Russians more crisis-resistant that Europeans - psychiatrist

Russians are better adapted and resistant to crises than Europeans and tend to develop disorders rather than mental illnesses amid economic turndowns, in the words of board chairman of the Russian Society of Psychiatrists, chief psychiatric specialist of the Federal Supervision Service for Healthcare Nikolai Neznanov.

Russians are better adapted and resistant to crises than Europeans and tend to develop disorders rather than mental illnesses amid economic turndowns, in the words of board chairman of the Russian Society of Psychiatrists, chief psychiatric specialist of the Federal Supervision Service for Healthcare Nikolai Neznanov.

"Every one of us has a certain adaptive potential, but this potential has its limits. De-adaptation happens as soon as the limit is reached, and that may cause neurotic disorders. Russians are better adapted to various crisis conditions that Europeans," Neznanov said at a press conference in St. Petersburg on Thursday.

Mortgage loans, unemployment and the impossibility of social actualization have been bothering Russians in recent years, he continued.

"These are not severe mental illnesses, but rather marginal conditions, neurotic disorders. Due to our mentality and culture, we ask for help only when the situation turns critical. We do not see a doctor until after we have used every possible reserve. We finally seek a therapeutic advice after we listen to the advice of our acquaintances," Neznanov said.

In his words, the suicide rate in Russia has shrunk compared to the 1990s. There were 26 suicides per 100,000 Russians in 1990, and the rate soared to 42 or even 55 in the countryside in 1994, after the breakup of the former Soviet Union. There were 35 suicides per 100,000 people in the crisis year 1998, 40 in 2002 and 19.2 in 2014.

A rate of eight to twelve suicides per 100,000 individuals is considered normal worldwide, Neznanov said, adding that 20 suicides per 100,000 residents were regarded as a critical level.

The specialist added that Finno-Ugric people demonstrated a high level of suicides.

"The indicator is much higher, especially amongst males, in Finland, Komi and Buryatia. It stands at approximately 60-70 cases, or even a hundred. There are various reasons for that, and usually the emphasis is put on the social and cultural peculiarities of these ethnic groups," Neznanov said.

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