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British Workers Among Most depressed in Europe: Study

Update Date: Oct 01, 2012 08:01 AM EDT

A new report suggests that in Europe, British workers are the most depressed and that a quarter of the employees have been diagnosed with the affliction.

According to an article in The Telegraph, called the 'Impact of Depression in the Workplace in Europe Audit,' researchers have found that while 26 percent of British workers have received the diagnosis, only 12 per cent of the Italian workers have got the same.

It seems, British workers are most likely to take time off work due to depression, and also spend longer than average days taking sick leave, on average 41 days. However, European statistics of sick leaves make up to only 36 days a year=.

The survey further found that across Europe, one in 10 workers take time off for depression.

"The results of the IDEA survey show that much needs to be done in raising awareness and supporting employees and employers in recognizing and managing depression in the workplace," Dr Vincenzo Costigliola, president of the European Depression Association was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

The report suggests that the reason Britain tops the list of workers diagnosed with depression could be due to the fact that there is better awareness and diagnosis here when compared to other countries.

Moreover, unlike in many other western countries, depression in britain is seen as a viable reason to not come to work. 

"We've got much better over the last six or seven years in this country at identifying depression. People themselves have got better at recognizing it, and doctors have got better at diagnosing it and supporting patients. From our perspective, we are having much more contact with employers, which is a good thing," Emer O'Neill, chief executive of the charity Depression Alliance said.

Hence, she believes that the results of the survey were to be welcomed since according to her, the incidence of depression is relatively uniform across Europe, just that the diagnosis is better in Britain.

However, in spite of the recent changes, O'Neill thinks that the diagnosis is "still only the tip of the iceberg."  According to her, there are many more people who are struggling in isolation, because they think that admitting to depression might harm their career prospects.

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