In 2014, the journal Nature published data based on a 2013 study from University of Queensland researchers published in PLOS Medicine, which, among other things, listed the prevalence of depression for every country. Most of the countries with the highest rates of depression are located in the Middle East and North Africa. Here are the top five countries with the highest levels of depression:
A global problem
In 2011, researchers collaborating with the WHO’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative interviewed over 89,000 people worldwide to examine the global prevalence of depression. Their results, published in the journal BioMed Central Medicine, found that 15 percent of the subjects from high-income countries were more at risk for depressive disorders, compared to 11 percent of subjects from low or middle-income countries. Major depressive episodes were also more common for subjects from high-income countries, at 28 percent – episodes were particularly high for subjects from France, the Netherlands and the United States.
The data also found depression occurred twice as often in women. Depression’s onset occurred two years earlier in low-income countries, although the difficulties associated with depression was more apparent in subjects from high-income countries.
“This is the first study which uses a standardized method to compare depression and major depressive episodes across countries and cultures,” said study co-author Evelyn Bromet, Ph.D., of Stony Brook University in New York. “We have shown that depression is a significant public-health concern across all regions of the world and is strongly linked to social conditions. Understanding the patterns and causes of depression can help global initiatives in reducing the impact of depression on individual lives and in reducing the burden to society.”
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people aged between 15 and 43, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The condition responds to treatment; the National Institute of Health reports nearly 80 percent of people who receive treatment for depression show improvement in around two months. However, according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, nearly 2 out of 3 people never get treated.
Untreated, depression can rule – and ruin – lives. The Sovereign Health Group is a leading provider of mental health treatment. Our dual diagnosis approach treats both the mental disorder and any underlying disorders to ensure the best possible chance at a full recovery. For more information, contact our 24/7 helpline.
About the author
Brian Moore is a staff writer and graphic designer for the Sovereign Health Group. A 20-year veteran of the newspaper industry, he writes articles and creates graphics across Sovereign’s portfolio of marketing and content products. Brian enjoys music, bicycling and playing the tuba, which’s he’s done with varying degrees of success for over 25 years. For more information and other inquiries about this media, contact the author and designer at firstname.lastname@example.org.