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Study confirms Irish will not discuss mental health issues with each other

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A recent survey that took place in Ireland showed frightening results about people’s outlooks on depression.

The survey showed that two in five people would prefer to be in the dark about a loved one’s experiences with depression, although they acknowledge that having someone to listen is a step toward recovery.

The 2011 Mental Health Barometer conducted by the pharmaceutical firm Lundbeck also revealed that one-fourth of the population still does not view depression as a mental illness but sees it as a “state of mind.”

Through the survey, it is clear that a stigma and embarrassment still follows the illness and is not taken with as much severity as other mental diseases.

Dr. Harry Barry, an expert in depression, said that it was “very worrying” that 42 percent of people would not want someone close to them that is dealing with depression, to reach out to them for help.

"Sometimes people just need to talk. It can be the first step towards recovery. By providing a sympathetic ear and encouraging them to get professional help they could make a real difference in their friends life," Barry said.

There seems to be an array of different misconceptions about who is mostly affected and at risk by the illness. The survey showed that most people believe that depression is not as common for the elderly, when in reality that group is largely at risk.

At least eight percent of the population reported knowing someone close to them that suffered from the disease, and only 37 percent of young people under 25 years of age said they would want to know, reported the Irish Times.

With four percent of Ireland’s population reportedly has dealt with the illness at some stage in their lives, a wide concern is raised about the reality of depression and calls for the spread of awareness among the Irish people.

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