The Dutch may be among the happiest folk, but are also depressed

The Dutch are the most depressed people in Europe, the Volkskrant reports on Wednesday quoting research by the University of Queensland.

On average worldwide around 10% of the time people are sick is due to depression but in the Netherlands that rises to 16%, the Volkskrant said.

For every 100,000 years of life in the Netherlands, 1,850 are spent in depression, the Volkskrant said.

Psychiatrist Jan Swinkels told the paper that too many conclusions should not be attached to the research.


‘It is about perception,’ he said. ‘Culture plays an important role. We are a somber folk but that does not mean we need more help than the Germans or Belgians. Much depends on the individual context.’

In global terms, Afghans are the most depressed while the Japanese are the least depressed, the Volkskrant said.

The research is part of a major project assessing the global burden of diseases and injuries, part funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

According to the World Happiness Report published by American economists in September, the Dutch are the fourth happiest people on the planet.

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