September 26, 2020

Disability, Depression: An Econometric Study , Some Personal Experience

Introduction: The common definitions the physical disability available easily on internet is that it is a substantial and long-term condition affecting a part of a person’s body that impairs and limits their physical functioning, mobility, stamina or dexterity. Observing minutely this definition, the first thing my eyes catch hold of is that only the physical functioning, mobility, stamina or dexterity gets limited of mental disorder; depression but according to many studies (which I will analyze later) there is high correlation between the persons having physical disabilities and they suffering from many psychological disorders.
Some personal experiences: I think most of the times the traditional thinking of our society creates such an atmosphere that the persons with disabilities are looked upon. Then concluding by this definition there must not be any correlation between physical disability and the menace as third class human beings. I myself am a Person With Disability (PWD).These three alphabets should only describe my physique but not my emotions , my mental strength, my creative ability, my ability to earn(both money and respect), my caliber to absorb pressure but sometimes I am forced by the narrow minded traditional society to give it a thought. When people prefer person with normal physique over me with the reason I couldn’t had controlled (the disability is a natural happening) or didn’t choose me when they do not have any other single option, I am not left with a choice but to be mentally disturbed. The personality like Robert Collis Christy Brown , Helen Adams Keller and Stephen William Hawking come to my rescue as my inspiration. This makes me think harder that the Persons with disabilities are inspiring me most of the times rather the opposite category.
Conclusions from a study conducted by James D. Leeper, PhD, Lee W. Badger, MSW, and Tamar Milo, PhD: Persons claiming physical disability who were evaluated at a primary care health center in a small southern city were administered the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. Fifty-six per cent of the 43 patients were found to have one or more psychiatric disorders. Prior to their physical examination, all physical disability determination patients (N = 43) at a primary care health center in a small southern city were interviewed with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS). The DIS was developed at the initiative of the National Institute of Mental Health as a fully structured interview designed to yield reliable and valid psychiatric diagnoses.
Diagnoses are made on a lifetime basis as well as by defined recency via a determination of when diagnostic criteria were last met. The DIS provides a total symptom count across diagnoses as well as a count of diagnostic criteria met. In addition, a scale similar and complementary to the format of the DIS was used to measure anxiety. The interviewers for this study were two graduate students trained by the certified trainer on the research team.
Results: Forty-three consecutive disability determination patients were the subjects for this pilot study. There were 23 males, 15 of them White; the 20 females were equally divided between Black and White. Sixty per cent (N = 9) of the White males were between ages 50 and 59 whereas the Black males were represented approximately equally in the 10-year intervals between ages 30 and 69. Black females were younger (50 per cent were less than 39 years old) than White females (70% were over 50 years old). Fifty-six per cent of the patients were found to have one or more current psychiatric disorders according to the DIS. Ten patients had one disorder, seven had two disorders, two had three disorders, two had four disorders, and three had five disorders. The most common DIS diagnoses were phobia (15 patients), anxiety (11 patients), and panic (8 patients). Other diagnoses were alcoholism (5), depression (4), somatization (4), organic brain syndrome (3), schizophrenia (2), and barbiturate dependence (1). Two-thirds of Blacks and 48 per cent of Whites had one or more diagnosis. Proportionately more males (61 per cent) than females (50 per cent) had one or more diagnosis. An equal percentage (56 per cent) of those under age 50 and those age 50 or older had one or more diagnosis. Married patients had a slightly lower prevalence of disorder than those unmarried (52 per cent versus 59 per cent). None of these relationships was statistically significant.
Change is needed in attitude: As Albert Schweitzer, a French-German theologian quoted: “The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others”. This will be only possible if we change the attitude towards these persons. Need is to only make them will feel warm hearted; they will not need most of they help but will stand on their own feet and will prove fruitful economically and socially to the society.
(The author is presently pursuing Masters in Financial Economics at Madras School of Economics, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Views are his own)

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