Navigating the Shadows: Internal Barriers to Seeking Treatment for Depression - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-15
Navigating the Shadows: Internal Barriers to Seeking Treatment for Depression - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Mental health Depression
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1595 words
14 min read

Why Do Depressed People Not Seek Help?

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Depression is a major mental disorder characterized by cognitive symptoms of difficulty in concentration, affective symptoms of depressed moods, and other somatic symptoms of losing appetite and weight loss, among others. Individuals battling depression experience difficulties in conducting interpersonal relations, adjusting at work, difficulties in school, as well as heightened drug and substance abuse accompanied by attempts of suicide (Bamgbade et al, 2020). For adolescents, the main consequences of depression are school absenteeism and academic failure; such events in school end up making the involved teenager become separated from his or her peers or experience rejection from them, which results in a diverse developmental course.

On average, one in every five individuals in America register a mental disorder in a year, but only about 41% of the affected individuals seek treatment. In some instances, the required service may not be available, leaving individuals with nowhere to go. However, even when the sought treatments are available, there are various factors that prevent depressed people from obtaining the help much needed. These factors range from deciding to take the first step to seek help or pursue treatment once they are diagnosed with depression.

Treatment for mental disorders is mostly conducted by primary caregivers whose practices extend to include initial examination diagnosis, determination of the need for help, and care provision.

From a conceptual framework of Reasoned Action Theory, which states that the analysis of anticipated pros and cons of a specific behavior which in this case seeking medical treatment for depression direct behavioral intentions and therapy seeking. Fishbein explores internal and external factors influencing behavior. External influences refer to unchangeable variables, for instance, prior experiences, while internal influences refer to variables such as behavioral attitudes, held beliefs, and subjective norms, which are possibly changed through experience or education. This paper, however, focuses on internal influences.

There is existing evidence that care providers are always sensitive to manifestations of depressive behavior in individuals and provide them with unnecessary treatment and follow up services; there is feeble research on how these individuals fare. Whether adolescents or adults, persons face significant barriers to seeking healthcare.

For instance, teens in specific may feel very concerned about opening up on personal issues to the caregivers. This particular generation is very sensitive to the confidentiality issue, making them reluctant to seek treatment or ask general health questions due to confidentiality. This does not only affect adolescents but the general population at large. The individual nature of emotional imbalances always associated with major depressive disorder individuals feels reluctant to discuss these issues with doctors and close relatives alike (Givens et al, 2007).

Many individuals view ministrations of depression through medical care organizations with wariness and approve substitute approaches, such as lifestyle approaches individuals often visit doctors for psychological complications only when lay devices are depleted. The incident of conversing depressive indicators with one’s health caregiver is remarkable in a person’s cognition of their self and their understanding of depression and its causes, conceptualization of depression, and its causes. Since the buildout of depression often incorporates affected individuals endeavors to establish a cause for their manifestations, pursuing treatment and directly discussing the problem may aggravate the discomfort in both disorder identity and the pursuit for clarification, Given the impracticability of distinguishing a person's self from the condition affecting them, acquiring a diagnosis of depression may be exceptionally hard for individuals especially adolescents undergoing the development process into maturity and do not want to be identified as mentally ill.

Individuals expecting depression diagnosis may also be unwilling or inadequate to take liability for undertaking the multiple steps involved in the treatment of a chronic disease like depression.

Additionally, the possible upturn of seeking help for depressed individuals is the fear of rejection and stigmatization. The public holds inaccurate views that depressed individuals have a more likelihood of being more violent as compared to troubled people. The prejudice against depressed persons leads others to criticize them or deem them less competent, and this heightens their infatuations of failure. Due to this, several individuals may refuse help since they do not want to be acknowledged as mentally ill.

Often people experiencing depression lack self-confidence in their capabilities of making positive change in their lives. Being in that situation makes them feel bad, and they blame themselves for it. Consequently, when others try to tell them what they ought to do confirms their failure infatuations.

How has Lockdown Impacted Depression Rates.?

