Most people do not know what to do about depression, even if they can spot it, new research finds.
Men, in particular, found it more difficult to recognise depression.
Here are some of the main signs of depression:
- Problems concentrating,
- over- or under-eating,
- and aching muscles.
People living in urban areas and those who are younger also find depression more difficult to spot.
Unfortunately, most people also saw the stigma associated with depression.
62% of people expressed opinions that suggested they thought depression was associated with some form of disgrace or shame.
71% of people saw some evidence of this type of stigma around them.
Professor Mark Skidmore, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Our work is designed to help communities think about how to address behavioral health challenges as they emerge, whether that’s drug abuse, anxiety or other issues, and the challenges such as suicide that can accompany them.”
The conclusions come from a survey of almost 4,600 people.
It found that people had similar problems identifying other mental health issues.
The majority of Americans also fail to spot anxiety.
Around one-third were unable to spot the signs of prescription drug abuse.
- Taking higher and higher doses,
- going to more than one doctors for prescriptions,
- mood swings,
- and poor decision-making.
The study’s authors write:
“Although great strides have been made in the area of mental health literacy in recent decades, the discrepancies in mental health knowledge, helping behaviors and stigma show the importance of continuing to educate the public about mental health issues.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do