VIENNA, April 25 (Xinhua) -- A dramatic increase in the number of treated cases of emotional disorders has been observed in industrialized countries, a Germany expert said here Thursday.
Depression and anxiety disorders are on the rise and are closely attached to significant changes in personal goals and objectives in broader society, President of the German Society of Psychology Juergen Margraf was quoted as saying by the Wiener Zeitung newspaper.
Margraf, also a professor at Ruhr University Bochum, pointed to "spectacular data" to show the changes in many regions of the world, along with an observation of the increase in narcissism, seen through things such as pop songs increasingly using the words "I, me, mine" compared to 20 years ago.
This is manifested in a move in broader society from internal to external goals, such as an increase in the value placed on status and money and less about relationships and the search for meaning, he told a meeting of the Austrian Psychological Society in Vienna.
Margraf said positive emotions are very important for mental well-being, and could lead to increased life expectancy of up to 10 years.
People thus need positive activities daily, he said, adding that positive feelings should be experienced at least three times as much as negative feelings each day. If that is not the case, the probability to sink into depression increases rapidly.
The huge increase in the use of pharmaceutical drugs against anxiety and depression could not bring lasting changes to the current situation, he said. Some studies show they can only have short-term effects, or even more negative effects in the long run.