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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 148-154

A study of factors affecting help-seeking behavior in major depressive disorder

Department of Psychiatry, B.J. Medical College and Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Minakshi Nimesh Parikh
Department of Psychiatry, B.J. Medical College and Civil Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_30_19

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Background: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is among the most common mental disorders. Apart from the high prevalence, depression has been found to contribute to a high degree of impairment in functioning, equalling or exceeding that associated with debilitating medical conditions. Despite this, research shows a large treatment gap and demonstrable benefits on addressing this gap. Hence, it becomes important to study the factors affecting help-seeking behaviors among patients with MDD. Our study aims to assess these factors. Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted on 100 consecutive consenting patients of MDD in the department of psychiatry of a tertiary care hospital. The instruments used were semi-structured pro forma for sociodemographic details, Big Five Inventory-10 Scale for personality traits, K10 rating scale for psychological distress, and Depression Stigma Scale to assess the stigma faced. Results: In our study, we found (a) sociodemographic factors such as higher family income, joint family type, and rural locality to be statistically significantly associated with late help seeking and (b) patient-related factors of higher levels of perceived stigma to be statistically significantly associated with late help-seeking behavior. Conclusions: Factors such as family type, stigma, and living in a rural area were significantly associated with late help seeking. Psychoeducation of family members and increased awareness and access to mental health-care professionals may help address these issues. Studying factors affecting help seeking on a larger scale may help with policy formulation in future.

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