Everyone is Depressed
Healthcare on a large scale is a complex system that requires services be rationed. So it stands to reason that we would withhold “extra” services for later and give more important ones now.
I’m starting to see that physical and mental health are really intertwined. Americans complain that their taxes are too high, that people are mooching off of welfare, that the Danes are the happiest people in the world– why aren’t we? It’s pretty obvious that we’re doing it to ourselves.
What are the things that we value? Cheap food. Expensive thrills. These things reflect in our politics and how the country is run. We want more healthcare but cheaper healthcare but better healthcare with “hotshot” doctors.
There are a lot of problems with the American healthcare system, which I’m not even going to try and untangle right now. But it doesn’t cover a lot of things because they’re not considered essential to living. Dental and Eye exams are often things that are left out on skinnier plans. For sure, mental wellness is not something included on every insurance plan…. but should it be an option?
The world is a stressful place. We need to perform at work, at home, and if we’re not at either place, we need to look for them. People’s happiness really could be a proxy for their mental well-being. Why? Because if otherwise you’re unhappy, sad, depressed, apathetic, things that aren’t the “normal” state of feeling. And negative emotions have been proven to adversely affect our physical health– the most drastic being suicide. Wouldn’t it be more human, ethical even, to include a small number, say 3, psychologist visits on every plan?
Granted the population I’m working with stacks the deck a bit– all uninsured patients. But depression really seems to compound the stress of living. They’re overwhelmed or consumed by this pit of “no good things shall come to pass”, and it translates to taking poorer care of one’s self. The direct economic result is a strain on resources, because the mobile health clinic can’t take care of a lot of things and then we can only refer them to the Emergency Room. Someone out there is complaining of rising healthcare costs. Rinse and repeat.