A study by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany, taking into account a randomly selected sample of nearly 30,000 Europeans from 27 countries, shows that 10 % of middle-aged Europeans took antidepressants in 2010.
The rates of antidepressant use are markedly greatest in Portugal, but also noticeably higher than the European norm in Lithuania, France and the UK. The probability of antidepressant use is greatest among those who are middle-aged, female, unemployed, poorly educated, and divorced or separated.
A strong hill-shaped age pattern is found, both for males and females and in Western and Eastern Europe, that peaks in people’s late 40s. This pattern is consistent with, and independently helps corroborate, the recent finding across the world that happiness and mental health follow an approximate U-shape through life. The scientific explanation for that midlife low is still unknown.
- Antidepressants and Age,
David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald,
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany, 2011