One in 10 of the Dutch is depressed, 6% take medication

Around one in 10 of the Dutch population suffers from gloomy feelings or depression lasting at least two weeks and almost 6% were taking anti-depressants in 2011, according to the national statistics office CBS.

Men of Moroccan origin and women of Turkish origin were the most likely to have symptoms of depression, the research showed. In general, women are 1.5 times more likely to feel depressed than men.

Although there has been little change in the percentage of people with depression for years, there are sharp differences between different population groups.


Some 21% of men of Moroccan origin report feelings of depression for longer periods, compared with 7% of white Dutch men. And 26% of Turkish women say they have been depressed, compared with 11% of the native population.

The CBS said age, education and employment had an impact on the results and may explain the differences.

Research by the University of Queensland published last month claimed the Dutch are the most depressed people in Europe.


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.

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.’

However, 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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