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Why the female Generation Z thinks they are mentally ill

The mental state of the Germans is increasingly fragile.

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Why the female Generation Z thinks they are mentally ill

The mental state of the Germans is increasingly fragile. The number of days absent due to mental illness has been increasing for years, and they are now the most common reason for a premature end to working life. So it is only logical that the large insurers are also increasingly concerned with the topic. Just like the French industry giant AXA. For his third "Mental Health Report" he interviewed people in 16 countries. Last September, 2000 people between the ages of 18 and 74 in Germany answered questions about their mental status quo from the opinion research institute Ipsos.

The results sound extremely alarming: almost one in three Germans said they were currently suffering from a mental illness. The proportion is particularly high among young women: 41 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds stated that they were currently suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders or other mental illnesses. This value decreased significantly with age. Among the 65 to 74 year olds it was only 17 percent. The value was 32 percent across all age groups. In Europe, the proportion was only similarly high in Great Britain; in France, for example, it was only 19 percent.

The self-assessments are not to be equated with medical diagnoses. But these also speak a clear language: According to the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology, almost 30 percent of Germans currently suffer from a mental illness. Anxiety disorders dominate, which often limit participation in everyday life only slightly. According to surveys by the DAK, the number of days of incapacity to work has more than tripled over the past 25 years.

Axa has also noticed this increase. Between 2001 and 2010, the proportion of occupational disabilities due to mental illness almost doubled and has remained consistently high ever since. In recent years it has been around a third. The insurance company therefore considers it important to raise awareness and improve provision. “Everyone understands that you have to treat a broken leg. Unfortunately, we're not that far along when it comes to psychological problems," says Karsten Dietrich, Board Member for Personal Insurance at Axa Germany.

Mental highs and lows are human: But at a certain point you need professional help, warns the virologist and WELT TV expert Hendrik Streeck. The most common disorders include anxiety disorders and addictions. Streeck says when it's better to see a doctor.

Source: WORLD

Apparently the youngsters have already internalized this. 38 percent of them say the stigma attached to mental health issues has decreased. However, greater openness alone cannot explain the enormously high number, nor can the restrictions during the corona pandemic. The fact that young people have suffered particularly from these has now been proven many times. In the survey, however, these no longer played a role as the cause of mental problems.

Instead, the young people named topics such as rising prices (90 percent) and the war in Ukraine (75 percent) as the most important factor influencing their emotional stability. Social media also played a major role in the survey. 63 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds said that constant digital availability had a negative impact on their emotional state.

The enormously high value among younger people could also have another digital cause. 40 percent stated that they had relied on a self-diagnosis for their self-assessment. Across all age groups, it was only 16 percent. There are countless options on the Internet that often provide information about mental health after answering just a few questions. The result has little to do with a medical finding.

"Digital offers can be a helpful tool so that those affected can receive initial support quickly and easily," says Axa board member Dietrich. However, caution should be exercised when it comes to supposed experts on social media. "It is important - online and offline - to pay attention to offers with psychological and psychiatric staff," says Dietrich.

Germans find their working life comparatively less stressful. Almost 40 percent of those surveyed said that its requirements were at least rather difficult to cope with. And 20 percent said they are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. However, 43 percent also considered their work-life balance to be excellent. This has nothing to do with part-time work. Respondents with full-time jobs were significantly more satisfied with their lives than part-time workers.

"Everything on shares" is the daily stock exchange shot from the WELT business editorial team. Every morning from 5 a.m. with the financial journalists from WELT. For stock market experts and beginners. Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcast, Amazon Music and Deezer. Or directly via RSS feed.

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