Ferry Sewol Victim’s Hometown Suffer From Depression

kpride, April 10, 2015, 9:42 a.m.

One in every nine people in the teenage victims' hometown of Ansan, Gyeonggi Province showed symptoms of depression after the April 16 ferry disaster last year, according to a study released Thursday.

Ajou University's School of Medicine surveyed 7,104 residents of Ansan, southern and northern Gyeonggi, and Jindo in South Jeolla Province, where the disaster took place, in August through November last year. 

The prevalence of depression was 11.5 percent in Ansan, roughly double the rate of northern Gyeonggi (7.9 percent), Jindo (6.4 percent), or southern Gyeonggi (6.1 percent). 

Stress, anxiety and suicidal thoughts were all more widespread in Ansan than in the other regions. Some 17.8 percent of respondents there said they had thought of suicide, double the 8.6 percent rate in Jindo, which was the lowest.

Prof. Lee Soon-young, who led the survey, said, "Residents in areas exposed to disaster normally suffer emotional changes for up to a year." 

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