Depression is an illness that plagues millions of people, all over the world. Sure, we all can feel sad or down sometimes, but when someone is dealing with depression, it is a never-ending and sometimes all-consuming battle. And it is often a silent illness, one which many misunderstand and as such, don't seek treatment for. Medical advancements have been developing rapidly to help with the fight against depression with different types of medications and psychotherapies available. Social advances, too, have contributed to the treatment of depression with campaigns and initiatives to remove the taboo around this illness and help society better understand the illness.
While depression doesn’t discriminate against people, there seem to be some demographics that tend to be more depressed than others. Whether it is economics, the culture, or background, the fact that there are countries that have a higher rate of depression than others is worth looking examining. Granted, it can be argued that many people who suffer from this illness do not seek medical assistance and so there may be a significant number of undocumented cases. In some cultures, depression still isn't as quickly identified or even widely recognized as a sickness, so a lesser understanding of the illness may contribute to fewer reported cases in some areas.
According to the United Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 5.4% of the world’s population deals with depression. Some statistics indicate that income level can affect a person with depression as well as gender, ethnic background, and age. Here, we're looking at the ten countries which have been identified as the “most depressed” countries, compiled by statisicbrain.com with information from the US Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Which countries are most depressed, and what are the possible contributing or aggravating factors for each nation?
10 Italy – 3.8%
It’s interesting to look into the societal views of depression in Italy. Based on a national survey, 75% of respondents believed that those suffering from the mental illness should avoid talking about it. Italians are no strangers to the illness, with almost 4% acknowledging that they may suffer from the condition. When it comes to the cause of depression, it varies anywhere from dynamics in the personal lives of the participants (ie; death, divorce, school money), while the recently struggling political and economic environment in Italy could well be a contributing factor.
9 Mexico – 4.8%
8 Spain – 4.9%
It was declared last year that Spain was now in an economic depression that was as bad as that of Greece. An economic collapse can certainly lead to emotional distress, as unemployment rates in Spain soar. In terms of the percentages, adolescents are greatly affected by depression in the country. Antidepressant prescriptions are on the rise as unemployment is above 20%, with the youth unemployment rate particularly bad, and things are looking bleak for this otherwise sunny country.