Anxiety and mental health: which markets have the most diagnoses?
October 25th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Anxiety and mental health: which markets have the most diagnoses?

According to a recent report by Semrush, mental health is the most-searched global issue across 35 countries. People are curious, but are they being diagnosed? Where are diagnoses of mental illness most prevalent?

Where in the world are mental illnesses most commonly diagnosed? 

According to research from YouGov Surveys: Serviced, 30% of all respondents across 18 global markets have been diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives. Because the survey asks consumers if they have been professionally diagnosed, it does not necessarily reflect how many suffer from these illnesses.

Australians lead with 44% or them being diagnosed with some mental illness in their lives. This stands in contrast to other APAC markets. Singapore has the lowest rate of mental illness diagnosis, with only 14%, less than a third that of Australia. Hong Kong and China are also near the bottom of the list with 21% and 22% of consumers in these countries saying they’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The UAE has the second-highest rate of diagnosis with 43%, followed by North American markets Canada (36%) and the US (36%).

Germany leads the European markets with 34%, followed by Sweden (33%) and Great Britain (32%). Denmark has significantly fewer diagnoses than Nordic neighbor Sweden, with only 24%. Of the European markets surveyed, Italy has the smallest proportion of consumers diagnosed with a mental illness at 22%.

What are the most common mental illnesses, globally? 

Most respondents (65%) had never been diagnosed with any mental illness. However, the most common diagnosis in the 18 surveyed markets are depression and anxiety disorder, with 12% of global respondents each saying they have been diagnosed with these at some point in their lives.

Anxiety and depression are three times more commonly diagnosed than the next tier of illnesses, which are panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and ADHD, all at 4%. These percentages, calculated by the total pool of respondents do not reflect significant differences between different markets in individual illnesses.

Where are anxiety diagnoses most common? 

Rates of diagnosis for anxiety vary greatly across markets. Four English-speaking markets lead the world in anxiety diagnoses. One in five Americans and Canadians have been diagnosed with anxiety (19%) followed by 17% of Australians and 16% of Britons.

In contrast, only one in twenty respondents (5%) in Hong Kong and Singapore have ever been diagnosed with the same.

The order of markets will change depending on the mental illness. For example, while Australians are less likely than Americans and Canadians to be diagnosed with anxiety disorder, they are far more likely to receive a diagnosis for PTSD. One in ten Australians have had such a diagnosis compared to 7% of Americans, 7% of UAE respondents or 4% of Indians.

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