"The most depressed country is Afghanistan, where more than one in five people suffer from the disorder. The least depressed is Japan, with a diagnosed rate of less than 2.5 percent.
The researchers also quantified the national “burden” of depression using a metric called DALY -- disability-adjusted life years, or the number of healthy years a person loses because of depression or a depression-related premature death. Predictably, depression burdens for the most part follow depression rates. The burden is highest in Afghanistan and in Middle Eastern and North African countries, as well as in Eritrea, Rwanda, Botswana, Gabon, Croatia, the Netherlands (!) and Honduras. It’s lowest in Asia’s most prosperous economies, including Japan.
See some patterns here? The researchers did, too. While they can’t conclusively explain why depression is so much more prevalent and damaging in some countries than in others, they have a few theories. Those include conflict, which pushes depression rates up, and the presence of other serious epidemics, which makes depression less of a social burden relative to other public health issues. Notably, Afghanistan, Honduras and the Palestinian territories are the three most-depressed areas researchers looked at."
By: Caitlin Dewey
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