15-19 April marks Depression Awareness Week
British workers are the most depressed in Europe according to the Impact of Depression in the Workplace in Europe Audit conducted last year.
And the World Health Organization puts the number at more than 350 million people worldwide suffering from some form of depression.
Britain's position at the top of league of worker depression may be due in part to awareness and diagnosis being better here than in other countries.
The Impact of Depression in the Workplace in Europe Audit (IDEA) survey polled more than 7,000 people.
It found that 20% of respondents were diagnosed with depression at some point.
The highest rate was in the UK (26%) and the lowest in Italy (12%). Among workers experiencing depression, those in Germany (61%), Denmark (60%), and the UK (58%) were most likely to take time off work, while those in Turkey were the least likely to (25%).
The survey found that, one in 10 employees in Europe have missed work due to depression, with an average of 36 days lost per episode of depression. This equates to 21,000 lost working days for this group of people during their last depressive episode.
Despite the high rates of absenteeism due to depression, one in four stated they did not tell their employer about the problem. Of these, one in three said they felt it would put their job at risk in the current economic climate.
Scientists have recently discovered that how happy or sad we generally are is 50% influenced by our genetics, 40% by the thoughts and beliefs that form our daily habits, and 10% by our environment.
If you think you may be suffering from depression consult your GP for further advice and information.