One in five depressed in Portugal

Depression now affects one in five Portuguese and this figure is increasing, the Director General of Health (Direcção-Geral de Saúde-DGS) has warned. New evidence also shows that the consumption of drugs has more than doubled in recent years in Portugal and that depression and schizophrenia are now responsible for 60 per cent of all suicides.

“There has been a significant increase in the consumption of anti-depressants in Portugal in the last few years and also a surge in the number of people seeking help from health authorities,” says António Leuchner, the director of the Magalhães de Lemos psychiatric hospital. But authorities also believe that the sharp increase stems from a growing awareness of the problem and a greater acceptance of its status as a genuine illness.

The DGS revealed that depression and schizophrenia are responsible for most suicides