July 30, 2007


Date: Monday, July 30, 2007

Headline: 'Depression is a disruptive illness'

New research has shown that depression is the third most disruptive condition in Ireland.

The Irish research shows that when compared with other illnesses in terms of perceived disruptiveness, depression was rated above cancer, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, anxiety, diabetes and asthma.

The research showed that  while 86% of people believed depression is a very common condition in Ireland, 81% do not think it is well understood.

Sixty-four per cent of those surveyed said they would be embarrassed to discuss depression with their peer group and 27% believed depression is a state of mind rather than an illness. 

The majority of respondents in the survey believed that men and women dealt with depression differently.  Twenty-one-per-cent of women compared to 16% of men thought that depression is difficult to discuss with a healthcare professional.

The Lundbeck Mental Health Barometer Study found that  87% of people who suffer from depression believe there is some element of social stigma attached to the condition.

Head of the Department of Psychiatry at UCD Prof Patricia Casey said compared to previous Barometer research, there has been a growth in the belief that depression is now better understood.

"However, it is still perceived as a very disruptive condition. Without treatment, depression can have an extremely negative effect on a person's quality of life."

Prof Casey stressed that with antidepressant medication and/or cognitive therapy, depression can be effectively treated just like any other illness.