The researchers concluded that almost 40% of people suffer from a mental condition such as depression, addiction, or dementia and predict that mental illness will become; “Europe’s foremost healthcare challenge of the 21st century”.
And women are more than twice as likely as men to suffer from depression (13.4% against 5.8% of 36-45 year olds). For women depression is concentrated in the reproductive years of 16 to 42.
Men are suffering more from depression too because of job insecurity and divorce and 14% of teenagers suffered from anxiety, panic attacks and social phobia.
Professor Witchen, who led the study, concedes that the public and other researchers might find it hard to accept such high rates but says it may be due to negative attitudes towards, and limited knowledge of, the range of mental disorders.
FYI India has the most depressed people in the world according to the WHO. Over a third of Indians suffer from Major Depressive Episodes. Generally people living in wealthier nations were less happy and more depressed than those in poorer ones.
The WHO says depression is the 4th leading cause of disability world-wide and predicts it will be the 2nd by 2020.
Originally posted on EI4U September 2011