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Deaths from overdoses from opioid prescription medications have far exceeded those from heroin for over fifteen years, though heroin overdoses have escalated considerably in recent years. As previously noted, by 2013, opioid sales and dependence had exceeded dependence on either alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana, and deaths from opioids now exceed those from gunshot wounds and motor vehicle accidents, combined. With all that chaos, why would anyone continue procrastinating? Well, for the same reasons that we do almost anything else, because by our very nature, we're habitual. Put another way, the habitual procrastinator acts in quite similar fashion to the compulsive gambler, who convinces himself that his next trip to the casino "just has to" yield a positive outcome from a scenario that actually offers overwhelmingly negative odds. As the tasks we haven't yet tackled build into a virtual mountain of obligations, we begin feeling overwhelmed, as though there will never be enough time to deal with everything; nor will we have enough energy with which to accomplish them. If this goes on long enough, we soon convince ourselves that life only seems to offer complicated and boring obligations and we then seek an escape from this mental imprisonment. As a result of this way of thinking, avoidance soon becomes an everyday norm, while productive "do"-ing becomes a distant memory from our past. We then become so accustomed to living this way, that we almost can't imagine any other way of life. After a while, we lose nearly all confidence in our abilities. Later on, we begin to view the concept of changing as something else to avoid. So, even if some change were in our best interests, we continue to allow opportunities to slip through our fingers. For family members dealing with a depressed person, it is vital that they learn to take care of themselves as well as their loved one. This means making time for themselves by getting out socially and doing the kind of things they enjoy. But they also need to be more open about the frustration that often results from providing this kind of care. Caregivers need to take care of their personal health by making sure to eat and exercise properly and finding outlets for the frequent stress that caregiving can bring. Though caregivers often end up feeling completely alone, there are resources available in the community that can help, including support groups for people dealing with this kind of stress. Check with local or online mental health care resources for contact numbers. The World Health Organization estimates that there are over three hundred million people with severe depression worldwide making it the fourth leading cause of disability overall (and will have risen to the number- two spot by 2020). Though numerous research studies have been carried out to estimate the actual impact of depression to society, this can be extremely difficult considering that many people suffering from severe depression are never diagnosed or receive treatment.

According to one recent U.S. study published in 2015, the total economic burden of MDD alone is approximately $210.5 billion a year (up from $173.2 billion a year in 2005). Along with the actual costs of treatment, this figure also includes the economic costs of time lost from work, reduced productivity, and shortened work careers caused by long-term disability and suicide. According to the report's authors, depression "is the leading cause of disability for people aged 15-44, resulting in almost 400 million disability days per year, substantially more than more other physical and mental conditions." First, with surgery prices in Seoul at around a third of what you would pay in the US, surgery tourists make up a part of the statistic. Package deals are offered, hotels are attached to clinics so clients do not have to walk through the streets in bandages and, indeed, suitcases fill the lobby of the clinic in which I am standing. Second, double-eyelid surgery (an insertion of a crease in the eyelid to make the eye look bigger) is popular here and is a simple procedure which can take as little as fifteen minutes (the former President of Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, had it done in 2005 while in office). Which brings us to reason three: men do it, too, making up 15-20 per cent of the clients. In the Seoul metro, you may be greeted with cosmetic surgery adverts claiming that everyone but you has done it'. <a href=''>And</a> that leads us to the fourth reason. <a href=''>Competition.</a> <a href=''>Remember</a> the Korean saying,If one cousin buys land, the other cousin gets a stomach ache.' First, your neighbour bought a new car, then you bought a new car. Now the competition has moved into different arenas: beauty and education. Korea</a> is a very competitive society,' Yeon-Ho says to me. <a href=''>Debt,</a> credit, and loans should only be considered if you can afford to back up 100% of the loan using your own money and/or property and assets or you own a project or business already generating enough money to pay the loan back very fast. <a href=''>It's</a> only smart when you'd like to use someone else's money, don't absolutely need it, and you can pay it all back whenever you want without screwing yourself over. <a href=''>It's</a> like jumping into a hole but also being smart enough to tie a rope at the top so you can get back out whenever you want. <a href=''>When</a> we're not lucky enough to have this good positioning and take on debt, loans, and credit without it being risky, borrowing money is a terrible financial position to be in. <a href=''>It's</a> like jumping into a hole without a rope and then offering to give whoever has a rope whatever they want to save you. <a href=''>It's</a> not very smart. <a href=''>When</a> you're in that financial hole, or think you're in one, credit card companies, banks, and institutions drop a rope down just far enough to dangle it barely out of reach and before lowering it the rest of the way, ask you to sign an unfair contract saying if they help you get out of the hole you put yourself in, they own you until you do a lot more for them than they just did for you. <br /><br /><a href=''>99%</a> of the time, the rope isn't even necessary! <a href=''>With</a> time and effort, we can climb out of any hole and not fall back in it. <a href=''>Instead</a> of saying, F*ck your rope and your contract, I'll climb out myself, we're saying, This hole is very uncomfortable and I don't feel like getting myself out of it. <a href=''>Throw</a> down the rope down I'll sign any contract you stick in my face. <a href=''>Just</a> save me from having to work and be bored and uncomfortable. <a href=''>Yet</a> for all the human and social ravages opioid and other addictive drugs have wrought, no substantive relief seems in sight, especially if this country continues to pursue puritanical, punitive, and