Red State Blues

Fascinating piece in today’s New York Times regarding differences between “red states” and “blue states” and their utilization of psychotherapy. It’s a thoughtful piece, and the author Seth Stevens-Davidowitz, takes some pains examining the data.

Compared with blue states, red states have roughly 30 percent higher suicide rates and around 20 percent higher rates of major depression. Among many other factors, lack of therapy is probably playing a role in these outcomes.

And this on the economics of therapy:

Sure, therapy can be pricey, but it is important to keep the costs of depression in mind. A recent study led by Paul E. Greenberg of the Analysis Group, an economic consulting firm, found that the average person with major depression costs some $7,000 per year in lost economic productivity. In study after study, therapy easily passes the many cost-benefit tests that have been applied to it.

Again, you can take a look at the article here. It’s worth a look.

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Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

4 thoughts on “Red State Blues”

  1. Yes..It is indeed interesting. The average psychiatrist in Texas has over 600 patients. I think this was a figure I heard. I would imagine similar numbers with the psychologists.

    Those that need help the most are not getting it. If you are medical assistance in Texas, good luck. Mental health assistance has been cut again. We did manage to cut taxes more here. I am not sure that the priorities are correct. It seems like is so important to get more business here. The priorities are askew.


    1. Yes, I think the suicide and major depression rates have more to do with poverty than the rates of people entering psychotherapy, though I do think that’s also important. The article makes the mistake I think a lot of people do — focus on personal choices more than environmental factors (i.e. political choices).


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