During Economic Crisis, Greeks’ Mental Health Takes Beating Too

For many Greeks, the crisis has left them to ponder their fate. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Almost seven years into a lingering economic crisis, more than half of Greeks complain of mental health problems.

Stress, insecurity and disappointment among the issues most commonly cited, according to the results of a nationwide survey by the National School of Public Health (ESDY,) the newspaper Kathimerini reported.

Over half of the 2,005 adults polled (53.9 percent) said their mental health had not been good over the past month due to stress, depression or other emotional problems. A quarter (24.8 percent) of respondents, identified poor physical or mental health as causing problems in their daily lives.

A total of 15 percent said they felt insecurity, anxiety and fear, with 14 percent citing anger and frustration, 9.7 percent complaining of depression and sadness, 8.2 percent of stress and 44.6 percent citing all these ailments.

Four in 10 (42.6 percent) said they only enjoyed their lives “moderately” and one in 10 said they thought their lives had little or no meaning.

The findings came as official figures showed that cases of depression rose from 2.6 percent of the population in 2008 to 4.7 percent in 2015.

Health officials though said for all the dire straits, the crisis’ effect is less than what it could have been.

Responding to broader questions about their health and lifestyle, 20 percent of those polled said their diets had been insufficient over the past month due to low finances.

Yiannis Kyriopoulos, a professor of health economics at the ESDY, told the newspaper the findings of the study “simply observe a slowdown in the improvement of health indicators.”