Lifestyle & Belief

Mental health: Why are Europeans afraid of spiders?


A human brain is displayed in a museum at the @Bristol attraction on March 8, 2011 in Bristol, England.


Matt Cardy

If you like numbers (and who doesn't), then check out this fascinating chart from the Economist.

According to a study published this week in European Neuropsychopharmacology, 38 percent of all Europeans suffered from a mental illness in 2010.

That works out to about 165 million people. 

Which mental health afflictions do Europeans most commonly suffer?

Here's a quick rundown of the data, which came from a study of the 27 countries in the European Union, plus Norway, Switzerland and Iceland:

  • Depression tops the list. More than 30 million suffered from it in 2010, or 6.7 percent of the total.
  • Some 22 million people reported specific phobias such as fear of spiders, the Economist notes. 
  • More than 20 million had somatoform disorders (hypochondrias, persistent pain disorders, etc.).
  • About 12 million people suffered from sleep apnea, 10 million had social phobias and 8 million had agoraphobia (a panic disorder related to the fear of outdoors, bridges and being outside alone). 

Here's the full list:

Source: The Economist