According to the Barmer health insurance company, Hamburg is the stronghold of depressive illnesses. Almost 13 percent of the Barmer insured in the Hanseatic city are due to a depressive episode in medical treatment. In no other federal state is the percentage rate higher, according to the health insurance company, after evaluating its doctor's report on Friday, on the occasion of the European Day of Depression on Saturday. Within ten years, the number of people suffering from depression in Hamburg had risen by 11.4 percent, it said.
According to Barmer, around 236,600 people in the Hanseatic city are receiving medical treatment for a depressive episode. According to data from the insurance company, women are more frequently affected by depression than men. In Hamburg, for example, the diagnosis rate for women, at almost 16 percent of the insured, is almost twice as high as for men at 9.4 percent.
Nevertheless, the proportion of depressed men has increased more, according to the health insurance company. The rate of those affected increased by 23 percent for men from 2010 to 2020, but only by around six percent for women.
The increasing number of depressions may be due to the fact that stigmata against mental illnesses are breaking out and those affected are more likely to seek help, said Barmer's state manager Susanne Klein. In the past, the symptoms of depression were often hidden behind diagnoses such as chronic back pain or exhaustion.
Today, both those affected and doctors seem to be more likely to correctly classify the symptoms, says Klein. Nevertheless, there is a high number of unreported cases.