The graph on the right illustrates the number of psychiatric patients in Japan from 1984 to 2002. The data are adopted from an official report of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The vertical axis indicates the relative value to the population in 1984. Depressives increases to 4.68 times during this period, while schizophrenics and neurotics hardly change. This dramatic increase of the depressive patients must be a result of recent social changes.
I added to the graph the number of temporary workers in the relative value to 1993. I could not obtain the data before 1992. You will notice that the black line of the temporary workers is very similar to the red line of the depressive patients.
Temporary workers are not full-time nor part-time employees. They contract with dispatch companies and the dispatch companies send them to general companies. Usually the general companies contract with the workers for every one year. This system was not known before U.S.A. pushed Japan to adopt it. The U.S. Government sends a file called “The U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative” every year from 1994. The Japanese Government, kneeling on the ground like a samurai who is told words from his Duke, reformed the social-economic system into the American style. The temporary worker system is one of the “Restructure”, which was a favorite term of Mr. Koizumi, the ex-Prime Minister, who was often called “American Puppy”. The temporary worker system is only an example. In every aspect of social system, so-called “Globalization” is processing. Accordingly, the psychological environment is getting worse and worse. These kinds of social changes cause the increase of the depressive disorder. What is good for America is not always good for Japan.
The clinic which I work is located in the downtown of Osaka where are many banks and brokerage firms. Many of my patients are employees of those companies, and many of them suffer from depression. Both temporary workers and full-time employees come. Both are victims of the “Global Standard”. I am not a politician. I am a mere psychiatrist. My task is to treat my patients. I ponder, however, about this very serious situation.