Depression: soon the #1 social disease

Depression is the most common mental disorder. One third of those affected has, at one time, considered suicide. Research suggests that depression is increasing, and may very well be the number one disease by 2020 in Europe. The most affected by depression are women aged 30 to 44 years, and especially those who are married and have children. Also, children of depressive mothers have three times higher risk of cancer.

The fact that diseases such as dementia and depression remain stigmatized has direct consequences on those affected. Barely half of the patients ever get adequate treatment. In some EU countries such as Greece, the ailment has no public support. Some have asserted that legislature should pour support for the illness’ prevention and treatment. In the light of the damage in the economic system of European countries, the disease will have radical impact on the productivity of workers and general performance of the workplace.

Europe spends 118 billion euro annually for the adverse effect of depression. It seems to be a vicious cycle. Depression affects the productivity of people, thereby affecting the economy. In turn, 21 million have fallen into depression because of the decline in the standard of living due to a weakening economy. If this trend is hoped to be helped, the social phenomenon of depression should be approached as health economics.


Via Karolinska Institutet