Fear of discrimination a barrier for depressed patients

European researchers surveyed 1082 people with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder from 35 countries, including Australia, about their experiences and fear of discrimination.

They found that almost 80% of survey respondents had experienced discrimination in at least one life domain and nearly a third of participants had reported being shunned by people because of their mental health problems.

Family members were the biggest source of discrimination but they were also the biggest source of support. The authors said this depended on the context or personal resources of the individual.

The authors also found that 37% of participants had stopped themselves from initiating a close relationship, a quarter avoided applying for particular jobs and one in five avoided applying for education and training due to the fear of stigma.

However, those who had feared discrimination were often not discriminated against, with 47% of participants who had