Hidden Epidemic and Huge Untapped Market
Simplifying diagnosis, screening, intervention and treatment
In recent years, antidepressant sales have skyrocketed beyond the pharmaceutical industry’s wildest dreams.
Yet despite widespread screening programs and aggressive marketing campaigns designed to raise mental health disease awareness, a significant percentage of the population remains undiagnosed and untreated. Estimates vary, but research suggests nearly a third of American adults have never been diagnosed with any mental disorder. Precisely this segment of the population must be targeted for intervention if pharmaceutical profits are to continue rising at their current rate.
One way to increase the prevalence of a disease is to broaden its diagnostic criteria. By providing physicians with an ever-growing laundry list of signs and symptoms to evaluate (insomnia or oversleeping, poor appetite or overeating, constant crying or inability to cry, apathy or hostility, fatigue or restlessness, and so on), the number of potential clients/patients is greatly expanded.
However, a major flaw in this strategy is that it focuses exclusively on those who complain of sickness, while completely overlooking those who feel well. The present article explores the novel hypothesis that patients who feel well are, in fact, patients who need treatment.