Disconnect from depression: new survey finds most people with depression feel deeply misunderstood


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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) – A new national survey from GeneSight Mental Health Monitor finds that 83% of people diagnosed with depression say life would be easier if others could understand what they are going through. Still, most said they were more likely to hear statements that demonstrate a lack of understanding and support for what they are going through.

After a difficult year of isolation and stress, many adults are more aware of mental health issues, according to the survey. However, less than half say they are very confident that they can recognize if a loved one is living with depression.

“One of the best predictors of the ability to recover from depression is to have a caring support system,” said Michael Thase, MD, psychiatrist, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

DBSA and GeneSight are working together to raise awareness about feeling depressed and why it can be so difficult to seek treatment.

“Depression isn’t all about feeling sad. It can present as irritability, distractibility, and other symptoms that affect a person’s ability to go about their day-to-day life, ”said Michael Jablonski, Ph.D., MS, vice president of medical affairs for the GeneSight test at Myriad Genetics. “If we can raise awareness now, if people can understand the signs and symptoms of depression, they can finally get the help they need to improve their quality of life.”

For many, the processing adds another layer of complexity. More than half of those diagnosed with depression said they had started new treatment since the start of the pandemic, according to the survey, nearly one in four respondents said they had tried six or more drugs to try to find relief.

According to the survey, 7 in 10 would feel “optimistic” if their doctor recommended genetic testing as part of their treatment plan. Genetic tests, like the GeneSight test, can provide clinicians with information about how a patient’s unique genes can affect results with medications commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, and other psychiatric conditions.

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