Statistics of the western society show and state that Major Depressive Disorder is currently the number two psychological disorder in the western world and the number fourth in the whole world. It is a mental disorder that is growing in all age groups and in almost every community too. However, despite the fact that any and every age group can be affected by the increasing mental illness, in the past few years, the most growth of Major Depressive Disorder has been spotted occurring in the young, especially teens. It is predicted that, at this rate of increase, it will be the second most disabling condition in the world by 2020, falling in place just behind the condition of heart disease8. By looking closely into the mentioned statistics above, two questions can be brought forth concerning the people and places Major Depressive Disorder is being seen to affect the most. One can ask why Major Depressive Disorder is the second most disabling condition in the western world but only the fourth in the whole world? One can also query about the rise of the disorder occurring in teens, questioning why that is the case. To address the first question that can arise from analysing the mentioned statistics of why Major Depressive Disorder is the second most disabling condition in the western world but only the fourth in the whole world, we are required to find out how the western society is distinctively different from other societies as this may highlight to us the reason of why depression rates are higher in this society than they are in others.
The Western world refers to various nations depending on the context, most often including parts of Europe and the Americas9 – This meaning that developed, capitalist countries such as Great Britain, France and the U.S.A are included underneath this terminology. From this knowledge, it is easy to see that the definition of a ‘western society’ revolves around the average lifestyle, culture and beliefs of the general population occupying these Western countries. For example, an average adult in America – or in France or the UK – typically drinks alcohol, parties, dresses however they would like to and lives comfortably as this is a norm in the western society. This lifestyle can differ from the rest of the world as many countries outside the West, such as religious countries, often view the drinking of alcohol and the action of partying as unsuitable and something that should not be done. Furthermore, showing excessive skin could possibly be viewed as immodest and inappropriate also. Living comfortably isn’t always something easy to achieve outside the West either as the majority of the rest of the countries aren’t as developed as the West and are often poor in terms of wealth. In a nutshell, the most distinctive feature that separates the western society to other societies is the fact that they typically have more freedom and equality than the rest of the world does, so why exactly is there a higher rate of Major Depressive Disorder in the Western world and not elsewhere? Surely a society that has freedom would experience depression on a smaller basis than a society that doesn’t?