New research reveals most Americans can’t identify the symptoms of depression
GeneSight® Mental Health Monitor finds large gap between what Americans think and what they actually know about recognizing depression
SALT LAKE CITY, July 28, 2021 – Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN), a leader in genetic testing and precision medicine, today announced results from a recent nationwide poll, the GeneSight® Mental Health Monitor.
The survey found that nearly one in two adults are very confident they would recognize if a loved one is suffering from depression. However, when provided with a list of possible symptoms, only one in seven could correctly identify all of the possible symptoms.
Recognition is crucial
“The first step to recovery from depression is recognizing the symptoms of depression in yourself or someone close to you,” said Mark Pollack, M.D., chief medical officer for Mental Health at Myriad Genetics. “If you recognize depression symptoms in yourself or others, it’s important to seek treatment with a qualified healthcare provider.”
However, recognizing depression and then offering or seeking help isn’t always easy. While many may want to help, the poll found nearly half of respondents aren’t sure they completely “get” what people diagnosed with depression are going through.
Leslie, whose husband, Art, suffered from major depressive disorder most of his life, agrees that it is hard to know what a person with depression is experiencing.
“Art was very unpredictable and irrational. He was extremely moody,” Leslie said. “I would come home from work and wouldn’t know what I was walking into. Would he be angry? Would he be lethargic and unable to get off the couch? Would he be irritable? Would he even be there?”
This lack of understanding also applies to those who experience depression themselves. The GeneSight Mental Health Monitor found 15% of those with depression admit that even they don’t always get what others are going through – a signal that the disorder doesn’t look or feel the same to everyone who lives with depression.
Understanding the symptoms
Although each person’s experience with depression is unique, there are a range of common symptoms.
About eight in 10 people believe symptoms of depression are emotional (88%), mental (83%) and behavioral (80%), However, only about six in 10 (63%) of American adults recognize that physical symptoms were associated with depression, according to the poll. Depression can manifest in physical ways such as:
- Headaches and pain
- Digestive issues
- Sleeping issues
- Changes in appetite or weight
“Many patients have common complaints such as fatigue or weight gain, and after a comprehensive assessment, I’ve determined that depression was at the root of their problems,” said Robin Miller, Internist, MD, MHS, owner of Triune Integrative Medicine in Medford, Ore. “That’s why it is important for people to know this disorder and understand its symptoms. Quicker diagnosis can lead to treatment.”
For a better understanding of potential symptoms of depression and to experience how hard it can be to go about daily life while living with depression, visit KnowMentalHealth.com. For more information on how genetic testing can help inform clinicians on depression treatment, please visit GeneSight.com.
The GeneSight® Mental Health Monitor
The GeneSight Mental Health Monitor is a nationwide survey of U.S. adults conducted by ACUPOLL Precision Research, Inc. in March 2021 among a statistically representative sample of adults age 18+, including a representative sample diagnosed with depression. The margin of error in survey results for the total base population at a 95% confidence interval is +/- 3%.
The GeneSight® Test
The GeneSight Psychotropic test from Myriad Genetics is the category-leading pharmacogenomic test for 61 medications commonly prescribed for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric conditions. The GeneSight test can help inform clinicians about how a patient’s genes may impact how they metabolize and/or respond to certain psychiatric medications. It has been given to more than 1.5 million patients by tens of thousands of clinicians to provide genetic information that is unique to each patient. The GeneSight test supplements other information considered by a clinician as part of a comprehensive medical assessment. Learn more at GeneSight.com.
About Myriad Genetics
Myriad Genetics is a leading genetic testing and precision medicine company dedicated to advancing health and wellbeing for all, empowering individuals with vital genetic insights and enabling healthcare providers to better detect, treat and prevent disease. Myriad discovers and commercializes genetic tests that determine the risk of developing disease, assess the risk of disease progression, and guide treatment decisions across medical specialties where critical genetic insights can significantly improve patient care and lower healthcare costs. For more information, visit the Company’s website: www.myriad.com.
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