Thinking about this today.
* Only 18% of respondents who had symptoms characteristic of major depression or generalized anxiety disorder had received a diagnosis from a doctor.
* Less than one-tenth of the undiagnosed group believed that their symptoms meant that they had a mental disorder, and more than half of those with a doctor's diagnosis also did not agree.
* Undiagnosed respondents who reported that they would not seek a doctor's assistance for symptoms such as those covered by the survey were asked to respond to various possible reasons.
* 44% responded "not serious, I can handle it."
* 28% reported having limited or no insurance
* 18% reported being "too busy to see a mental health professional."
* 10% of respondents reported fear of having to take medications or not knowing of a doctor to go to.These lists of reasons provide some useful information but fail to accurately convey the complexity of people's thought processes as they try to make sense of their symptoms, decide what to do about them, and then rationalize their decisions. Consider a person who has a serious disorder that somewhat limits activities and who perceives that treatment might be helpful. However, lacking insurance coverage and having competing wants and needs for use of available resources, such persons might decide that they want to solve the problem on their own and that the problem is likely to go away by itself eventually anyway. Thus, they might be willing to delay care and observe the course of their distress.