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Monetary Value of Depression

             It generated more than $1 billion of profits in the year 2000. In the mid-1990s, the company who makes it depended on it for nearly 40% of its sales. What is it? Prozac, the most widely used prescription anti-depressant. Produced by Eli Lilly & Co, "Prozac, with 40 million users, accounted for a quarter of Lilly's $10.8 billion in sales" (Arndt). With a significant chunk of the United States" Gross Domestic Product invested in anti-depressant drugs, what is causing the elevated levels of depression in today's society? Depression can be traced to genetic and biological factors, but do environmental factors also influence peoples" happiness levels significantly enough to cause depression? With a world wrapped up in material goods, the need for instant gratification might lead to decreased happiness levels. Does materialism, the theory that worldly possessions constitute the highest value in life, lead to a heightened level of depression in today's society, or is depression a state-of-mind that is determined by biological and genetic factors?.
             Depression is defined as "the condition of feeling sad or despondent" (Dictionary.com). Feeling depressed is common for most people in the world, and one of the major causes of depression is biological factors. Biological causes of depression are due to "changes in the chemistry of the brain, such as fluctuations in the levels of important hormones" (Causes of Depression). Fluctuations of these hormones greatly affect a persons" psychiatric make-up. If a person lacks levels of an important hormone, not only can depression set in, but bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, and insomnia can dominate a persons" life. If a male or female lacks enough of a hormone essential to preventing depression, the person may give up on life .
             altogether and commit suicide - simply because of a chemical imbalance preventable by antidepressants. .
             Research performed on depression shows that the changes in the chemical composition of the brain may lead to an imbalance in neurotransmitters.

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