Depression speaks French?

Fonction News

According to a recent report issued by the BAG (Federal Department of Health), if you live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, you are twice as likely to be diagnosed with a depressive illness than in other parts of the country.

In the first survey of its kind, 195 family doctors across the Confederation were asked about the number of patient consultations they gave because of depression. The results showed considerable regional variations: For example, in 2008, Graubunden and Ticino GPs recorded that 2.5 consultations in every thousand were for depressive illness; meanwhile, in French-speaking cantons, the figure was almost 10 times higher, with the condition accounting for 21.1 consultations per thousand--placing the region far above any other, and well above the national average of 11 cases per thousand.


What the report cannot show is the reason for the variation: whether doctors in western cantons are simply quicker to diagnose depressive illness, or whether French-speakers are more lacking in joie de vivre cannot be determined from raw statistics. According to Regula Ricka from the...

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