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Depression in Italy: women and the unemployed most at risk

Depressione-in-italia

According to a study by Istat, depression is the most prevalent mental disorder in Italy, where it affects 2.8 million people. The disease is increasingly on the rise, especially among the
elderly
given that among the over-65s this figure soars (11.6 percent versus the European average of 8.8 percent). Despite this, Italy still remains one of the EU countries with fewer depressed people (5.5 percent Italian average vs. 7.1 percent European average).

Depression affects women and the unemployed more : when looking at the data by gender, the percentage of female depression is almost double that of men (9.1 percent versus 4.8 percent). Regarding work, among people aged 35 to 64, those who report suffering from anxiety and depressive disorders are 8.9 percent of the unemployed, while the rate increases among the inactive (10.8 percent) and plummets with the employed (3.5 percent). The analysis was carried out by Istat in the report “Mental health at various stages of life – years 2015-2017” where, however, another very disturbing fact is highlighted: pupils with disabilities in Italian schools are steadily increasing, especially those with mental health disorders who have now exceeded the 170,000 mark. In the 2016-2017 school year alone, the analysis states that “pupils with disabilities account for about 3 percent of pupils in schools of all grades, and those with intellectual disabilities account for 2 out of every 3 pupils with disabilities.” Out of 100 pupils who are granted support, 8.8 percent have various sensory disabilities, 11.6 percent have motor disabilities, and 19.4 percent have language disorders, although the dominant share are intellectual disabilities: 23.9 percent have a global psychological developmental disorder, 45.4 percent have an intellectual disability, and 17.3 percent suffer from behavior and attention disorders, and finally 16.5 percent have affective-relational disorders.

Another factor that Istat has paid attention to is drug addiction, which is reported as a “major manifestation of mental sphere disorder.” In 2016 alone, “hospitalizations for drug-related diagnoses are 108 per million residents, 10 percent higher than in 2015, and increasing in the last three years especially among 15-34 year olds.”

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