Depression a 'medical condition', but many wouldn't seek help

June 19, 2014, 3:37 PM GMT+0

Only two-fifths of Americans say they would seek professional help if they were depressed, even though the vast majority of the country does view it as a medical condition

Depression is the most common mental illness in the United States, with over 14 million Americans suffering from it in any given year and one-in-five will experience depression at some point in their life. After the French, Americans are the second most likely people around the world to suffer from depression and are much more likely than people in other wealthy countries to become depressed after losing their jobs.

YouGov's latest research shows that despite the serious nature of depression, Americans tend to say that they would deal with it by themselves (46%) instead of seeking professional medical help (38%). Men in particular are reluctant to get help, with only 31% saying they'd see a doctor and 55% saying that they would deal with it alone. Women on the other hand tend to say that they would get help (45%) rather than keep it to themselves (37%). There isn't a discernable difference according to age or region, but Democrats (49%) are more likely than Republicans (36%) to say that they would seek help.

Even though 46% of the country wouldn't seek medical help if they were depressed, only 15% of Americans say that depression isn't a medical condition. 76% say that it is. Most Americans tend to believe that a range of mental health problems – from schizophrenia to ADHD – are actual medical conditions, though 48% say that sex addiction isn't a medical condition along with 46% who say that alcoholism isn't either.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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