Distribution of Anxiety and Depression varies between East and West

By Charlotte Summers

In what has been coined the most comprehensive research study on mental health to date, researchers at University of Queensland, Australia, have found that anxiety is more prevalent in the Western world, while depression is more likely to occur in the Eastern world.

The researchers conducted two separate empirical reviews, one focusing on anxiety disorders and the other clinical depression. The research team analysed the results collected from surveys involving more than 480,000 people from 91 countries.

The research concluded that people living in western societies were more likely to suffer from Anxiety disorders such as Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety Disorder or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) despite the fact that Eastern countries were experiencing conflict at the time of the research.

Specifically, it was reported that there was around 6 percent of the population suffering from Anxiety in Asia compared to around 10 percent of people in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

The research on Major Depressive disorder found the opposite distribution; people in Eastern societies were more likely to suffer from depression than those living in western countries.

The research concluded that around 9 percent of people living in Asia the Middle East suffer from major depression this is compared to around 4 percent of people living in America, Australia, New Zealand and East Asian countries.

Mindfulness has been proven to reduce depression and anxiety in a non-toxic and cost effective way. Additionally, health improvements such as lowering blood pressure improved glyceamic control and a generally enhanced quality of life are all side effects of Mindfulness. Most significantly, there are no cultural or geographical barriers to Mindfulness meditation; this means that everyone and anyone around the world can learn mindfulness practices in order to take control of their own mental and physical health.