Original Article: PDF OnlyPrevalence of Mental Disorders after Catastrophic Financial LossGANZINI, LINDA M.D.1; McFARLAND, BENTSON H. M.D., Ph.D.2; CUTLER, DAVID M.D.1Author Information 1Department of Psychiatry, L460, The Oregon Health Sciences University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, Oregon 97201. Send reprint requests to Dr. Ganzini 2Western Mental Health Research Center. The Oregon Health Sciences University, and Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 1990 - Volume 178 - Issue 11 - p 680-685 Buy Abstract In a controlled study, the authors determined the risk of developing major mental illness after catastrophic financial loss. Seventy-two adults who lost their retirement savings in a bank fraud were interviewed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule. Major depression by DSM-3 criteria was present in 29% of the victims during the first 20 months after their loss as compared with 2% of 66 age, gender, and residential area-matched control subjects (p<.0001). Generalized anxiety disorder as defined by DSM-3 criteria was experienced by 27% of victims after the loss as compared with 10% of control subjects (p = .03). After the loss, victims had lower subjective health ratings, more functional somatic complaints, and higher tranquilizer usage than control subjects. There was no difference between depressed and nondepressed in types of coping responses or use of social supports and confidants. Only four of 21 victims who suffered major depression sought help from a mental health professional. We conclude that catastrophic financial loss may result in the onset of major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. © Williams & Wilkins 1990. All Rights Reserved.