Depression is becoming a widespread disease

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Hospital Report 2011: More and more people have to be given inpatient care due to depression

Statistically, one in five Germans has already suffered from a depression or depressive episode in their lives. According to the health insurance companies, a good four million people in Germany suffer from depression in need of therapy. The number of mental disorders is increasing dramatically. This was also shown in the 2011 Barmer GEK hospital report.

Depression is on the way to becoming number one disease. Although the disease is a taboo subject in many areas of public life, more and more people are suffering from the mental illness. The diagnosis is not only made more and more frequently in this country. Around 121 million people worldwide suffer from depressive symptoms, as an international science team from the State University of New York reported in the science magazine "BMC Medicine". People in the wealthy countries are most affected.

Symptoms are often not recognized It is not easy for those affected to draw the line between manifested depression and general depression. For this reason, the disease is often recognized late or not at all. "Many people suffer from psychosomatic complaints such as headaches, dizziness and tiredness," reports Dipl. Gritli Bertram, social worker and expert on trauma. "Most people think of depression only as the last thing." But clearer indications are symptoms such as listlessness, persistent indifference, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts. Depression can quickly develop from previous problems such as sleep disorders.

Depression, the widespread disease in the industrialized nations The disorder is particularly evident in the western industrialized countries, as the study authors report. "Every fifth person in the industrialized world has suffered from depression or a depressive phase in his life". The serious illness, which can lead to suicide, is thus on the way to a wide variety of common diseases. People in high-income countries in particular are affected relatively often. According to the study results, those who are relatively successful in their jobs and some of whom have high incomes are disproportionately at risk of developing depression. People with lower incomes and in countries where average earnings are significantly lower are at least 11 percent less likely to experience depression. Why this is so can only be speculated at first. But an old saying went straight to the point: "Money alone does not make you happy". So the pursuit of "wealth and prosperity" is not synonymous with a state of general bliss. On the contrary, most people have to sacrifice a significant part of their lifetime to have a higher income. It is precisely this fallacy that allows life energy to escape more and more. "If you have no more time for yourself, at some point you will no longer enjoy life," says the social worker.

Depression is on the rise in Germany Germany is one of the richest countries in the world. The general standard of living is among the highest in the world. But since 1990 the proportion of mental disorders requiring treatment has increased massively. At that time, a good 4 (3.7) patients were affected by a thousand insured persons, today it is almost 9 (8.5). The proportion of depression has increased even more rapidly. Here, the Barmer GEK health insurance company has been able to record an increase of 117 percent in its current health report “Barmer GEK Hospital Report 2011” since 2000. Is that the price of wealth and fast moving?

Health insurance company pleads for inpatient and outpatient therapies If the clinics weren't getting shorter inpatient treatment these days, the increase in sick days would have been even more serious, reports the deputy chairman of the statutory health insurance company Barmer GEK, Dr. Rolf-Ulrich Schlenker. In 2000, full inpatient admission continued for a good 45 days. Today there are only 31 treatment days. It is therefore "remarkable to what extent German hospitals are now taking care of mentally ill people," said the Vice President of Barm. Still, you have to ask yourself “if every case belongs to the hospital”. A hospital admission is not the most adequate solution in all cases. Better his many-time local care in the outpatient and semi-inpatient area. g by one and the same treatment team in the outpatient or semi-inpatient area. "Nowhere else are individual treatment concepts and cross-sector approaches more urgent than in the area of ​​mental illnesses."

The increase in mental suffering is increasingly becoming an economic factor. The studies of all health insurance companies showed that more and more workers were missing due to mental illness in the workplace. In the meantime, 12 percent of mental illnesses rank among the top ranks of most lost work. (sb)

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