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Enormous knowledge Gaps: Many Germans play down depression

Enormous knowledge Gaps: “Depression and Vacation” Germany Research

Enormous knowledge Gaps: “Depression and Vacation” Germany Research

Germany Research “Depression and Vacation”: Many people still have the wrong picture of depression, a survey shows. A common opinion: who suffers from the disease, has undergone something difficult and should go on vacation.

In Germany, there are major gaps in knowledge about depression. For example, according to a representative survey, almost one in five think that those affected should just pull themselves together. In addition, the current Germany Barometer Depression also shows how many people in this country have ever been confronted with the issue.

 For the study, researchers in the summer of 2000 interviewed people between the ages of 18 and 69 on behalf of the German Depressive Aid Foundation and the Deutsche Bahn Foundation.
  • Almost a quarter (23 percent) said they had ever received the diagnosis of depression.
  • More than a third (37 percent) reported diagnoses from relatives or friends.
  • Only another one third (37 percent) had no direct contact with the disease.

Nearly all interviewees saw fatalities (96 percent) or workloads (94 percent) as relevant causes of depression. Half of them believed in a wrong life as a cause, one third considered character weakness as a relevant reason, one in five even a wrong diet – common prejudices. Only about two-thirds of the respondents, on the other hand, understood that inheritance and a metabolic disorder in the brain are relevant causes of the disease.

This would overestimate the role of stressful life events in comparison to biological factors, said Ulrich Hegerl, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation German Depression Aid. According to the current state of research, many sufferers suffer from a corresponding predisposition to altered brain functions. This can lead to stronger reactions to stress, with depression putting everything negative into the center of experience and increasing it enormously.

Chocolate for depression?

In terms of treatment, a clear majority (more than 90 percent) considered going to the doctor or psychotherapist as the best way to help with depression. However, 19 percent also pleaded for those affected to come together. Eighteen percent said that eating chocolate or other sweets was an appropriate remedy for depression. 78 percent said it helps to go on vacation. Thus, they underestimate the role of depression as a serious disease.

If a person changes seriously and over a long period, he should definitely seek help from an expert. Doctors usually treat the disease with psychotherapy and – depending on the severity – with medication.

According to an analysis by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), depression is now one of the most common mental illnesses in Germany. According to the Foundation, every year around 5.3 million people in Germany suffer from a depression requiring treatment. Women are more often affected than men, but they usually seek help more quickly.

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