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The True Cost of Depression: Is Neuronavigated TMS Worth It?

Major Depression carries a myriad of costs: physical, emotional, cognitive, psychological, and interpersonal. Because of its debilitating impact, it may be difficult to put into perspective the financial costs of depression, which are often staggering and compound with the duration of a depressed episode. The benefits of effective treatment, such as Neuronavigated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) offered by Dr. Stubbeman, are worth the costs. Compared with the cost of long-term untreated Major Depression, the cost of Neuronavigated TMS is a drop-in-the-bucket despite appearing as a large upfront expense. In fact, it is an investment in you, your health, the health of your family and long-term stability that comes with psychological and emotional balance.

How much does Neuronavigated TMS cost?

After researching the high success rate, low side effect profile, and persistent effect of TMS, your next question may be: “Why is Neuronavigated TMS so expensive?” Our TMS uses cutting-edge Neuronavigation technology – the ability to see in real time the precise part of the brain being targeted with magnetic pulses, so Dr. Stubbeman can see exactly where he is stimulating. Few doctors use Neuronavigation, which begs the question: how can doctors safely treat someone’s brain if they cannot see what they are doing? TMS requires significant investment in the aforementioned precision instruments and technology to run safe, accurate and effective treatments. Ironically, because TMS is a burgeoning field of medicine, insurance may not cover the procedure. Additionally, the most effective treatment protocols are constantly evolving as new research leads to a better understanding of the human brain. The best clinical use of TMS requires a physician to be fully dedicated to keeping up with the research. This allows for adaptation and flexibility in treatment which maximizes the results. Neuronavigated TMS is a concerted effort to obtain exactly that: the most precise, up-to-date and results-driven treatments in the world. Therefore, these built in costs mean that Neuronavigated TMS can be expensive, ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 per week depending on the severity of your condition. Although treatment may be expensive, it pales in comparison to the financial cost of being unemployed, lavish spending sprees to compensate depression or irreparable damage to one’s personal health and family. That is why viewing the whole picture is essential to recognize how Neuronavigated TMS can effectively treat Major Depression and give you your life back.

Employment Impact

Major Depression can be extraordinarily difficult to recover from, many times resulting in long or chronic depressive episodes. Studies show that 50% of people with Major Depression do not recover in 3 months; 37% do not recover in 6 months; 24% do not recover in 12 months and 20% do not recover in 24 months[1]. With results showing 20% of people becoming chronically depressed, the loss of wages (even with modest earnings) begins to dwarf the cost of Neuronavigated TMS treatment. In addition, as time goes on the sufferer’s chance of remission out of Major Depression in the following weeks declines dramatically. In a depressive episode the probability of recovering declines to less than 1% after six months[2]. The likelihood of a sufferer staying severely depressed increases with the duration of the episode. As a result, productivity declines dramatically. Studies found depressed individuals were 27-times more likely to lose work through absenteeism or by being mentally unable to fulfill their roles despite physical presence[3]. Whether you are not showing up to work or performing at lower levels, employers take note of these actions. It is no surprise that sufferers are over seven times more likely to be unemployed. The chart below summarizes income sacrificed during depression depending on your wage level. Based on the statistics above, one quarter of depressed individuals will lose a full year’s salary and over 80% of those sufferers will forgo at least 2 full years of work. Twenty percent of Major Depression sufferers will lose between $100,000 and $800,000 based on the chart below. The more you earn, the more compelling it is to get treated as soon as possible.


Estimated Loss of Income During Depressive Episode

Duration of Depression

$50,000

$100,000

$150,000

$200,000

$400,000

3 Months

-$12,500

-$25,000

-$37,500

-$50,000

-$100,000

6 Months

-$25,000

-$50,000

-$75,000

-$100,000

-$200,000

9 Months

-$37,500

-$75,000

-$112,500

-$150,000

-$300,000

12 Months

-$50,000

-$100,000

-$150,000

-$200,000

-$400,000

24 Months

-$100,000

-$200,000

-$300,000

-$400,000

-$800,000


Health and Healthcare Costs

More recently studies have shown how Major Depression affects your physical health as well, which has consequences for both quality of life and financial resources. Depression is now proven to be co-morbidly linked to other illnesses such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, eye disease and back pain[4,5,6,7,8]. The correlation strengthens with longer depressive episodes because individuals are less likely to take care of themselves, seek preventive care or even follow simple instructions from their doctors. As evidence of this effect, studies show how depression contributes to fatal coronary disease by a two- to threefold increase in mortality[5]. Patients diagnosed with depression had nearly 100% higher annual healthcare costs and higher costs for every category of care including: primary care, medical specialty, inpatient, pharmacy and laboratory[9]. The figures increase dramatically when the Depression sufferer has a chronic illness. Scientists have been studying the financial impact of Depression on Diabetics as one example. Diabetics who also suffered from depression had total healthcare expenditures 4.5 times greater than non-depressed diabetics[10]. This is characterized by patients with worse diets, who do not follow their medication regimens and have physical and mental functional impairments compared to diabetics who are not depressed[11]. Often times Depression leaves the sufferer incapable of taking care of themselves which can compound the effects of chronic illnesses. Whether chronically ill or not, the figures showing healthcare cost increases come as no surprise. Neuronavigated TMS can help you recover from Depression and avoid unnecessary strain on your health and bank account.

