More than 600 Greek patients are being treated in the Humboldt Municipal Outpatient Mental Health Clinic in Berlin‘s Wittenau district.
Three out of four of these patients are people who migrated to Germany after 2010, when Greece was hit by a harsh economic crisis, says a Real.gr report.
Tens of thousands of Greeks have migrated to Germany seeking a better life in European Union’s most robust economy. Many found good jobs with generous salaries. However, some of them did not succeed. Some are barely surviving, while others are making a decent living.
Several Greek migrants never found employment or lost their jobs. Others suffer conditions of cruel exploitation working unregistered and receiving meagre wages.
According to the report, patients from Greece make up 15 percent of those who visit the Humboldt clinic, which receives about half of Berlin’s mentally ill. Most of them use antidepressants and others are going through psychoanalysis.
Speaking to Ethnos newspaper, Despoina Papadimitratou, psychologist in the outpatient clinic, Greeks experience mental health problems similar to those who come from a country at war.
“They have a similar profile to that of war refugees. They suffer from post-traumatic syndrome which is expressed through depression, phobias, panic attacks and neuroses,” Papadimitratou said.
“That’s because most of them have suffered a forced migration, they feel like they have been violently uprooted from their home and they come to Germany without wanting to, not because it is their choice. Many of them were in such desperate need to migrate that they didn’t have the chance to prepare. They come here without speaking the language and encounter racism,” the psychologist said.