Depression Rates Higher in Wealthier Countries

Well, what do you know? You all really do have first world problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has measured data on depression, comparing countries to determine their rates of depression diagnoses. The study spanned nearly 90,000 people in 18 countries, and was published in the journal BMC Medicine. What it found was that individuals in France were most likely to report an episode of depression in their lifetime, at 21% of those surveyed.

The US was next up among countries suffering existential ennui, at 19.2% of those surveyed. Overall, people from richer countries were more likely to report having been depressed in their lifetimes at a cumulative 15%, versus 11% in countries that were classed as low-income.

Study co-author Ronald Kessler, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, commented on the results of the study:

“There are a lot of people in the US who say they aren’t satisfied with their lives. US expectations know no bounds and people in other countries are just happy to have a meal on the table.”

The study found that depression was the third most common cause of reduced workplace productivity, and that women were twice as likely as men to report episodes of depression. Perhaps unsurprisingly, divorce or separation was cited as the most likely trigger for a depressive episode.