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One of the most common debilitating illness that decreases the qualityof life of majority of individuals and causes functional disability isdepression The purpose of choosing depression as a chronic illnesscausing major disability is due to the fact that depression extorts asignificant toll on the health and productivity of millions of AmericansMark Shern Bagalman Cao 2007 According to World HealthOrganization WHO more than 21 million American adults and children areaffected due to depression between the ages 15 to 44 Mark ShernBagalman Cao 2007 It has been observed that depression has causedloss of productive time among US workers resulting in excess cost of31 billion per year Steward et al as cited in Mark Shern Bagalman Cao 2007 WHO states that major depression is the leading cause ofdisability in the globe Pratt Brody 2008 Depression affectsindividuals in drastic ways by decreasing their quality of life causingsocial impairment and decreased occupational functioning Pratt Brody2008 It is characterized by changes in mood levels decreasedself-esteem low cognitive functioning loss of appetite and sleepdecreased energy levels and loss of interest in pleasurable activitiesPratt Brody 2008 It also results in increased vocationalabsenteeism decreased productivity and short-term functional disabilityKentucky 2010 Depression is generally accompanied by other medical illness such ascancer heart disease diabetes and chronic pain due to poor healthstatus and management Mark Shern Bagalman Cao 2007 However 1 in20 Americans who are 12 years and older suffer from depression evenwithout prevalence of any medical illness Pratt Brody 2008 According to CDC Center for Disease Control and Prevention a tragicfinding is that around 30000 Americans commit suicide due to depressioneach year while hundreds of thousands attempt suicide Mark ShernBagalman Cao 2007 Though depression is treatable it has been observed that many patientsdo not receive even the minimum adequate treatment Pratt Brody2008 Hence the purpose of this paper is to determine why depression isthe most underdiagnosed and untreated disability in the United Stateswhich results in increased
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