Credit: Freepik

One-Tenth of Czech Young People Have Symptoms of Severe Depression

One in ten young adults in the Czech Republic report symptoms of severe depression, and one in six to moderate symptoms, according to a survey presented by representatives of the Psychiatric Clinic of the 1st Medical Faculty of Charles University and the General University Hospital in Prague yesterday.

The researchers say politicians should pay more attention to the issue, as prevention and professional services are lacking.

Radek Ptacek, the head of the research team, told CTK that the Education and Health Ministries and health insurance companies should take concrete steps. “The availability of professional services is minimal and prevention is practically non-existent,” he said.

Experts say the situation is worsening, with about 7% of people admitting to symptoms of severe depression in a survey ten years ago and 9.9% last year. Ptacek pointed out that these are people who would need professional help.

In particular, there is a lack of motivating programmes to prevent mental illness from developing, which would reduce the burden on professional services, Ptacek said.

Investing in mental health benefits society as a whole, increasing productivity and reducing costs to the health system.

“Educational campaigns, public debates and open discussions on mental health should be at the forefront of public interest,” said Ivan Sebalo, one of the authors of the research.

According to the survey, technology is also having an impact, with the rise in mental health problems being linked to the rise of social media, such as Facebook and Instagram, mostly because people tend to close in on themselves and stop communicating with others face-to-face as a result, Psychiatric Clinic head doctor Martin Anders said.

“We found that anxiety is more prevalent in women than men, as well as depression and burnout syndrome,” he said.

He said the survey also shows that the symptoms of depression are exacerbated by poor sleep and alcohol consumption. The prevention is a healthy lifestyle, whether a balanced diet or enough exercise, he added.

According to the survey, 40% of young people do not consider their lifestyle healthy.

“What is very alarming is that up to 30% have sleep problems, but they do not address them with a doctor,” Ptacek said.

The survey also showed that nearly 40% of young people smoke or have smoked, three-quarters of them drink alcohol, and about 4% of them drink more than four times a week.

Over 1,000 respondents aged 18 to 30 took part in the survey in the summer of 2023.

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