May 10, 2022

Reasons why most young adults sweep depression under the rug

Over the last decade, more than half of young adults with depression reported not receiving treatment in a survey, and important reasons were related to cost and stigma. Cos of care was the most common problem for young patients with major depressive episodes, with the frequency of cost being cited as a barrier to mental health care going from 51.1% to 54.7% in 2019. Other barriers to care included people not knowing where to go for treatment, worrying about confidentiality, not wanting to take medication, and not having the time, researchers wrote in JAMA Network Open. Community-based education is vital to combat some of those beliefs, said Arash Javanbakht, associate professor of psychiatry at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. He said the study’s results suggest the medical community is “behind in educating the public not only about mental illness but also [about] how to navigate the healthcare system, get evaluated, and receive needed care.” “Many patients think medications are addictive, zombify them, or change the way of their thinking,” said Javanbakht. “This also closely ties with the stigma of having mental illness [and] its personal, cultural, and media aspects…There is a need for more realistic education about the prevalence of mental illness, its biological nature, variety of treatment options, and similarities with other illnesses of the body. The government should definitely be more active in this area of public education via media and social media.”

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