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« Consequences | Main | Bike and Build »

Analyzing Depression 

I came across this map of the world which shows, by country, the percentage of population diagnosed with depression.

The most depressed people it appears live in the United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and France.

The fact that the top three all begin with the letter “U” does not go unnoticed, so it is best to avoid living in countries that begin with “U.”

These top four countries may be the most depressed in the world, but at least they know where they are. As the depression rate drops, it seems people are less sure where in the world they belong on this map.

People in the Netherlands, for example, think they are in Iceland. Germany thinks it is in Shanghai, while Shanghai appears to be in New Zealand, and Beijing thinks it is in Iraq.

People from Shanghai and Beijing are so NOT depressed that they think they are countries, when the last time I checked, they were cities.

Another country with a low depression rate is Italy; which thinks it is on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. Could it be the people in these less depressed places have a subconscious desire to move to a more depressing place to tone down their feeling of joy?

Japan meanwhile thinks it is in the Persian Gulf. Maybe their desire is to be nearer the oil. If so they should consider the other Gulf; the Gulf of Mexico where at this moment we have more oil than we need.

The least depressed place in the world, according to this map, is Nigeria; who, it appears, knows what continent it is on. However, it thinks it is several thousand miles away on the east coast of Africa; when last I checked it was on the west coast.

Mexico has a depression rate that is exactly half that of the United States, and it thinks it is in Brazil. It also proves my theory that less depressed people have a desire to move to places where they can be more depressed.

It doesn’t matter how bad things get in America, Arizona recently thought it was necessary to pass tough new immigration laws, and we don’t see a mass exodus south from the US into Mexico.

We can learn a lot from maps like this; that psychologists are poor at geography for example. Of course it couldn’t be that America has the highest depression rate in the world because we have more doctors diagnosing people as depressed?

It doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that in the United States we are bombarded nightly with TV ads for anti-depressant medication.

The result being that more people trot off to their doctor to sign up for said medication, when according to this map all they need to do is book a flight to Nigeria.

I hope after reading this, you are now less depressed



Reader Comments (12)

FYI, Ukraine is also way off to east, by thousands of miles.

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenters

3 out of 4 is not bad; I still get a B+ for geography, right :)

June 10, 2010 | Registered CommenterDave Moulton

"Of course it couldn’t be that America has the highest depression rate in the world because we have more doctors diagnosing people as depressed?"

another consideration is that in US culture, it may be more socially acceptable to acknowledge psychological disorders and seek out professional help. the key word in that chart is diagnosed. it may simply be that in other countries, there is a much higher rate of undiagnosed depression.

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersomervillain

What a great and timely post. I currently live in Canada and have found myself very depressed this spring and summer due to the horrible weather. As you know, Canadian winters are absolutely terrible, but the thought of a beautiful spring and summer helps get people through it. Well, not this year. I probably love hot weather more than any other Canadian so this has been especially hard on me.
So bad that I have decided to move my family to Belize....it wasn't on your map, but I'll guaranteed that the depression rate is much less than here in Canada. I can't wait to be in much nicer and more consistent weather.


June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLoving the Biike

What somervillain said.

I might also guess that depression rates measure some combination of societal openness and sunlight exposure.

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I would speculate that depression is in part a disease of the well off, who have nothing else to worry about.

Not to be-little those with genuine and serious medical conditions

By that token Nigerians are probably more concerned with just keeping alive...

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPBA

The secret to avoid depression is simple (at least for me). Learn to cop an attitude about everything in general.
Don't give a s#*@ about any of it.
And if someone tries to tell you different, tell them to go f%^# off!

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBob

This map is pure BS. I agree with some of the other comments, but the lack of correctly placing locations to the names leads one to believe whoever drew it has no clue. Dave, you did not mention where you obtained this map, but I wouldn't believe any of it. Basic geography is taught here in the States in Elementary School grades 1-6. It's a GOOF !

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Click on the map, it will take you to where I found it, but it gives little information as to where it originates, its purpose, or why the geography is so wildly inacurate. It just gave me an opportunity to have fun with it on a day when I had nothing else. I hoped it would be entertaining.

June 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDave Moulton

HAHA, I didn't look at the map before I started reading the post, so I was a bit confused, and then I paid attention and broke down in laughter. Perfect. Thank you!

June 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterUlyana

This meander through the land of cartography, psychology, and speculation is fascinating and fun! I would agree with the operative word being "diagnosed." Diagnosis is a condition afforded to those with financial means. Though the US has more than most, there are still millions of people who can't afford any kind of medical or psychological diagnosis. One can only imagine what it is like in Nigeria or Shanghai.

June 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJan

Everything is out of place. Brazil is not Mexico!!

November 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaulo Ama

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