Often, it is difficult for people with depression to come forward with their struggle to friends and family, and a new survey reveals that many depressed people often hide their symptoms from doctors as well.

Forty-three percent of the 1,054 respondents polled said they would keep symptoms of depression to themselves. Of that number, 23 percent said it was because they didn’t want to be prescribed medication, 16 percent considered emotional difficulties to be off-topic when speaking to a doctor, and 15 percent feared employees would find out. Other respondents said they did not want to be labeled as a “psychiatric patient.”

“The primary care sector cares for a majority of patients with mental health conditions in America, and we know that depression is undertreated everywhere,” said study author Richard Kravitz. “The number one reason for that is because recognition of depression starts with disclosure from the patient.”

Kravitz said it is important for doctors to let patients know that their emotional ailments are just as important as their physical ones.

“Putting pamphlets in the waiting rooms, using appropriate posters, or providing questionnaires to patients are all ways to show that depression lies within the scope of their practice,” Kravitz said.



Follow Counseling Today on Twitter.

Comments are closed.