How common is depression in MIT students

Many students are depressed

BERLIN. In 2013, 21.4 percent of students in Germany were diagnosed with a mental illness. Those affected most often suffered from depression. The proportion of students with a psychological diagnosis has increased by 4.3 percent since 2009.

That comes from the current health report of the Techniker Krankenkasse. "All in all, the current numbers are terrifying," said Dr. Jens Baas, TK CEO, in front of journalists in Berlin.

4.3 percent of the students started psychotherapy in 2013, around six percent sought inpatient treatment. Almost four percent of the students received antidepressants. With around 257 daily doses a year, they were supplied with medication for more than two thirds of the year.

Mostly women affected

The TK statistics also show that female students are particularly affected. Around 30 percent of them were diagnosed with a mental disorder in 2013, twice as often as their male colleagues (15 percent).

For the survey, the health insurance company evaluated drug and diagnostic data from around 190,000 students and compared them with the data from employees of the same age. In addition, a representative cross-section of 1,000 students was asked about their lifestyle.

A comparison shows that mental illnesses increase sharply from the age of 27. The rates of psychological diagnoses of the students then clearly exceed the corresponding illnesses in young workers.

"From the age of 32, students of both sexes are prescribed about twice as many antidepressants as those of the same age," said Dr. Thomas Grobe from the AQUA Institute, which had evaluated the numbers for the TK.

The reason for the increasing diagnoses of mental disorders is apparently to be found in the "stress level on campus". Around half of the students in the survey stated that they were regularly under stress, and around a quarter even felt "under constant pressure".

The main stress factors of those surveyed included exam stress, double workloads from studying and working, financial worries, fear of bad grades and fear of not finding a job later.

Constant stress is dangerous

Many of the students react to this stress with headaches, exhaustion, back pain or sleep problems. Basically, stress is "nothing negative," emphasized Baas. However, this becomes a health hazard if it becomes a constant stress.

It is therefore frightening that many students tend to use unsuitable methods to relieve pent-up stress. Every fourth student described himself as a "sports grouch". A good third of women and 43 of men try to drink away the stress with alcohol.

Smoking, stimulants and cannabis were also popular "relaxation methods" among prospective academics. Many of the students surveyed said they "relax online": 56 percent of women click through social networks, 81 percent of men draw attention to themselves Video platforms or with computer games.

Three out of four respondents definitely see that online media are potentially addictive. A good half said they were quickly distracted by this. "They are aware of the problem, but the smartphone generation finds it difficult to relax well," said Baas.

Healthy media consumption also includes being able to switch off and use the content properly. The imparting of "healthy digital media competence" is a task of prevention.