The failure to recognize depression as a disease is troubling and encourages the misconception that people should blame themselves, family members and friends for this illness. They need to know that depression can be treated effectively in the vast majority of cases.
Along these same lines, alcoholism was regarded as a personal weakness by 58 percent of those polled and as a health problem by 46 percent. Obesity was regarded as a personal weakness by 38 percent and as a health problem by 48 percent.
The respondents were asked to whom a person should go for help for depression. The survey permitted up to three answers. Forty-five percent of those polled suggested a medical or family doctor, and 60 percent suggested a mental health professional or facility. Only 20 percent suggested a clergyman and only 14 percent suggested a spouse, friend, or family member.