Friday, December 2

20% of Spaniards are at risk of suicidal thoughts

Mental health office in Miranda de Ebro (Burgos). / AVELINO GOMEZ

According to Aegon’s 5th Health and Life Study 2022, 31% of Spaniards believe that their mental health has worsened this year

Antonio Paniagua

Women have a worse perception of their mental health than men. As years go by, expectations about this section improve. This is how they conclude in the V Health and Life Study 2022 of Aegon, which maintains that 31% of Spaniards are convinced that their mental health worsened this year.

More than 70% of those surveyed have felt nervous, anxious or very tense in the last year, although infrequently. In turn, more than 60% confess little interest in doing things, have experienced a decline or have cried during the last year, although less than half of the days. In addition, the risk of anxiety (27.9%) is the highest and that of depression reaches 22.9%.

In general terms, looking at levels of stress and depression reveals the idea that 20% of the population may be at risk of suicidal thoughts. In addition, the proportion of people whose mind flirts with taking off was 30.7% in those in the population age group between 18 and 25 years old, and 30% in those between 26 and 40 years old. In the case of people older than 65 years, that risk represented 11.9%. Likewise, 27.2% of the people who believe that their economic situation has worsened fantasized about suicidal ideas.

By autonomous communities, Extremadura and Castilla y León are the territories in which the most respondents with symptoms of depression were found, with indicators of 30.2 and 29.7%, respectively. For its part, Castilla la Mancha registered the highest percentage of respondents with symptoms of anxiety, 34.8%, followed by Extremadura, with 34.2%. On the contrary, the regions in which fewer probable cases of depression and anxiety were observed were Murcia (11.6%) and Aragón (16.5%).

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In the case of suicidal ideation, the Canary Islands heads the ranking of communities with the highest percentage of respondents, with 31.9%. The authors of the work believe that it would be necessary to study whether this perception is related to the devastation caused by the La Palma volcano. Aragón and Asturias are the communities with the least affected, both 7.1%.

Posttraumatic stress

Those who have experienced a seriously stressful situation are in the minority, but still relevant (39.4%). In addition, seven out of ten people who have gone through this trance present symptoms of post-traumatic stress. Despite these data, three out of four respondents who suffer from a probable case of anxiety or depression perceive that there are now things in their lives that they value more than before.

The percentage of people who have suffered a very stressful episode is higher among young women, those who have children, those who have lost their jobs or have been in ERTE and those who think that their economic situation has suffered a breakdown. 48.5% of young people between the ages of 18 and 25 say they have been exposed to this type of event, while 25.6% of those over 65 have experienced the same trance.

More than half of those consulted (50.9%) assure that they do not do anything in particular to improve their psychological or emotional well-being. Only 11% of those who have taken measures state that they have resorted to the professional help of a psychologist, which is 2.7% more than the previous year. For the rest, the most mentioned decision continues to be the change of routines and habits (29.3%). On the other hand, 17.1% of the participants indicate that they carry out activities aimed at personal improvement, such as reading self-help books or doing breathing and relaxation exercises. Medication or supplements are used by 11.5% of those surveyed, a practice that decreases compared to last year.

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