Mental disorders affect more than 160 million Europeans — 38% of the population — each year, says a report1 issued by the European Brain Council and the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The researchers found that the most common disorders are anxiety, insomnia and depression, which account for 14%, 7% and 6.9% of the total, respectively. The new report is an update on a 2005 paper2 that estimated that 27% of the EU population was affected by mental disorders each year. The higher figure resulted from the addition of 14 previously excluded disorders, many of which affect children and the elderly. But the frequency of mental disorders has probably not gone up substantially, Wittchen, the lead researcher, says. “There’s no evidence for changing rates.”
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