World's Most Depressed Countries

Last Updated Jul 27, 2011 11:24 AM EDT

  • World's Most Depressed Countries

    By Jessica Stillman

    Economists, politicians and business executives typically spend their lives striving for the same goal – bringing prosperity to their communities. Why? The answer appears simple. More money buys more options and security, which, ultimately, leads to greater happiness.

    But a new study challenges the wisdom of this thinking.

    The research team, led by Dr. Evelyn Bromet, a professor of psychiatry at State University of New York at Stony Brook, interviewed 89,000 people in a 18 countries, from very poor places to the world's most developed economies. Using a standard set of questions known as the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview, they attempted  to gauge the prevalence of depression. Their findings: Citizens of wealthier countries are more likely to be depressed. Overall, 15 percent of people in the wealthy countries surveyed experience depression, compared to 11 percent in the low and middle-income countries.

    The researchers aren't sure why but offer several possible explanations, including less family and community support and higher expectations in wealthy countries and a reluctance of people in lower-income countries to admit to depression. Caveats taken care of, which countries surveyed topped the list?

    CLICK HERE for fifth most-depressed country -->

    (Image courtesy of Fickr user fakelvis, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.