Impact on Family

Statistics show nearly everyone will be affected by Major Depression at some point in their lives either through personal experience or someone they know[12]. While quantifying the financial impact on family is difficult, it is a real concern that deserves serious attention. Recent studies place the focus on children with depressed parents, creating a barometer for familial impact. Research has concluded children with parents suffering from poorly treated Major Depression have higher rates of depression and anxiety that greatly exceed that of the population[13,14]. Additionally, they are more likely to develop aggressive behavior and other conduct disorders[14]. Stress due to parental withdrawal or intrusiveness lead to higher rates of counter-productive coping mechanisms such as rumination and negative thinking. Children of depressed parents fall behind the population in cognitive development, educational performance, peer relationships and self-esteem[13]. Furthermore early onset of Depression could propagate a vicious cycle to offspring and descendants. If you have children, the risk to them may be substantial which validates the necessity for effective treatment. Neuronavigated TMS can stop the cycle before children and grandchildren suffer too.

Only A Choice

Depression is devastating: ruining relationships, emotional stability and your finances before you realize. The financial burden alone can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. The impact on others can be severe and often times is difficult to recognize while it is happening. Considering the alternatives, Neuronavigated TMS is the most cost-effective and safest method of recovering from Major Depression. Think about your family, your health and your ability to enjoy life again. Learn how Neuronavigated TMS can be successful for you. Contact Dr. Stubbeman for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Afterword

Dr. William Stubbeman was a Board Certified private practice Psychiatrist and Psychopharmacologist for 10 years before dedicating his practice almost entirely toward TMS because the results were so compelling. He is one of the few practicing clinicians in the country capable of keeping up with the changing world of Brain Stimulation. This is why he invests in the latest technology to bring the most advanced forms of TMS – namely Neuronavigated TMS. His successful methods have improved the lives of many people. In 2011, Dr Stubbeman administered more clinical TMS treatments than anyone in the US. His passion for improving techniques with technology has ranked him as a leader in the field. To learn more about Dr. Stubbeman and his expertise, read “Dr. Stubbeman’s Bio”.

 

References

  1. Jan Spijker, MD, Ronde Graaf, PhD, et al. Duration of major depressive episodes in the general population: results from The Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study (NEMESIS). The British Journal of Psychiatry (2002)181: 208-213.
  2. Scott Patten, et al. A major depression prognosis calculator based on episode duration. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2006; 2:13.
  3. Larry Myette, MD, et al. Depression in the Working Population. American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. February 2009.
  4. Patrick J Lustman, PhD, and Ryan Anderson. Depression in Adults With Diabetes. Psychiatric Times, January 2002, 19:1.
  5. Ania Korszun, Michael Frenneaux. Stress – the battle for hearts and minds: links between depression, stress and ischemic heart disease. Future Medicine. September 2006, Vol. 2, No. 5, Pages 571-578.
  6. Joseph Gallo, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, “Major Depression and Cancer,” Cancer Causes and Control, September 2000, 11:8.
  7. Ophthalmology by Stuart I Brown MD, chairman of UCSD’s Department of Ophthalmology.
  8. Julia Hippisley Cox et al, “Depression as a Risk Factor for Ischaemic Heart Disease in Men,” British Medical Journal (BMJ), 1998, 316:1714-1719.
  9. Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH; Michael VonKorff, ScD; William Barlow, PhD. Health Care Costs of Primary Care Patients With Recognized Depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1995;52(10):850-856.
  10. Leonard E. Egede, MD, et al. Comorbid Depression is Associated With Increased Health Care Use and Expenditures in Individuals With Diabetes. Diabetes Care March 2002 vol. 25 no. 3 464-470.
  11. Paul S. Ciechanowski, MD, MPH; Wayne J. Katon, MD; Joan E. Russo, PhD. Depression and Diabetes: Impact of Depressive Symptoms on Adherence, Function, and Costs. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(21):3278-3285.
  12. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 1998. “National Health Priority Areas Mental Health: A Report Focusing on Depression.”
  13. Adela Langrock, et al. Coping With the Stress of Parental Depression: Parents’ Reports of Children’s Coping, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems.Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. Volume 31, Issue 3, 2002.
  14. Family risk factors, parental depression, and psychopathology in offspring. Fendrich, Michael; Warner, Virginia; Weissman, Myrna M. Developmental Psychology, Vol 26(1), Jan 1990, 40-50.