political solutions rather than those drawn from science and public-health practices. <a href=''>We</a> may miss out on job opportunities that offer better working conditions or higher pay because, although we may feel stuck in a rut, we've grown oddly comfortable living in it. <a href=''>Eventually</a> though, sadness can envelop us if we begin to view our lives as bleak and joyless, with a future consisting only of lost opportunities and future obligations. <a href=''>That</a> said, it behooves us to find purpose in our lives, and one great way of doing so is by learning new ways of dealing with our tasks, responsibilities, and obligations. <a href=''>When</a> I was a habitual procrastinator, I sometimes worried that if I ever became a productive person, it might blow my cover of being an incapable adult. <a href=''>For</a> example, I might say to myself, "If I were able to balance my checkbook, wouldn't that mean that I should be able to look for work and get a job?" The truth is that I was not only capable of looking for a job, but of holding one down--what's more, I was equally capable of balancing my checkbook, which I now routinely get done in only a few minutes. <a href=''>So,</a> if I was that convinced of my past inability, then how is it that I am now capable of getting so much more done? <a href=''>But</a> there are other costs that are harder to determine. <a href=''>As</a> we have already seen, many people who suffer from symptoms of depression may turn to drugs or alcohol to medicate themselves. <a href=''>Considering</a> that substance abuse is a major health problem in its own right, this means that the effects of depression may be more far-reaching than anyone realizes. <a href=''>For</a> that matter, depression can be linked to other health problems including chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, adjustment problems, and posttraumatic disorders. <a href=''>Also,</a> as we have seen in Question 27, many of the economic and health problems linked to depression can also affect family members who need to dedicate themselves to caring for affected loved ones. <a href=''>This</a> can mean lost time from work and reduced productivity due to time lost from work as well as stress-related medical issues. <a href=''>The</a> long-term costs may be even greater considering that caregivers may often be in need of health services themselves due to the impact of chronic stress. <a href=''>Though</a> the actual costs associated with depression may be impossible to estimate, it's clear to see that it represents a major drain on health resources around the world. <br /><br /><a href=''>While</a> research has shown that providing better treatment for people with depression can help reduce some of these costs, as well as make life better overall, making these treatment options available worldwide continues to be an enormous challenge. <a href=''>He</a> and I have met a couple of times before. <a href=''>The</a> first time was at my office in Copenhagen, when he was doing research for a book on why Denmark does so well in the happiness rankings and what Korea could learn from it. <a href=''>Now</a> we are in Seoul, and we meet in the centre of the city as thousands and thousands of demonstrators protest against President Park over the corruption scandal (which later leads to her being impeached and removed from office). <a href=''>We need to give the Korean students a break from competition. That is why I started the Danish efterskole here.' Students in South Korea are the most hardworking I have ever met. The ones I speak with start the first school (yes, the first school) at 8 a.m. and finish at 4 p.m., then they go home to eat. The second school can last from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., and can be lessons from a private tutor or a hagwons (a for-profit private cram school). Three-quarters of students attend such a `second school'. Hagwons and private tutors are big business and serve to accelerate the academic arms race to get into one of the three most prestigious universities in South Korea - Seoul National University, Korea University and Yonsei University (also known as SKY) - and subsequently on the pathway to a job in one of the top companies. Be the person with the rope and avoid being in the hole. If you're already in the hole, learn how to climb or make enough rope to get yourself out. It's sad. A lot of us think our standard of living and financial appearance is more important than saving money and getting rid of debt and it's putting us in a hole so deep that it's almost impossible to get out of. When you notice you're in a hole, stop digging! Stop spending! Stop trying to keep up with the lifestyle that feeds your ego, emotions, and everything else except you. If your standard of living hurts your financial situation, adjust it and forget what your ego, emotions, and inner-child want.

They're don't get a say in how you live your life because they're only interested in spending. The house your ego wants but you can't really afford is creating more debt and preventing you from saving. How is other people being impressed by your nice house helping you? Is the temporary feeling of success you get when people say you have a beautiful home worth the financial hell you're living in? The expensive car your ego wants you to drive but you can't afford isn't eliminating your debt and saving you money either. How is being the person with the cool car helping you improve your financial positioning? Are the emotional highs you get from people saying cool car worth the financial bind you're putting yourself in just to own it? In the past, my mind filled with gross distortions that usually involved how much time and energy my tasks would take to accomplish. These distortions were comparable to large and seemingly unmovable mental boulders that I'd placed in my path. How could I get past that first boulder? It seemed impossible! And, if by some miracle, I were able to deal with and eliminate that boulder, I was sure that my path would be blocked by another boulder. Who had the time or energy to deal with them? I knew that I didn't. I was self-convinced that I was an incapable person, and like many people in this situation, I felt as if I bore the weight of the world upon my shoulders. Much of my distorted outlook came from unrealistic expectations of what a task entailed, from not having a track record of successfully completed projects, and from the lack of any sort of reward system. However, before we can begin tackling any of our tasks, we need to find a good starting point; but luckily, you already have it, because it is within you. To overcome habitual procrastination, we need to put the past behind us if we are to move forward. Our poor past experiences serve only to distort our forward-looking outlook. To restore the balance between how we think and act is as simple as developing the willingness to reduce the number of tasks that we have.