Anne Kleinberg, the head of the Psychiatric Clinic at the Tallinn Children’s Hospital, finds in her PhD thesis that depression is not considerably more prevalent in Estonia than it is in Europe.
Her thesis "Major depression in Estonia: prevalence, associated factors, and use of health services“ also covers the lack of adequate data regarding the prevalence and treatment of important mental disorders in Estonia.
“I personally liked finding out that depression is not considerably more prevalent here than in the rest of Europe, that is to say, to bust the myth of Estonians as a particularly depressed nation,” she said, adding that she is not surprised by the fact that people avoid getting treatment for depression because she regularly sees that in her work.
“The significant connection between low income and depression differs from welfare states and that is not exactly a joy to know,” she added.
If the physical health and incomes of Estonians were to improve considerably, the elderly would be less depressed and more similar to USA and the so-called Old Europe, Kleinberg said.
She notes that in order to save money on health costs in the long term, a solution must be found to direct people with depression from emergency medicine to their GPs and psychiatrists for specialized treatment.
Kleinberg wrote the source document for mental health in 2002 and was a mental health expert in the research council of the 2006 Health Survey.