Multiply Janine’s story by a few million, toss in some variations, and soon you’re talking real money–at least $67 billion and maybe up to $116 billion. That’s the estimated U.S. workforce productivity loss due to ADHD, according to a 2004 survey* conducted by two of psychiatry’s most widely cited researchers: psychiatrist Joseph Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard University and head of the adult ADHD program at Massachusetts General Hospital, and psychologist Stephen Faraone, director of medical genetics research and head of child and adolescent psychiatry research at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.
“ADHD is one of the costliest medical conditions that we have,” Biederman told the American Medical Association in a media briefing for the survey. “The impact on quality of life is extraordinarily profound, from marriage to friendship to ability to make a living.”
[March 11, 2014: I plan to write more on this topic as medication has played an important role in keeping the depression beast dormant.]
Depression is a beast within. Years ago in the midst of a depressive episode I sat on the living room couch during the twilight of the day. Outside, the trees were silhouetted against an indigo sky. The depression beast ate away at where emotion and purpose should have been found within me. On my lap lay my Bible, which I was reluctant to open. How can mere words on a page help? I wondered.