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March 14, 2012

Preventing Depression: A Global Priority

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 2012;307(10):1033-1034. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.271

Depressive disorders erode quality of life, productivity in the workplace, and fulfillment of social and familial roles. In today's knowledge- and service-driven economies, the population's mental capital (ie, cognitive, emotional, and social skills resources required for role functioning) becomes both more valuable and more vulnerable to the effects of depression. Depressive disorders, severe mental illnesses that should not be confused with normal mood variations, are part of a vicious circle of poverty, discrimination, and poor mental health in middle- and low-income countries.1 These realities also have major economic ramifications: treatment costs of depression are soaring but are only a fragment of the costs of reduced productivity due to depression.2

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