A report published today in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that that the emotional state of the large majority (63 percent) of Americans is general despondency, but the good news is that only slightly more than one-third (34 percent) are clinically depressed to the point of being suicidal.
“This is great news," stated Pfizer CEO Ian Read, who explained that shareholders had expressed concern that the company might not be able to manufacture the amount of prescription medications needed to treat the massive - and growing - sector of clinically depressed Americans. “But we can handle one-third no problem," he stated.
Read further noted that, while the percentage of the American population taking psychotropic medications does seem to be on the rise, Pfizer's production capacity is, at least so far, keeping pace with the increase. “We'll be able to accommodate clinical depression rates of 50 percent within the next five years,” announced Read, whose statement triggered a corresponding rise in Pfizer share values.
Read did acknowledge that, unfortunately, the JAMA study showed little to no overlap between those identified as clinically-depressed and those who were merely despondent; in other words, the 34 percent of Americans who are clinically depressed, together with the 63 percent who are generally despondent, make up a staggering 97 percent of the American population – almost 99 percent if children under the age of six are excluded from the analysis.
“But that doesn't mean that a depression-free life isn't possible,” emphasized Read. “For instance, I had full psych workup done the other day, and I'm not depressed in the slightest. In fact, the tests showed me to be positively gleeful.”
Read reported that, encouragingly, depression rates among his executive colleagues at Pfizer are similarly low. “Based on anecdotal evidence, at least, good spirits seem to be contagious," he said. "And in fact, I've heard the same about folks at Johnson & Johnson. Something to do with career satisfaction, would my best guess.”