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U.S., French Citizens More Depressed


According to a study sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), more people report being depressed in France and the U.S. than anywhere else in the world. More than 89,000 people from 18 countries were interviewed for the purpose of this study.

More than 21 percent of people in France and 19.2 percent of people in the U.S. reported that they had an extended period of depression in their lifetime. Fifteen percent of respondents in high-income countries reported having an episode of depression, in stark contrast to 11 percent from low-income countries, noted a study published on July 25 in BMC Medicine.

As per the WHO, depression impacts nearly 121 million people in the world and is the second biggest reason for shorter life spans among 15-44 year olds.

“There are a lot of people in the U.S. who say they aren’t satisfied with their lives,” Richard Kessler, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, said in an interview. “U.S. expectations know no bounds and people in other countries are just happy to have a meal on the table.”

“There’s no change in biological depression, but what’s going up is the more mild depression,” Kessler said. “Objective things haven’t changed. We have an expectation that everything’s going to turn out perfect but it doesn’t.”

photo by John Nyboer

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