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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

People Fear Psychiatric Patient Classification

Depression is a problem that affects millions across the world and you may be surprised to find out that a number of people who could use assistance with their problem refuse. You may be wondering why people would not seek out help for a problem that effects one's quality of life. Well, there are a number of reasons, but, most of them have to do with the medications prescribed for treating them. A survey was conducted recently that shed light on this phenomena, the study found that nearly one in four people experiencing symptoms of depression would hesitate telling a doctor about their symptoms because they fear they'll be given an antidepressant. A number of people who are prescribed antidepressant drugs experience a host of side-effects which are less than desirable, in some cases so undesirable that people would rather deal with the affliction than take a drug that may cause weight gain and sexual dysfunction.

A total of 43 percent of the 1,000-plus people who participated in the telephone survey gave at least one reason why they wouldn't talk to their doctor about their feelings of depression. Some participants stated that they would not want to be classified as a psychiatric patient or they did not believe it was the job of a primary care physician to deal with problems of the mind. Fear of being classified as a psych patient is testament to the social stigmas still associated with neurological problems despite the fact that an estimated 16.2 percent of Americans will, at some point, deal with a bout of depression.

"When patients are diagnosed with depression, they can go into a state of shock emotionally and view it as some kind of indictment of personality or character," Dr. Norman Sussman, a professor of psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center who was not involved in the study, told HealthDay. "People would almost prefer to get a serious medical diagnosis than be told they have a psychiatric disorder."

"Suffering in Silence: Reasons for Not Disclosing Depression in Primary Care" was the name of the new study and it was published in the September/October issue of Annals of Family Medicine.


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