How Often Does Depression Go Undiagnosed?

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Studies have shown that over half the people who have a depression don't seek treatment. This is above and beyond issues of access to healthcare with insurance, and if I said the sentence, Half the people with pneumonia don't seek treatment, you'd be saying, Oh my god! We need to do something about this, and I think that we as a nation need to say, Oh my god! We need to do something about this if half the people with depression don't seek treatment.

People aren't treating, aren't seeking treatment for a number of reasons. One might be stigma, might be embarrassment, might be the prejudice that society puts on people who have a psychiatric condition including depression, another reason maybe they may not realize that they have a depression.

They may be down in the dumps, they may be anxious, they may be depressed, but they may not realize that this is a clinical depression and it needs treatment. Often family members who see that their loved one is depressed and realize that their loved one is suffering, often they hesitate to say something to their relative or to a friend.

And I think that one of the key take home messages for family members and friends are, if you see that a loved one is having a problem, you should encourage them to seek help.