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Depression awareness and help-seeking for depression

26 July 2004


Depression continues to be one of the most common mental health disorders to affect the human population. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, many individuals are either never diagnosed or fail to receive appropriate treatment. An important reason for this is the stigma surrounding mental illness. One hundred undergraduate students were surveyed to examine how knowledge of the symptoms and treatments for depression relate to attitudes toward help-seeking for depression. The Attitude Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale was used to assess attitudes in a between-subjects design utilizing a knowledge of depression questionnaire, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression measure and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale. Findings suggest a positive, though weak, relationship between depression education and attitudes toward help-seeking for depression, as well as between prior personal experience with help-seeking and attitudes toward help-seeking. Taken together, these findings suggest that education and exposure to people with depression may be associated with lower stigma levels.


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