life, one of the biggest changes in life is aging.  Aging sometimes can be exciting in one’s younger years but it can also be terrifying as middle age begins.   There are numerous fears that accompany aging.  Some of the fears are associated with primary changes while others are secondary and flow from the initial adjustments.  Some adjust and cope better, but ultimately the losses associated with aging usually are more focused on what one is losing than the gaining of any potential advantages.

The article, “The Grief of Growing Older” Josh Gressel takes a closer look at aging and the adjustment and losses associated with it.  He states,

“So much about growing older seems connected to loss: loss of muscle, loss of drive, loss of energy, loss of memory. If the first half (at least) of our life was all about growing a family, acquiring a profession, and building a nest egg, it can be very challenging to witness nature taking its course with our bodies and our minds and watch ourselves diminish, at least according to the metrics we’ve previously used to measure ourselves.”

“The Grief of Growing Older”. Gressel, J. (2023). Psychology Today.

To review the entire article, please access here


Ultimately change is difficult although change occurs everyday.  Some may cope better than others and some changes may be more delightful than painful, but ultimately change creates adjustments.  Some adjustments can be painful and difficult.  With aging, some change is good and some change is bad.  One needs to have positive mindsets and coping skills to enjoy each phase of aging and to understand that change is not ultimately the end of the world.  Still, it is OK to grieve the loss of certain youthful attributes but one must be able to cope and enjoy the present.

Physical and Mental

As the Gressel points out, one of the biggest adjustments to aging is physical and mental loss.  One cannot escape the reality that eventually one will enter into middle age and even older age losing former abilities.  Losing strength, mobility and agility can take time to adjust to.  In addition, one’s physical appearance can change with less hair, more fat, and more wrinkles.  These facts of aging can be dreaded or accepted with grace.  Many utilize many ways to stay younger looking but eventually one must succumb to mother nature and learn graceful ways to embrace older age.

Middle Age Crisis

Those who do not adjust well to change may experience mid life crisis due to unfulfilled dreams or unmet expectations


As one ages, psychology, especially Erickson’s phases of life reflect on how one has matured and grown from a completely dependent child to a thriving adult.  One naturally reflects on success and what one has generated and added to life itself.  Once beyond the material and financial things, one looks at family and legacy itself.  For some, when things have not gone as well as hoped and one begins to age, it can trigger a crisis response.  One may revert to more immature behaviors or look for more superficial things to fill the void.  The adjustment to where one is at a certain age can be graceful or terrifying depending on one’s life.  Some may be able to celebrate where they are while others may frantically search to find meaning.

The Golden Years

While many dread becoming truly older and crave their youth and prime filled years, others again can reflect and find joy in their accomplishments.  For those the adjustment to elderly life is easier.  They can find retirement and grandchildren as a positive change, but others may worry about death, or regret life long decisions.  Hence again the adjustment to losing certain abilities but gaining other things depends upon one’s mindset.  Is the glass half empty or half full?

Aging is Perspective

Is the grief of aging due only to loss of youth or is it also due to loss of opportunity?   With aging, there comes losses, but also many gains.  The losses of family, the decrease in mental abilities and physical looks,  poorer health and memories long gone are sometimes overwhelming and one forgets the financial issues of youth, or the legal troubles of youth, or the uncertainties of it.   Those who are more prepared in life, tend to look more fondly on their past life and relish their accomplishments and look to share what they know with the younger generation.  They take the change of aging and are able to make it more positive than negative.  They embrace the financial security, the retirement, the maturity, the respect earned, and the life and legacy built.  Those who do not, tend to tremble in the aging process, wishing for more time, or seeking the fountain of youth itself.


While in aging there is loss there is also appreciation. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification


So yes with aging there is definitely change which can be unnerving.  With aging also comes obstacles, grief and loss, but also with aging comes opportunity for growth and new dreams.  Those who cope and prepare better in life, adjust to age far better than those who do not.  Ultimately enjoy the present, so when the future arrives, you will not completely lament the past.

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.

Some who have hard times adjusting to age and the losses associated with it may need grief counseling to overcome middle age crisis or elderly despair.  Grief Counselors can help individuals understand loss and adjustment and also opportunity in life’s overall narrative.

Additional Resources


“Healing Your Grief About Getting Older”. Wolfelt, A.   Age Brilliantly.  Access here

“Midlife Crisis or Midlife Myth? What to Know About Going ‘Over the Hill’”. Raypole, C. (2021). Healthline.  Access here

“Midlife” Psychology Today Staff. Psychology Today.  Access here