The impact of the economic crisis on the Greek population is discovered to be even deeper every day and now researchers have set off alarm bells for the dramatic rise of depressive episodes in the country.
In 2013 in Greece, the number of people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) appears to have risen by 50 percent compared to 2011, a fact that highlights the consequences of the memoranda imposed on the Greek population.
A study of the University Research Institute of Mental Health (EPIPSI) of the University of Athens that was carried out on a random representative sample of the population in May 2013, showed that the monthly prevalence of major depression, the mental disorder that needs immediate treatment, amounts to 12.3 percent of the Greek population in the year 2013.
According to the researchers’ data, in comparison with 2011, around 12 in one hundred residents of the country were found to meet the clinical criteria for major depression.
Compared with the figure of 2011 (8.2 percent), the 2013 percentage reached 12.3 percent and apparently it presents a percentage increase of 50 percent.
This new study confirms previous studies of EPIPSI which capture a continuous and alarming rise of major disorder incidences among the Greek population, from 3.3 percent in 2008 to 6.8 in 2009 and 8.2 in 2011.
The new data show that clinical depression presents longer prevalence in specific groups of the population which are women, the age groups of 35-44 and 55-64, people with a low educational level, individuals with an income varying from 0 to 400 euros, the unemployed and the underemployed.
Women appear to face depression at a larger percentage (15.6 percent) compared to men (9 percent). In addition, the prevalence of depression appears longer among people with a low educational level (20.9 percent) and shorter among people with a higher educational level (7.2 percent).
As far as income in concerned, one in two Greeks (50 percent) with a family income lower than 400 euros meets the criteria of unipolar depression, while regarding the employment situation, 19.8 percent of the unemployed were found to meet the clinical criteria of major depression, a percentage which is more than double compared to the percentage of people who work (9.8 percent).