Young Irish women are the most depressed in Europe, new EU study finds
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Young Irish women are the most depressed in Europe, new EU study finds

YOUNG WOMEN in Ireland have the highest levels of depression among their generation in Europe, according to a new study.

Research from Eurofound – a European Union agency for the improvement of living and working conditions – shows that 17% of Irish women aged 15-24 suffer from moderate to severe depressive symptoms, compared to the EU average of 9%.

The data also shows that the number of Irish men who have reported symptoms of depression is less than half that of their female compatriots.

Overall, Ireland was found to have the highest overall incidence of moderate to severe depression among young people in the EU.

Ireland also had the highest rate of chronic depression among all EU citizens aged 15-24, followed by Finland, Sweden and Germany.

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Young women are more likely to handle upsetting events internally – a factor linked to depression – and this could explain the higher rates of depression among young females than young males, Eurofound noted.

This factor could also explain why young women suffer from much higher rates of self-harm and eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.

Stresses from school, expectations from parents and peer and societal pressures such as cyberbullying were also found to be key factors.

The study further highlights the impact of financial pressures on young people, with a 78% increase in homelessness among EU citizens aged 15-24 between 2016 and 2018.

Socio-economic status was found to play a strong role in whether a young person was at risk of depression, with those living in homes in the lowest income bracket most likely to become depressed.

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