In an international study of over 1,000 sufferers living across 35 different countries, three quarters reported feeling ostracised by society. They claim that this prevents them from forming relationships, making friends and applying for jobs.
Drugs and counselling can help people suffering with depression, but only half of those interviewed received the treatment they needed.
Although many popular public figures, including Stephen Fry, tennis champion Serena Williams and singer Lana Del Rey, have been opening up about their own mental health problems, the stigma faced by the general public does not seem to have lifted.
Professor Graham Thornicroft, head of health service and population research at the Institute of Psychiatry said: “Our findings show discrimination is widespread and almost certainly acts as a barrier to an active social life and having a fair chance to get and keep a job.”
A separate study found that the economic crash in 2008 resulted in a surge of mental health problems in males, but not in women. Mental ill health in men rose by 2.7% between 2008 and 2009, according to the journal BMJ Open.
Experts believe men are more likely to derive their self-worth and social status from their occupation, making problems like redundancy and pay cuts more difficult to handle.
Mental ill health affects millions of people across the world. Counselling is thought to be one of the most effective treatments available. To find out more about how counselling can help, please visit our Types of Distress page.
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