Digital Nomads Beware; New Study Notes Increase in Depression Among Expats


There is a lot of hype around being a digital nomad, working from remote locations while living in far-off exotic places. However, the remote working life isn’t for everyone and it is best to do thorough research into the pitfalls of it before jumping in to it as a lifestyle.

And a recent white paper reveals another hard truth about the digital nomad-hood.

In the report released by Aetna International, there has been a sharp rise in mental health issues among expats around the world. This increase includes cases of depression among those who transferred by companies and relocated on their own.


The white paper called: ‘Expatriate mental health: Breaking the silence and ending the stigma’  shows that from 2014 to 2016, there has been an average of 28% increase in expat mental health claims in Europe, the Americas and Southeast Asia. The main reason for the increase is lack of support network as 96% of expats surveyed report missing their family and friends.

Here is how the mental health claims broke down by region of the country:

  • In Europe, there was a 33% increase in mental health claims from expats in from 2014-16
  • In the Middle East and Africa, a 28% increase in mental health claims from expats from 2014-16
  • In the Americas, a 26% increase in mental health claims from expats from 2014-16
  • In Southeast Asia, a 19% increase in mental health claims from expats from 2014-16

May is Mental Health Awareness month so it’s a good idea to read up on the latest scholarship and reports out about ending the stigma associated with mental health issues. It can save lives. It’s definitely worth the consideration if one is exploring the option of joining that DigNomad life.