A recent study conducted by Línea Directa health insurance has revealed that rumination, or repetitive thinking, is the main silent strategy that causes the Spanish population to experience anxiety and depression. This study, which was compiled from 1,700 surveys conducted throughout Spain, sought to understand the factors that contribute to mental health problems and explore strategies for emotional well-being. The results indicated that biological predisposition and lived experiences play a role in the development of mental health issues, but it is the strategies used to regulate emotions that determine the maintenance or worsening of these ailments.
The study identified three unhelpful responses that lead to anxiety and depression: repressing emotions, ruminating on a situation or problem, and not knowing the causes of emotional discomfort. Conversely, there are strategies that help prevent anxiety and depression by identifying, understanding, and reevaluating emotions. These skills can be trained and improved, offering hope for better mental health.
The study also revealed that Spain has seen a rise in mental health problems in recent years, with 40% of the population reporting psychological disorders. Anxiety and depression were found to be the most prevalent mental health ailments, particularly among young people. The study also found that ruminating on emotions is the main indicator of clinical symptoms in Spain and contributes to an increase in the consumption of anxiolytics and antidepressants. In fact, more than 14 million Spaniards have taken antidepressants at some point, and the sale of anxiolytics and antidepressants in Spanish pharmacies has increased by 40% in the last decade.
Despite the prevalence of mental health problems in Spain, the study found that more than half of people with mental disorders who need treatment do not receive it. This could be attributed to the fact that 70% of the Spanish population still considers mental health to be a taboo subject. However, with a better understanding of strategies for emotional well-being, there is hope that the population can move closer to mental health and well-being.