There are twice as many people depicting symptoms of depression due to lockdown in the United Kingdom. The younger generations are the ones impacted significantly, a survey in the UK confirmed. The depression rates during the corona pandemic soared greatly, with a 19.2% increase during the June lockdown. The numbers showed a twofold increase from the ones indicated in the period between July 2019 and March 2020 when only 9.7% of the public complained of having depressive indicators. The youngsters are the most affected group, with reports indicating that nearly one in three individuals indicated depressive behavior. However, the issue is not identical to the United Kingdom only. In America, Results indicate that the rates of depression symptomatology are three times higher during the pandemic lockdown contrasted prior to the pandemic. The rates have risen up from 8.5% before the pandemic to 27.8 percent during the lockdown (Bignardi et al, 2020)

The youth, disabled individuals, women, and people facing financial problems are the most likely groups to encounter some sort of depressive behavior during the lock all over the globe. Anxiety and stress are widely indicated symptoms of depression.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a wide-reaching upsetting event. It has generated physical, emotional, and psychological anguish, and not only for the sufferers of the virus.

As we have been striving tirelessly to ensure our faces are covered, washing our hands, and staying 6 feet away from everyone, even with our loved ones, we may become oblivious of the effects of the pandemic and quarantine on our mental fitness. In Fact, there are several contributing factors to the significant increase in mood prodrome, inclusive of escalated social seclusion, economic impecuniosity, and vulnerability to other stressors.

How can These People be Helped?

Most individuals express denial to authoritarian commands. They do not like being told what to do since it reflects that they are incapable of perceiving the decision-making process in their lives. People with depression have possibly been instructed on what they ought to do, so they have come up with even more hurdles than usual to commands from others. In helping these persons identify the necessity for depression treatment, It may also be imperative to have a candid debate about how their therapy settlements affect your relations with them (Gitlin, 2014). Come up with concise suppositions and discuss the possible results of both embracing or not accepting therapy. Some mental health caregivers believe a concomitant condition identified as anosognosia, or an individual's incompetence in identifying their own mental disorder adds to overall reluctance to take medication or participate in therapy. When an individual has no perception of their illness, it can foster a hard environment where they may not perceive treatment as a necessity.

It is, therefore, important to allow them to exercise control over their options. When helping them, do not command them on what they should do; instead, give them options and let them decide what they think is best for them. By doing so, they will perceive that you are giving them deserved respect, which may impact their decision making. They need to establish a sense of self-efficacy or the credence that they have the capability to make a distinction in their lives. The way to go about helping to respect how they feel and reflect and their capability to make solutions. By focusing on pressing a solution, you will not be helping the individual learn to solve Issues. Instead, aid them in the decision-making activity using a communicative framework identified as LEAP (Cooper et al, 2010). The LEAP approach instills a sense of the necessity of individuals seeking treatment. It is important to partner with depressed individuals in the identification of options available and supports them in the ongoing procedure. Strive not to use words that may convey the Should meaning. Should insinuate commands and expectations a thing they hate. it informs the affected person that they are wrong or bad and may not be aware of the problem-solving process in their lives.


Bamgbade, B. A., Barner, J. C., Ford, K. H., Brown, C. M., Lawson, W. B., & Burdine, K. (2020). Willingness to Seek Help for Depression in Young African American Adults: Protocol for a Mixed Methods Study. JMIR Research Protocols, 9(2), e16267.

Bignardi, G., Dalmaijer, E., Anwyl-Irvine, A., Smith, T. A., Siugzdaite, R., Uh, S., & Astle, D. (2020). Increase in childhood depression during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK.

Cooper, L. A., Ford, D. E., Ghods, B. K., Roter, D. L., Primm, A. B., Larson, S. M., ... & Wang, N. Y. (2010). A cluster randomized trial of standard quality improvement versus patient-centered interventions to enhance depression care for African Americans in the primary care setting: study protocol NCT00243425. Implementation Science, 5(1), 18.

Gitlin, L. N. (2014). The role of community-and home-based interventions in late-life depression.

Givens, J. L., Houston, T. K., Van Voorhees, B. W., Ford, D. E., & Cooper, L. A. (2007). Ethnicity and preferences for depression treatment. General hospital psychiatry, 29(3), 182-191.

Raue, P. J., Schulberg, H. C., Heo, M., Klimstra, S., & Bruce, M. L. (2009). Patients' depression treatment preferences and initiation, adherence, and outcome: a randomized primary care study. Psychiatric Services, 60(3), 337-343.

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